Alyce Tran Is Here to Edit Your Handbag and Your Life
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In the age of Marie Kondo style decluttering, Swedish Death Cleaning, and Vogue editor closet purges, the entire world seems obsessed with paring things down. KonMari is nice, but Tran’s approach doesn’t involve chucking half your possessions. The accessories designer has made a career out of creating the kind of no nonsense add ons that help her customers get their lives in order. Monogrammed planners, bespoke cell phone chargers, and totes with built in dividers form the foundation of her label, The Daily Edited. Yet for all her expertise, Tran thinks the minimalist nirvana worshipped on Instagram is but a pipe dream. “I come from a place of wanting organization, but even I’m still working on it!” she said on the phone from Sydney. “On the surface I come across as 100 percent organized you have to in my line of work but I don’t think of myself as being obsessively neat.”

Founded in 2011 when she was working as an attorney in Perth, Tran and fellow lawyer Tania Liu sought to create the kinds of basics that could take women from the boardroom to business class and beyond. Both fans of Proenza Schouler, Celine, and The Row a water cooler chat about ready to wear sparked their friendship they sought to bring a chic sensibility to oft mundane tasks like planning work outfits and arranging office supplies. “When you have a desk job, sometimes the only exciting thing to think about is what you’re going to wear to work the next day. That can become a bit of a cycle,” said Tran, who had always envisioned herself in a creative field. “A legal career is lucrative in some ways, but it’s not quite enough if you want to lead a high speed life; at first [Tania and I] just wanted to do something a bit more exciting.”

Each piece grew out of a personal need. Constantly on the go for work, they created leather luggage essentials that upgraded the idea of packing cubes; Tran’s stash of receipts led to a monogrammed millennial pink accordion organizer. “Not sure if it’s making me more organized, but definitely eliminating loose pieces of paper on my desk,” she said. Even a recent foray into mini purses drew inspiration from Tran’s desire for a micro clutch. Though their versions are roomy compared to those runway bags that barely fit a memory card, Tran is eager to push the line beyond its supremely functional beginnings. Still, she relies on a wealth of data culled from customer feedback to decide what makes the final cut. “There are certain things that I see in the market [that] I get really excited by,” she said. “We’re making about 10 different samples each week, and some of it doesn’t get produced, but that’s okay. [Micro bags] became so intricate that it just wasn’t possible to deliver because we felt like our customers, given the size of the item, wouldn’t wanna pay more than $100 for it.”

Cost effective but designed to reflect a curated aesthetic, TDE has developed a robust following online. The brand’s signature bright hues and playful shapes mirror Tran’s own personal style. “In my mind, I think I’m streamlined and chic, but then I’ll see photos of myself and realize that actually, I’m very colorful!” she said. “I tend to think that I’ve got my neutrals and basics in my wardrobe already, so when I’m shopping, I’m like a magpie. I’ll go for the color.” A runway addict who has racked up an impressive collection of vintage designs by Raf Simons and Phoebe Philo, Tran hopes her collection can serve as an entry organizational point for fellow fashion obsessives.

“What [we] do is really democratize luxury to a degree. Everything is well designed and well made, but attainable,” she said. If the idea of adding one more thing to your already bursting closet runs counter to your desire for white space, Tran, who is currently in the middle of an annual closet purge with her sister Caroline, understands the irony. “If [minimalism] is your thing and you dedicate time to that, it’s great, but for a lot of us, it’s hard to maintain,” said Tran, who advocates the one piece in, one piece out wardrobe philosophy that embraces the cycle of new fashion. “Right now, I’m in Marie Kondo withdrawal!”