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Reel Life: MGM Exec Cassidy Lange's Line of California Cool Handbags

The MGM SVP of Production designed her "perfect bag" and found a new calling that Rachel McAdams and Chloe Moretz have since discovered, too.
Left: Lange's fall 2013 "Florence" envelope bags. Right: The designer.

By day she’s an SVP of Development & Production at MGM, where she’s currently overseeing Poltergeist, Carrie and Ryan Murphy'The Town That Dreaded Sundown remake. After hours, Cassidy Lange puts on a new creative hat: an accessories designer who launched her first namesake collection of handbags in February. And as so many designer stories start, Lange caught her latest creative itch while seeking out her “perfect bag.”

“I went to my tailor and asked him to help me,” Lange, 31, tells THR. “We went through a bunch of iterations before we eventually came to something I really liked. I started wearing it and I was getting a lot of compliments and I thought, there’s a market for this.”

The compliments came courtesy of Rachel McAdams and Chloe Moretz, who became fast fans after noticing Lange’s arm candy on movie sets.

The bag she developed, The London, is a slouchy, roomy carryall that comes in three sizes ($250 to $550) that have a modern, round geometric sensibility with a laid back, Southern California vibe. Think distressed, tie-dyed leathers and innovative straps that can be worn on the shoulder or twisted to swing effortlessly from the bend of an arm or a wrist, depending on mood.

 

 

CIRCLE GAMES: Lange's signature lambskin London bag in its largest size. $550, cassidylange.com

 

 

“My style is ‘classy bohemian’,” says Lange, who grew up and still lives in Venice. She clearly draws inspiration from her beachy surroundings. “I don’t like a lot of hardware. I like the kind of simple classic looks that feel like they come from the 70s but fit seamlessly into today.”

For fall, Lange will launch new finishes of her signature London — some with colorful Guatemalan-style woven cotton fabrics and others in muted calf hair. A rather killer oversized envelope bag with a woven flap will join the line-up, too.

Friends can’t seem to figure out just how the busy entertainment exec has time for her moonlighting gig.

“It makes a difference that I love both of the things I do,” she says. “It’s very produceorial which is, ‘Can I figure this out?’  That’s a lot of what we do in filmmaking: putting things together when it seems like the odds are against you. I know screenwriters who wrote twenty scripts before anyone would pay attention and their tenacity has paid off.  I keep that in mind.  It takes time to develop any sort of creative product.”

 

 

ROUND HOUSE: Later this summer as part of her fall 2013 collection, Lange will launch her signature London in colorful Guatemalan fabrics. $200, cassidylange.com.

 
The producer-turned-designer has noticed that her two industries aren’t actually that different, despite going from facilitator of other people’s creative visions to the master of her own.

“When I was looking for a showroom to represent me in selling to boutiques and stores, I realized it was similar to an actor or a writer looking for an agent.”

She isn’t planning on quitting her 9-to-5 anytime soon (“I love both of the things I do,” she’s quick to say). And at the risk of a certain clichéd cheesiness that comes with the territory of dream searching in the City of Angels, she does think that L.A. happens to be the perfect place to find her footing in the fashion industry.

“There are so many creative industries [in Los Angeles]. It’s not easy but it’s really possible to kind of get anything you want done here.”

 

 

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