Vera Bradley Celebrates Diversity and Supports Women of Color With Limited-Edition Unity Tote Bag
– Company pledges $20,000 to non-profit Women Who Create –
FORT WAYNE, Ind., Feb. 08, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Vera Bradley, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRA; “Vera Bradley” or the “Company”), a leading American bag and luggage company and iconic lifestyle brand, today announced it has designed a limited-edition “Unity Tote” bag to celebrate diversity and promote unity in honor of Black History Month.
The Vera Bradley Unity Tote was the dream of Victoria Williams, a Vera Bradley Store Associate from the Company’s factory location at Gulfport Premium Outlets in Gulfport, Mississippi. Last summer, Williams felt moved to suggest her idea to create a Vera Bradley bag featuring a special pattern that stood for unity.
After her idea received approval from Vera Bradley leadership, Williams articulated her vision to the Company’s print design team, and the pattern “Unity Tie-Dye” was created. In black and white with shades in between, this powerful pattern beautifully represents coming together, celebrating diversity and uniting for change.
“I wanted the pattern to spark a conversation,” Williams shared. “I wanted people to know that Vera Bradley is for everyone.”
Rob Wallstrom, Chief Executive Officer of Vera Bradley, noted, “Vera Bradley is committed to promoting a culture of diversity and inclusion for our Associates, customers and communities, so when Victoria shared her idea to create a special tote symbolizing that commitment, it was an easy and enthusiastic ‘yes!’”
As part of the Company’s commitment to fostering more inclusive communities and amplifying the voices and talents of BIPOC individuals, Vera Bradley is honored to donate $20,000 to Women Who Create, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing scholarships and mentorships to young creatives identifying as women of color in the fields of fashion, advertising, music and tech.
“We're super grateful to be working with a company like Vera Bradley. Their contribution will help us give away a scholarship this year and will also help fund many events that will provide educational value to hundreds of women,” commented Shaunah Margaret, Co-Founder of Women Who Create.
Vera Bradley’s Unity Tote retails for $90 and is available in Vera Bradley Stores and on verabradley.com. For more information, visit www.verabradley.com/unitytote.
ABOUT VERA BRADLEY, INC.
Vera Bradley, Inc. operates two unique lifestyle brands – Vera Bradley and Pura Vida. Vera Bradley and Pura Vida are complementary businesses, both with devoted, emotionally-connected, and multi-generational female customer bases; alignment as causal, comfortable, affordable, and fun brands; positioning as “gifting” and socially-connected brands; strong, entrepreneurial cultures; a keen focus on community, charity, and social consciousness; multi-channel distribution strategies; and talented leadership teams aligned and committed to the long-term success of their brands.
Vera Bradley, based in Fort Wayne, Indiana, is a leading designer of women’s handbags, luggage and other travel items, fashion and home accessories, and unique gifts. Founded in 1982 by friends Barbara Bradley Baekgaard and Patricia R. Miller, the brand is known for its innovative designs, iconic patterns, and brilliant colors that inspire and connect women unlike any other brand in the global marketplace.
In July 2019, Vera Bradley, Inc. acquired a 75% interest in Creative Genius, Inc., which also operates under the name Pura Vida Bracelets (“Pura Vida”). Pura Vida, based in La Jolla, California, is a rapidly growing, digitally native, and highly engaging lifestyle brand founded in 2010 by friends Paul Goodman and Griffin Thall. Pura Vida has a differentiated and expanding offering of bracelets, jewelry, and other lifestyle accessories.
ABOUT WOMEN WHO CREATE
Women Who Create is a mentorship and events platform that pairs women of color in college and early in their career with women in advertising, music, fashion, and tech. The mission of Women Who Create is to break down systemic barriers through mentorship to uplift, inspire, and empower women of color. This year, Women Who Create plans to launch its first virtual summit aimed at elevating women personally and professionally. The organization is also currently developing an industry-first mentorship matchmaking application. For more information, visit www.womenwhocreate.org.
Vera Bradley Investors:
Julia Bentley, VP of Investor Relations and Communications
Vera Bradley Media:
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/15544936-5c45-4f9a-953b-5d49eb0d9f10