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The Who/Where/What: Chicago’s G.I.A. Luxe Handbags


by Kari Radjewski – September 12, 2012

Gorgeous. Intelligent. Ambitious. Three words representing G.I.A. Luxe handbags, the woman who wears them, and the artistic brains behind them. Sheetal Patel, designer and owner of G.I.A., and I met at Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago’s Terrace, where we chatted became BFF over Freeze Pops (delish!).


G.I.A. Luxe Handbags currently at Trump International

Only 28-years-old, Sheetal has a lot to say for herself: two Bachelor’s degrees, a five-year old, and an up-and-coming handbag line already noticed by some of fashion’s elite! While she may be petite, don’t underestimate the drive and initiative of this little lady!

The sassy yet sophisticated aesthetic of her collections are inspiration from her daughter Gia as well as her Indian heritage and experience living in London and the United States. She makes bags for the everyday woman who prioritizes style, function and quality.  AND! All products are made in the United States, which ensures luxury for Sheetal, as she can have open communication with manufacturers at all times.


In the short two years that items have been in production, this business-savvy babe has made big strides. With gumption and audacity, Sheetal approached Trump International Hotel & Tower proposing sales of G.I.A. handbags in the gift shop; aside from her website, this is the exclusive sale location since April 2012.

The latest mega-step is about to happen in October 2012 when she will be the first Chicago-based designer with a collection sold on Zappos. This is the direct result of being prestigiously chosen as a winner in Zappos’ “Emerging Designer Program.” Every month, Zappos chooses a new on-the-rise designer to launch based on their belief that the designs will sell. Choosing G.I.A. Luxe obviously was a no-brainer for them: rich color combos, a signature look, luxury taste…

Wait, WHAT?!

Forget a 10-year plan because she sees her goals in a two-year time frame: “I can see it, I can see it.  I want it so bad. I want to develop sister brands starting with a child’s line, men’s accessories…wallets, electronics…I want to start selling in Europe and Dubai.” Stay tuned you guys, lots to come from Ms. Patel!

Me and Sheetal at Trump International Gift Shop

While it sounds like Sheetal couldn’t stretch herself another minute, the go-getter stays Cheeky by working out and being chauffeured around in her daughter’s bright pink mini Jeep, nonchalantly waving to neighbors!

She’s hard-working, inspiring and, most of all, relatable. One can only hope Sheetal’s self-motivation will rub off simply from carrying a G.I.A. Luxe item. But if not, you’ll still have a swag handbag!

Meet Sheetal and G.I.A. Luxe here.

Shop G.I.A. Luxe here.

About the Author: Kari Radjewski

A Cheeky girl makes a first impression without saying a word. That’s what Kari loves most about fashion; dressing to express the day’s mood and mission. Girly, preppy, hobo or rock 'n’ roll, her style can’t be defined, always channeling inspiration from the runway and translating looks onto the “real way.” You can see more of Kari’s resourceful sense of style and read her quirky anecdotes on her personal blog, Style at a $teal.