Shay Mitchell’s New Travel Accessories Line: Love Or Loathe?
Shay Mitchell is adding “designer” to her resume. The Pretty Little Liars alum, whose #Shaycation YouTube series has over 3 million subscribers, actually manages to inspire wanderlust in a fun, fresh, non-basic way. True, she’s not exactly discovering the lost tribes of Papua New Guinea — one of her most popular episodes is on Hawaii–but it’s hard not to get hooked on her mix of local facts, funny tourist gaffes, and ultra-glam photos.
And while she’s (yay!) back on TV opposite Penn Badgley on Lifetime’s thriller series You, Shay seems pretty serious about being a professional jet-setter. While some wannabe influencers were busy perfecting their sandy butt photo, she’s has been hard at work designing BÉIS, her own line of travel accessories.
“Throughout my life and career, I’ve been fortunate enough to travel all over the world,” Shay explained on Instagram. “After countless trips and Shaycations, I realized there was a need for chic, affordable and durable pieces for travelers like myself.”
The seven piece collection is available at Nordstroms and features The Duffle, $83:
The Backpack, $62:
The Weekender $78:
Cosmetic case, $38:
Dopp kit, $28:
And Travel Luggage Tag & Passport Holder Set, $25:
Shay says the beige or black pieces fuse “timeless style” and all the “purposeful organization” you need for day-to-day travel–think bottom zip shoe compartments on the weekender, u-shaped top zip on the duffle so you can stack clothes easier, padded laptop sleeves on the backpack, water-resistant linings, plus all the zip compartments a girl could want.
Even better, the brand supports Girl Up, the United Nations Foundation’s initiative that supports girls’ empowerment and education.
But ok, let’s get real here: we love Shay, we love her vibe, we love her altruism… but do we love these pieces?
I travel a LOT and have become extremely persnickety about my carry-on bags. Not only do they need to function, they have to bring the heat style-wise. My biggest and most “grown-up lady” purchase was a set of Hartmann luggage that I love more than my boyfriend. My suitcases deserve accessories worthy of their own durability, functionality and glamour. I also demand something I can throw into the washing machine because, hello, planes/trains/literally everything about traveling is filthy. Does BÉIS deliver?
Well… kinda. Aesthetically, you can’t beat these clean lines. Love the shoe compartment, love that the larger bags fit over your wheelie handle.
However, I would’ve vastly preferred this line in polyester or leather or pleather or heck, even corn husks — literally anything besides cotton. Easily wrinkled, easily stained, and prone to losing its shape when washed, cotton bags are not a traveler’s friend.
Then there’s the issue of the line’s colors. Black is fine but let’s be honest: there’s no shortage of black travel bags out there. It would be nice if these had some kind of embellishment like funky zipper pulls, monogramming, maybe a fun keychain pouf? Anything?
But my main issue is making travel accessories in beige. I can’t imagine who would find a beige travel bag useful for any length of time. One leaky green juice, one not-totally-closed lip gloss and this bag is ruined. Even white would be better because at least it could be bleached within an inch of its life. But after a few getaways or even just one laundry cycle, a beige cotton bag will look like that free Turkey Trot 2015 canvas sack you take to the farmer’s market.
Plus, the Weekender bag is so big that it may be hard to lift and tough to maneuver if you fill it.
Same with the Dopp kit (PS: did you know Dopp kit was named after the man who designed the bag in 1926, Charles Doppelt? You’re welcome for your next HQ win) and cosmetics case: no matter how careful and meticulous you are when packing, shampoos pressure pop, eyeliners lose their caps and that Snickers you keep for a PMS emergency gets squished open.
But like I said, you can’t beat this aesthetic, so it may be worth spraying these pieces with some Scotch Guard to keep them looking new. Or, maybe just don’t conduct yourself like a grubby child when on the go, as I do.
Given the myriad of travel brands, will you put Shay’s BÉIS on your wish list? Or is this just another case of a celeb who should stick to acting?