Fashion Technology: A Conversation with Carnise McIntosh, Founder of Leoht

Apr 7, 2015

Fashion technology is like a unicorn. That mystical, highly sought after embodiment of perfection. And 100% not real. 

Until now.

Leoht fashion technology tote - Hello, Handbag

Fashion tech has always leaned a little too far towards tech. That is, until the Leoht. Still in the early stages of production, the Leoht may be the answer to my wildest handbag dreams. The Leoht bag can charge your phone up to 4 times, it has USB ports, lights, and a hidden "alcove" where you can hide the most important things you carry. And, above all, it's gorgeous.

Leoht fashion technology tote kickstarter - Hello, Handbag

I'm a proud backer of Leoht, and I'm thrilled to introduce you to the brilliant mind behind this product. Meet Carnise McIntosh, Founder of Leoht:

Leoht fashion technology tote Carnise McIntosh - Hello, Handbag

So Carnise, why did you get started in Fashion Technology?
Fashion technology has been a part of me before I was even aware of it. The earliest inceptions of what is now Leoht didn't have a category back then, (circa 2009). At the time, I was simply trying to satisfy a relentless curiosity and to fix a personal problem. As a designer and a technologist, I was instantly enthralled when when wearable technology started to gain traction.

Where did you get the inspiration to start Leoht?
My inspiration to start Leoht began from pure necessity. As a woman, a New Yorker, a Designer, and a Technologist, I carry quite a bit in my handbag. Once I began to combine years of ideas together and created the first psudeo-concept, I realized that the potential was even bigger. After that, the inspiration changed. The product was great, but the continuous evolution it, the entire industry, and the impact on daily lives of it was invigorating.

What makes Leoht different from other wearable tech?

One of the things unique about Leoht is that in its very DNA, it's allowed to continuously change. It's actually required to. Bags - book bags, messenger bags, backpacks, handbags - are all expected to look and perform differently, year over year, even season after season. Leoht is different from other wearable technology because it will forever deliver a new and different experience to each wearer, functionally and visually.

Leoht fashion technology tote tech close up - Hello, Handbag

Do you think we're all going to be wearing wearable tech someday? 
Absolutely. It's only a matter of time. It's human nature to be curious, evolve, and adapt. Weather it be by choice or kind force (like "gifting" grandma your 5 year old iPhone), wearable technology will become so seamlessly integrated into daily life that it'll feel and look less like "tech" and more like natural evolution of our things. With emphasis on aesthetics, practicality, and ease of use, wearables will become more approachable. Within 1-3 years expect to see nearly a 1/3 of smartphone users (the earliest adopters) sporting a wearable. Within 5-7, over half.

What's been your proudest moment in founding Leoht?
My proudest moment has been building my team. They are some of the most passionate, talented, skilled, and ambitious people that I've ever met. To sit with them and just let them do what they love with the common goal of vastly improving a daily necessity, solving real world problems, and potentially changing the lives of all those who experience it, is rewarding already.

Leoht fashion technology tote team - Hello, Handbag

Where do you see your company in 10 years?
Wow. In 10 years, Leoht may look quite different. The world will be a slightly different place, so who knows what Leoht, products will look like, but Leoht, the company, will still have one motto. Evolve.

What's your advice for other female entrepreneurs?
In the words of my best friend, "Be the Shoe." That's Nike by the way. Just do it. Stop double thinking, procrastinating, and primping to absolute perfection. Being an entrepreneur starts and continues with a state of mind. Believe in yourself, first. Surround yourself with people who will push you. And "Be the shoe."

Love the Leoht as much as I do? Join me as a backer by April 11th and enjoy a plethora of perks. Note: I am not sponsored in any way by Leoht. I believe in what they're doing and I'm giddy that I can use my dollars to change the trajectory of fashion tech.

Are you a fashion tech fan? I'd love to hear your thoughts, leave a comment below or send me a tweet!

This post is part of the April #AtoZChallenge. Check out yesterday's post, Ethical Clothing, or see all posts from the Challenge here.

Photo credit: All photos are courtesy of Leoht, thank you!


  1. Interesting. Men don't carry handbags as a rule, but it'd be nice if someone included technology in briefcases.

    Just stopping by from the A to Z Challenge.

    John Holton
    Blogging from A to Z 2015 Cohost
    The Sound of One Hand Typing

    1. Hi John - lovely to have you! My husband loves the messenger bag Indiana Jones carried (I think he just wants to be Indiana Jones, but who doesn't). A wearable tech briefcase is a great idea!

  2. Interesting post. Now I feel so unfashionable. Ha!
    Stop by my blog when you can, please.

    1. Hi Bob! Oh gosh, never! Fashion is defined by ourselves - if wearable tech isn't for you, you aren't one iota more fashionable or less fashionable than anyone else. Looking forward to reading your blog!

  3. this is the bag i've been waiting for!

    just backed it. woot!

    1. Hi Pam - yay! I'm so excited to see where Carnise and her team go with this bag, they're utterly lovely people and they have a great product. I'm excited to see it in real life!


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