As I get older, my fashion tastes are starting to lean toward the more classy, sophisticated and timeless pieces. Before our economy took a dive I always bought handbags I loved, for no reason at all. I didn’t care if they matched my wardrobe or not, if I liked a purse I bought it. Now I’m more sensible, for me to purchase a handbag these days I have to convince myself I will carry it non-stop. Being able to use a handbag year round is a big factor for me today or I simply won’t purchase it.
When I heard about new designer Yiliy, I was instantly intrigued. The name was catchy and definitely sounded different. Then as soon as I looked at the gallery of handbags the “Le Matin” instantly caught my eye. Black, golden hardware, and classy, which we all know is my favorite kind of handbag. I could totally envision myself using this handbag constantly. It’s simplicity at it’s best. Nothing I love more than a beautiful handbag that’s not too trendy but has the ability to be iconic. Rebecca Minkoff started her career off with the lovely “Morning After Bag” which is now one of the most sought after handbags in the fashion scene. I really believe, the “Le Matin” will be the bag in Yilin Chen’s collection that will be iconic.
Currently located on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, an unassuming brownstone hides treasures within created by Leona and Hasna Erziak. These two sisters with their multi-cultural- Belgian/Morocccan heritage and world travels achieve their inspirations on their journeys and their deep-rooted love of elegant classics.
Their current collection shines with classic design, sumptuous skins and delightful details. Calfskin, Pony Hair, Ostrich, Python and Suede are skins of choice this season. Special finishes of acid python with a washed metallic look, glazing, sueded python on the top and bottom side of the scales for the ultimate softness and 80.6% gold leaf on embossed python. Pigskin interiors are reminiscent old-style luxury.Soft shades of soft aqua, browns, soft blue, violet, and black accentuated with a pop of zebra print! Petite lady bags to oversized … and I mean HUGE shoulder bags for the girl who needs to pack it all.
My love of handbags is more than just being attracted to “pretty bags”. The designers creativity, intent, design and fabrication are all fascinating to me. That’s why my personal interview with Monica Botkier is so special.
The Botkier office space is clean and well organized with lots of white walls, glass and white sofa inviting visitors to sit down. It’s the perfect blank canvas to be creative. Monica war warm, energetic and ever so easy to talk to about how she started Botkier, her vision for the company and of course, the bags!
At the age of 13, Kara Ross discovered her true calling in a tourmaline stone she found on a family trip to Kenya. Her parents allowed her to design a ring around the stone and her future was cast. Kara is now a Gemological Institute of America Certified Gemologist and has spent the last five years designing her own jewelry line. It’s no surprise that she approaches handbags with the same eye for craftsmanship and love of special materials.
I had the pleasure of touring the Kara Ross NY showroom recently and was blown away. Like a kid in a candy store, I ogled beautiful jewels, stunning showpieces, amazing handbags and a sneak peak at Fall 2011. While I can’t share the Fall highlights with you…yet, I can share some of the special items for Spring/Summer!
With Kara Ross, the materials are an important feature of the bag. Python, alligator, ostrich, snake, lizard, stingray and even cork and sequins are embellished with crystals, stones and jewelry grade metal accents. One beautiful gem-like bag is this seafoam green alligator Dea featuring geometric black onyx with metallic accent. A smaller sized clutch, it fits beautifully in the hand and is one of my favorites from the collection.
Coach was founded in a New York City loft, 1941 – inspired by a baseball glove for its “distinctive markings and how supple it became with use”. After refining it, making it softer and stronger, he created Coach’s first handbag. Since then, innovations in leather finishes, new grains and colors, and modern materials continue to fascinate us. But this glove-tanned leather remains a Coach tradition.
In 1998, one of the most well known designer handbag brands came into light “Kooba”. Celebrities and even fashionista’s world wide can be seen carrying different designs from the brand on a daily basis. It’s remarkable to see that the brand started just 12 years ago and has already risen to the top.
Abbe Held, who is the creative director of Kooba, and her Mother were avid handbag shoppers that were on a mission to make their own handbag line. Not just any type of handbags though, ones that had a more vintage and organic look than what was already out there.
“The first creations of Kooba were a lot more structured”, said Ms. Held. Handbags were made in ultra suede, mens flannel material and were not made of leather. At first, the handbags were sold to Bergdorf Goodman and Scoop in New York City. Now, Kooba can be found in a variety of stores and online.
The first bag that really put Kooba on the map was the “Sienna”. “We received a lot of recognition from that bag”, said Abbe. Being that Ms. Held is the creative director for Kooba it comes as no surprise that she loves the long hobo’s the brand has to offer. She prefers bags that are hands free, and the “Bryce” is one of her favorites.
Although I’m still recovering, Fashion’s Night Out in New York has to be one of the best parties on the planet! If you haven’t heard of this major event, you are truly missing out. Stores and venues across the city, New York in this instance, celebrate fashion like no other time of the year. This tremendous brainchild of Vogue’s Anna Wintour was an instant and smashing success! Anyone can attend. And there is no other happening where you can witness Coca Rocha posing for the masses, Karolina Kurkova playing game show host, Donna Karen dancing the night away and a host of amazing designers on hand for you to meet and talk about your favorite styles.
All of the major department stores have dozens of activities within. Sak’s, Barney’s, Bergdorf’s, Nordstrom, Henri Bendel all play host to special activities like playing dress up in a designer outfit and walking the red carpet while posing for internationally renowned photographers! It’s dress up time at it’s finest.
What are you doing after work? Planning on hitting the gym or going home to make dinner? I have something even better planned for you if you’re in the Santa Monica area – Rebecca Minkoff is going to be at Bloomingdales from 6 – 8 pm.
Meet Rebecca and check out her new Fall collection. Plus receive a 20% off discount and free gift with every Rebecca Minkoff Handbag Purchase. Oh and that’s not all — there’s going to be a Rebecca Minkoff handbag drawing held every hour of the event.
Grab your friends, she’s only going to be in S.M. today, Thursday August 12th from 6 – 8 :pm
Santa Monica Place
315 Colorado Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90401