Tag Archives: handbags

Designer Spotlight: Antoinette Lee Designs

There’s something about Antoinette Lee’s fabulous handbags. A little bit retro and a little bit vintage, these fun and flirty bags are the perfect statement piece for this summer. Having started designing at the age of fifteen, not only is Lee a talented designer, but an authority in what women want. Her versatile bags—with a touch of New York City glamour—suit any personality and occasion.

Lee uses quality leathers, suede and hardware that make her designs durable and unique. With a neutral/muted color palette and the debut of her Luxe line, Lee’s Spring 2009 collection was received extremely well—particularly among young Hollywood fashion royalty such as Blake Lively, Lauren Conrad, Hillary Duff, Nicole Richie and Hayden Panettiere to name a few.

Lee’s vision of making each handbag to be the main focus of an outfit doesn’t seem to be much of an issue—check out the designer’s Stella and Besa totes as an everyday bag and the gorgeous Lua and Mia to accompany you on a night out on the town.  You’ll be the envy of every girl no matter where you go!

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Serena van der Woodsen’s Latest Accessory: Bryna Nicole


The scandalous lives of the ever popular cast of Gossip Girl is not the sole reason for the show’s huge success. It’s also the fabulous fashion trends that are revealed. The very latest arm candy seen on Blake Lively a.k.a Serena van der Woodsen shooting scenes for the upcoming season of the high school drama is none other than the gorgeous Loyola bag in violet by Bryna Nicole. As many of you know, I had the pleasure of interviewing Bryna a couple of weeks ago and am absolutely in love with her colorful trendy bags.  Don’t forget to get yourself your very own Loyola satchel that comes in a variety of colors such as Black Croco, Grey, Red patent, Chocolate, Cream and of course Violet! Come fall, you will undoubtedly be in style and ready for some hot romance like the lovely guys and gals of Gossip Girl.



Fashion Spotlight Interview: Bryna Nicole

Over the last few years, Bryna Nicole handbags have developed a loyal following and become one of the most popular new names in the world of handbag design. The beautiful colors as well as the vintage inspired designs keep Bryna’s collections fresh and functional. Launched in 2006, Bryna’s designs — with an uptown luxury and downtown cool, as she puts it is made to suit every woman. As a San Francisco native, Bryna continues to celebrate the city by naming her gorgeous handbags after hidden alleys in San Francisco. With her Fall and Holiday lines soon to hit stores, I caught up with Bryna to talk about everything— from her fashion icons to being a one-woman show running her own business. Read on!

Fashion Spotlight: You began your career as a stylist and fashion consultant. How has that influenced you as a designer? 

Bryna Nicole: It has definitely given me more insight into what women really think about and want when they are getting dressed


FS: What was is it like to manage your own design company at 25?

BN: Well, its been a few years since I was 25, but then and now it has been challenging and rewarding.  The day-to-day decisions are sometimes tough and I have no one to tell me if I’m making the right one.  Staying motivated is easy though because I love what I do.


FS: I love that you play with colors and different styles in all your collections. Which of your bags is your favorite and why?

BN: I’m definitely one to carry a bigger bag than I could ever fill—being 5’10” it suits me to have the Loyola Satchel on my arm at all times.  I carry it in most every color.


FS: Where do you draw your inspirations to design your collections?

BN: A lot of it comes from what I need as a woman living in a city, going out with friends, traveling a ton!  I always pay attention to women that seem to have a thrown-together sense of style that somehow always comes out perfectly.


FS: Your bags are manufactured in New York. Do you ever want to relocate your company to the US fashion capital?

BN: I doubt I would entirely relocate because I do love San Francisco too much to leave.  I am considering opening an office in New York one day to be closer to the fashion center as well as many of my resources and factories.


FS: Designing and promoting your line must keep you extremely busy. What do you do for fun/to relax?

BN: Lately I’m not sure what that means!  I love to travel to European cities and beaches when I have a chunk of time.  Otherwise when I’m home I relax by going to the gym or for a long run, visit vintage and antique stores and hang out with my husband.


FS: What are some of the new trends you think we’ll be seeing in handbags?

BN: More exotics—whether real or embossed leather—the texture that these add is just amazing.  I think suede will be big for spring, as the chic bohemian trend seems to be going strong.


FS: Who is your ultimate fashion icon?

BN: I don’t think I can choose just one – Kate Moss for the ease that she puts an outfit together with, Edie Segwick for her effortless but bold choices and 60’s style, and Kate Hudson for the bohemian chic I always adore


FS: What websites/fashion blogs do you read the most?

BN: None really consistently


FS: Who are some other designers that you admire, and why?

BN: Miu Miu and Chloe handbags for their custom hardware, attention to detail and slouchy silhouettes; Alexandar Wang b/c he’s so young and has already developed a strong character and sense of style, and Alber Elbaz for Lanvin has been putting out some really fabulous collections in apparel as well as accessories.


FS: Anyone famous you would like to see carrying your bags?

BN: I guess the people mentioned in this interview would be great


FS: What’s on your “must-have” list for Fall?

BN: Dark stockings, grey suede pumps, lots of chunky sweaters, and a new pair of dark skinny denim


FS: You’ve talked about expaning your brand with a shoe line. Can we this happening soon?

BN: I feel that I still have a long way to go with bags.  I think different categories of bags, such as computer, diaper, men’s and small leather goods will come before shoes.


FS: What advice do you have for aspiring designers?

BN: Put together a solid business plan, do your market research, design what you love and be an individual.


FS: What sets the Bryna Nicole brand apart from other designs?

BN: I use the best Italian leathers with tons of texture and variation in each piece.  The colors are bold but wearable and I design for women who need a stylish bag that stands out but is so nonchalant that they can wear it every day.




A Bag For Every Girl: NEST Handbags

If you are looking for a fabulous workbag, an elegant clutch for a wedding, or a stylish bag or wristlet for everyday use, look no further —NEST handbags have it all and at a great price point too, from only $85- $200.



After 15 years of designing for various other companies, Kim Bost finally pursued her dream of forming her own collection and in 2006 NEST handbags was born.  Being true to “Everybody needs a NEST” tagline, Bost is very conscious of offering quality products at a great value. Her collections comprise of carefully designed handbags, totes, hobos, cross body bags, clutches and wristlets that are easy on our bank accounts as it is carrying them around. Unlike other handbags, the exquisite fabrics used to design Bost’s collections not only make them rare but also adds a fun and uniqueness to a boring work outfit or a brunch outing with friends.



Bost also expanded her company with the addition of a small leather and suede collection, makeup bags and slippers. All of these designs also feature her signature fabrics but shows us that good things can come in small packages without breaking the bank. Take a look at Bost’s Fall Collection; the bags are a great addition to all the Tweed, modern bohemian and plaid suites and pants we’ve seen on the Fall runway this season. Plus, there’s a summer sale going on right now. With a 25% discount provided on all her Spring and Summer items can you imagine what a lucky girl you would be!





Designer Spotlight: Melanie Auld


After much anticipation, Melanie Auld — one of my favorite designers, is launching a new line of handbags this fall. I was lucky enough to get a sneak peak and report back— take a look at a couple of my favorites.



Much like Melanie’s jewelry, (famous for gracing the necks of Hayden Panettiere, Lindsay Lohan and the like), her handbags too are an elegant combination of playful yet simple sophistication.  Being an avid traveler herself, Melanie knows the importance of a trusty companion to have on various adventures — a great bag. So it’s no wonder that Melanie’s collection has a bag suited for every trendy and practical woman in mind.


While most bags and clutches barely have space for your lip-gloss, Melanie’s designs are roomy with pockets for essentials such as cell phones, change and keys. Some bags, like the Mainland bag have a longer strap that can also be worn across the shoulder if needed. The entire collection is made with the softest lambskin, so not only are the bags comfortable and convenient to carry but they are also of the highest quality. Available in a variety of fun colors such as, red, blue, cream, cognac and plum, Melanie’s bags are definitely where style meets comfort, and quality that is affordable — rare combinations in the fashion world today. To check out Melanie’s newest handbag collection visit her website for more information. I have my name written on the Park bag — which one is yours?



Andrea Brueckner — The New It Girl


Andrea Brueckner has quickly made a name for herself in the fashion world. This of course, is no surprise to those of you who are already familiar with Brueckner’s stunning and impeccably designed handbag collections. With Hollywood A-listers such as Beyonce, Lindsay Lohan and Jessica Alba toting her designs, Brueckner quickly had the rest of us lusting after her bags as well. For this Holiday season, it’s not much different — Brueckner does what she does best — creates incredibly beautiful handbags that are bound to make us go gaga all over again.


Brueckner’s designs, as always depict incredible detailing and construction, something that is reminiscent from her days of working with menswear tailor Craig Robinson.  Brueckner also uses the tailoring, form and pattern making skills she garnered at the Fashion Institute of Technology most extensively to date, in this particular collection.  The Aspen Lock Laser Cut Black and Gold Day to Evening bags are not just swoon worthy but also highlight her incredible talent and versatility as a designer.



The Aspen Lock Attache Embossed Croc Clutch in red and black are my other favorites in this line. Trendy yet classic, they are ideal clutches to accompany us on a night out. With the practical individual in mind, Brueckner also includes the popular Cardiff Satchel, this time in python to the Holiday collection.  Whether you are going to the gym or away on vacation, the Cardiff Satchel makes a convenient and stylish choice for an everyday bag. Brueckner is such an exciting designer — she always has a surprise or two up her sleeve and every season manages to incorporate her innovating vision to suit the style of every bagista in town. To get additional information on the Holiday 2008 collection and to shop Brueckner’s Summer and Fall lines please visit her website.


Designer Spotlight: Erica Dylan

The term “bag addict” is a good way to describe Erica Wallengren the designer of Erica Dylan handbags. Like many of us girls, Erica fell in love with vintage bags and is now the proud owner of hundreds, perhaps even more. One fine day, Erica discovered a vintage Chanel bag – a pivotal moment in every woman’s life (as it should be), that lead Erica to her true calling. With the Chanel and countless other vintage designs as inspiration, Erica began designing her very own vintage themed handbag collection that was launched in January 2007.


The most distinctive features in Erica’s bags are the soft leathers and elegant antique hardware pieces that adorn her wonderful creations. These bags are also lined with a variety of bengaline colors that varies from bag to bag, so it remains a surprise till you open one! The other good news for bag lovers as myself is that all of Erica’s bags retail between $150 – $700. So there’s no excuse not to have one!



Even without a prior design background, Erica’s collection gained a strong fan base from the very beginning and quickly became a household name in Los Angeles, where she is based. As many of you may agree, the most popular items in Erica’s Spring 2008 collection are the Olivia tote and the Rachel Python clutch. But my favorite, hands down, is the Jessica fold over clutch in purple patent and burgundy.

 I can’t wait to see what Erica has in store for us with her Fall 2008 collection! After all, Erica Dylan is definitely worth keeping an eye out for, I’m sure you agree.