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.