Carolina Santo Domingo is looking to thoughtfully make her mark on handbags.The designer — creator of the cult Staud Bissett bag — is striking out on her own with a line of carefully considered, Italian-made bags, priced under $1,000.She will launch her namesake line with a spring collection trunk show on Moda Operandi, kicking off March 24.Santo Domingo has spent the last year flying between Los Angeles and Italy to develop the label, which focuses on silhouette, quality and wearability. “I want to be known for shapes, proportion, volume and hardware,” she said of the label.Her line avoids gimmicks. Santo Domingo has a longer-term approach. She has zeroed in on quality and subtle details — using these laurels as a jumping-off point for future designs. Santo Domingo feels that edge paint, stitching and minimal hardware are distinct features for today’s market, affording her room to grow and evolve.“I want to stick to minimal hardware, something that you could wear everyday. Just classic with a modern twist,” said the designer. Santo Domingo has fabricated her two introductory collections in neutral tones, and plans to gradually ramp up color in future outings.[caption id="attachment_10843477" align="aligncenter" width="640"] A look from Carolina Santo Domingo's handbag line.[/caption]She developed her price point as a market differentiator, with all product remaining under $1,000. As such, Santo Domingo’s line is part of an emerging crowd of midrange accessories brands profiled by WWD last week. “I didn’t want to compete with luxury brands,” she said. “Its impossible to compete with them — they have a huge structure and are obviously very well-known and respected. There are no bags in-between.”Santo Domingo’s label will launch with three styles for spring, and grow to four for fall. She plans to launch her own e-commerce site this May. Wholesale partners — still being confirmed — will be taken on for the fall season. “I want to build strong relationships with the retailers I work with. Nowadays it’s very easy for products to become oversaturated,” she said.Designs are more elevated than the $350 cylindrical shape Santo Domingo designed for L.A. upstart Staud in 2015, which sold out of multiple production runs.Nonetheless her new designs build on the Bissett’s bucket shape, but avoid its rigidness — allowing for greater versatility and comfort. Santo Domingo’s launch assortment for spring includes the cube-shaped carryall called Sirena, priced at $995. There is also a hand-knit raffia piece, Corallina, with resin chain strap and handles, priced at $575. A single artisan spends four hours to hand-crochet the style. All leather pieces come with a removable, adjustable shoulder strap.[caption id="attachment_10843483" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Carolina Santo Domingo[/caption]One staple style — an inverted-V shape tote called Amphora — took months of refining. “I tried to keep it almost looking like it was held together by one pin the middle, with very little stitching on it,” she said of the bonded leather style, $825.“Some people with bucket bags don’t like how it pops off body so much — this one sticks to body a little easier. In Colombia everyone wears the Mochilla bags and I noticed all my friends wearing Mochillas, not leather bags. I wanted to offer something in between. It almost looks like a petal when it’s closed.”For fall, the Amphora comes fabricated in a mini size, as well. Santo Domingo has included an evening clutch for that season.The label’s branding — with a logo designed by Louis-Marie de Castelbajac — is purposefully open-ended. Her first photo shoot was shot in still-life, without models or styling, to leave their sentiment up to consumer interpretation. Said Santo Domingo: “The shapes are the primary focus.”
In honor the @CFDA’s announcement of @iamnaomicampbell receiving the Fashion Icon Award at the 2018 #CFDAAwards, which will take place on June 4, here’s a #tbt of the supermodel on @michaelkors’ runway in 1991. #wwdfashion #wwdarchive (📷: George Chinsee)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech during @sxsw for @createcultivate in partnership with @fossil. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.