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Joy Gryson Luxes Up

Designer's new high-end handbag collection, called Capsule by Joy Gryson, maintains the downtown feel of her other two lines, Gryson and Olivia Harris.

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WWDStyle issue 03/07/2011

“My little fun” is how Joy Gryson describes her new high-end handbag collection, called Capsule by Joy Gryson, launching for fall. The designer’s idea stemmed from the difficulty she had finding the perfect bag to take out at night. “I wanted something for going to dinner,” she said. “But none of that pristine stuffy stuff.” Thus the bags maintain the downtown feel of her other two lines, Gryson and Olivia Harris, but Capsule is luxed up with beautiful skins, furs and polished natural stones. And while the lineup is closely edited (only eight styles), it comes with big personality. Just take the Square Frame bag in Mongolian lamb for a dirty-chic look. “She’s unruly, but I like her that way,” Gryson quipped.

This story first appeared in the March 7, 2011 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The bags, which wholesale from $383 for a stingray clutch to $1,215 for a jeweled python bag, come in two different structured shapes: square, with a removable chain strap, or a rectangular clutch. But it’s the materials here that set them apart. Rich astrakhan and Karakul wool is framed with ebony, while python is covered with distressed metallic foil and pyrite or iron’s eye stones, hand-cut to mimic the scales of a snake. Shark, a first for Gryson, and sanded stingray round out the looks.

The designer said her success with Gryson, launched in 2006, followed by the edgier, less expensive little sister brand Olivia Harris (named for her daughter) in 2008, has given her the outlet to try something different without being constrained by price. On top of that, she noted: “I use accessories to dress up. I don’t have the time or stamina to shop for clothes, so I wanted something ridiculously special.” Sounds like she’s on the right track.

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