Hayward’s Artistic Roots

Marin Hopper named her line of handbags for her maternal grandfather, producer, agent and aviator Leland Hayward.

Hayward bags.

It was perhaps inevitable that Marin Hopper would wind up a designer, given her artistic provenance. The daughter of late actor, painter and photographer Dennis Hopper and writer Brooke Hayward, Hopper grew up in the Hollywood Hills surrounded by artists such as David Hockney and Ed Ruscha and designers Rudi Gernreich and James Galanos. But she decided to name her line of handbags for her maternal grandfather, producer, agent and aviator Leland Hayward.

This story first appeared in the October 28, 2013 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“He had exquisite taste in women and loved making things, from movies to movie stars to airplanes,” recalled Hopper, who pored over old photos that Hayward took of his third wife, Slim Keith, in Bermuda as the inspiration for her resort 2014 collection. (Hopper began making evening clutches for friends two years ago but resort marked the first full collection for wholesale.)

The shapes are simple — crescent and rectangular evening clutches and hobo, sack and tote day bags — but the materials are rich in color and texture. There’s wave-embossed calf hair inspired by the ocean, sueded python and a cork basket-weave pattern fused to canvas. The brass plate on the evening clutch is a deconstructed “H” from her grandfather’s personal font.

Prices range from $550 to $1,100 wholesale. The line sells at Salt in Venice Beach and Savannah in Santa Monica, Calif. An e-commerce site launches next month. For spring, Hopper is expanding her palette with painted stripes on leather, python and color-blocked linen and linen-suede combos. She also plans to extend her range to unisex small leather goods and men’s bags.

“I’ve always loved men’s accessories; I covered the men’s fashion market for Mirabella magazine in the Nineties and consulted on Tod’s Kerouac collection,” she said. She also served as style director and fashion editor at Elle from 1994 to 2000. Hopper likens her bags to exclamation points at the end of a sentence, noting, “The Hayward woman uses accessories as just another way of punctuating her style.”