When David Galan, who will be among those participating in Coterie’s TMRW section featuring young and emerging designers, was handling New York accounts for Gucci during the Tom Ford era, he got some invaluable lessons in design.

“I looked at the quality and I formed an idea of what women like in reference to luxury,” said the 34-year-old Galan, who was inspired to try his hand at design.

He moved back to his hometown of Los Angeles in 2004 and started designing belts and accessories for stores such as Fred Segal, Ron Herman, Big Drop and Scoop. He has since expanded his business into handbags and jewelry.

“My customer is a little edgy, but chic,” Galan said. “She loves luxury, but wants something different than what everyone else has. She’s someone who embraces individuality.”

For his handbags, Galan likes to work with exotic skins, such as pony, anaconda python and crocodile.

“For fall, I’m focusing on croc and snakeskin,” said Galan, who produces his line entirely in Los Angeles.

His handbags wholesale from $129 to $299. Some of his bags are structured, while others are contoured to the body. For fall, he will also include a group that is hand woven.

“Everything’s black, although we do offer some black on white, with black crocodile inlay — it’s a spectator bag,” he said.

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Galan’s handbags are sold at Fred Segal, Ron Herman and Nordstrom, as well as some Japanese accounts. Although he has some celebrity accounts, he said what’s important to him is his relationship with his buyers and the stores. He is inspired by art, architecture and nature, especially the greenery, beaches, running and hiking in California.

“I pull a lot from nature,” he added. “Here in Los Angeles, so much Art Deco is still alive, and Forties buildings.”

Galan also designs jewelry, wholesaling from $79 to $199, using chains, crystals and mixed media.


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