Carolina Santo Domingo is ready to put her name behind a line of handbags.
The designer — who created the “Bissett” bag for Los Angeles upstart label Staud — will unveil her own namesake brand for spring.
Designs, produced in Italy using traditional craftsmen techniques, will launch with a direct-to-consumer model in late January. Santo Domingo’s fall collection will be offered for wholesale, likely beginning with New York market in February. The label’s operations will be based in Los Angeles.
“I think it’s really about offering the customer something that is day-to-night. Something I really like about the Bissett bag is that you can use it in the day and then it could be an evening bag. It’s important to me to take size into consideration. Even me, I’m 5’10,” I don’t need to wear a huge bag in the day,” she said in a telephone interview from Italy where she was overseeing the bags’ development.
Santo Domingo said the line will range in price from $350 to $850 retail. Ideal wholesale partners include specialty shops such as Maxfield and Colette.
Her spring collection will be comprised largely of woven material and handmade raffia. Leather styles will be introduced for fall. “It’s all hand-done. It will be a brand that celebrates craftsmanship and the traditional way of making things,” she said.
Santo Domingo’s Bissett design for Staud — first introduced in November 2015 — sold out multiple production runs. The petite, drum-shaped design found particular success in the Asian market where its small but functional size was popular. The design became a favorite of the Instagram-happy set and boosted the profile of the apparel brand Staud, which is available only online. Santo Domingo, who prior to Staud was a design assistant for accessories at Belstaff, has since licensed the Bissett design to the company.
She also created multiple shoe designs for the brand and said that while not a current focus the category could be added to her own brand in the future.
“I think it’s about accessorizing in a subtle way. I don’t want to overpower someone’s clothing. I want to be used for multiple outfits,” she said. “I don’t think I’ll be the type of designer that makes a bag that is really the statement [in an outfit]. It’s an accessory — it puts everything together, it’s the finishing touch.”