Our bags hold our everything. As life evolves from career to kids to travel and beyond, that chic little clutch that's just big enough for lip color, credit cards and iPhones has to be retired. Not to mention, for most of us, it's got to work with our athleisure-to-biz looks.
Enter Paige Hamilton, who launched her eponymous handbag line, known as Paige Hamilton Design, armed with the knowledge that she had never found the perfect bag. Paige decided to change that for herself and others. Fast forward to today, this clever designer has cultivated a loyal following for this very reason. At first you'll be drawn to her bags for the stylish design, and then you'll notice the lightweight, Italian-sourced nylon fabric. But, it's the streamlined function that speaks to the woman who likes (and needs) a bit of flexible organization to her bag. And you can feel good about the purchase because it's made in the U.S.
If I've got your attention, pop into Dream Weaver on St. Armands Circle to check out what they have on hand from Paige Hamilton Designs' current collection. But first, get to know Paige.
For those unfamiliar with Paige Hamilton bags, please share a bit about yourself and the brand.
I have a background in costume history, and before I started Paige Hamilton Design, Inc., I worked in art museums and design firms. My passion for designing handbags began after living in big cities such as San Francisco, London and New York, where public transportation reigns supreme. I wanted the perfect bag for getting around town and I never found it--a bag that was lightweight, durable, had easy-access pockets, and held my computer or gym shoes without looking like a laptop case or gym bag. It needed to be made from easy-to-clean materials so that, if a fellow train rider’s coffee spilled on my bag or I was stuck in a downpour, the bag wasn’t ruined.
Every detail is so carefully considered. What inspires your designs?
I am inspired to design handbags that blend function with fashion, to create time-saving, life-changing bags for real people to meet real needs. While many of today’s handbags are heavy, oversized and loaded with decorative hardware, my designs keep your shoulders and back healthy.
For me, it’s all about the details. I aim to deliver sophisticated and elegant styles, with most every bag designed for hands-free usage, with functional interior and exterior pockets, strap lengths designed for one-handed access and easy elbow clearance, plus an easy-find removable magnetic key fob.
Tell us about the materials….
I am no-nonsense about quality and durability and I consider materials the cornerstone of any product. I literally searched the planet for 18 months before finding the lightweight, tear-proof, weather and stain-resistant nylon I use on most of my designs. Additionally, I use imported Italian leather for the bags’ handles and trim, and my hardware is made by a small company in Japan who has my same obsession with detail.
Do you have a favorite bag from the current collection?
Oh, that is a tough question to answer. Can I have more than one?! My BFF bag is probably the Stella. She holds my laptop, files, plus has convenient outside pockets for water bottle, airplane ticket, sunglasses, backup hard drive, Kindle or iPad. And I can also toss in a pair of shoes, a sweater and makeup bag. She has purse feet so I can confidently stow her under the seat or on the ground. She goes with me everyday to the office, on every airplane and every work trip. I have carried her daily for years, she still looks great, and she has never let me down.
What’s next for the brand?
I am expanding into more “hands-free” bag options. I am inspired by “athleisure” clothing and how it can merge with handbags. For example, I added a sophisticated “belt bag” (a.k.a fanny pack) to the collection, which has become a great seller. I love the challenge of creating even more effortless bags that continue to support my customer’s lifestyle as our world moves faster and becomes more complex.