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Handbags & Accessories

A hybrid of American socialite and self-made mogul, Nicole Richie has morphed into a fashion industry darling by staying true to one philosophy: play by your own rules. The daughter of music legend Lionel Richie, Nicole fuels her predisposed artistic nature through the creative direction of House of Harlow 1960 (HOH1960), a lifestyle brand named after her daughter.

When it comes to channeling inspiration for the collection that includes everything from jewelry to shoes to sunglasses, Nicole, who is the wife to Good Charlotte front man Joel Madden, affirms that “everything starts with music. I’m a huge fan of the music of  ’60s and the ’70s, so classic rock is something I listen to every day. My team and I work in a very creative space. We’ll listen to music and throw out design ideas.”

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If it seems to you like every time you’ve walked around the block lately you’ve spied yet another woman carrying a Rebecca Minkoff handbag (the tassel zippers are telltale, aren’t they?), you could be on to something.

The Ladies Who Minkoff (a.k.a. Minkettes) are a growing urban tribe that comprises all levels of the social spectrum—from starlets to starving students. And they rarely settle for just one bag. So the ever-obliging designer artfully churns out one covetable carryall after another—from the iconic Morning After Bag in a new hue to tassel-free totes—to satisfy the demands of her downtown devotees.

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After nailing the art of killer kicks (what city girl doesn’t drool over a pair of Loeffler Randall heels?), Loeffler Randall’s savvy creative director, Jessie Randall, branched out in 2012 with a heart-fluttering lineup of must-buy bags. Loeffler addicts everywhere suddenly had to make room in their closets (and budgets) for another fixation. Of course, no one’s been complaining—Loeffler Randall’s distinctive handbags are gob-smackingly chic, but also lie on the affordable end of the designer handbag spectrum with clutches starting at $295.

We recently asked Jessie Randall to dish a little on her brand and the Mini Rider Crossbody we’re featuring in our ‘It’ Bags for the Street Set campaign this month.

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Take Me Away: Aimee Kestenberg ‘Tamitha’ Backpack | Jimmy Choo ‘Damsen’ Sandal

If you haven’t heard of Aimee Kestenberg yet, let us introduce you to the handbag-and-accessories wonder from Down Under. The winner of two Independent Handbag Designer Awards, this 27-year-old Aussie always starts off imagining her designs as 3-D visions. Not as flat sketches, but as vivid mental images with sides and angles. This type of mega-precise visual memory lends itself well to mind-blowing details, which play a key role in every one of her citified bags (think oversized zippers, tassels, screw rivets and pockets galore).

We recently asked the Melbourne transplant to tell us more about her eponymous brand, and also to give us the backstory behind her cool new Tamitha backpack.

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Without a doubt, M Z Wallace is crushing it. And we mean that quite literally. Co-founded by Monica Zwirner and Lucy Wallace Eustice in Manhattan in 2000, this fashion-equals-function brand is using high-quality quilted oxford nylon to construct the most versatile, foldable, even crushable tote you’ll ever schlep around town. If you haven’t already heard about their Metro Tote (which we think is the closest thing you’ll get to a real live Mary Poppins carpet bag), just watch the video below to witness its magical packing potential first-hand.

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Valentine’s Day is less than a month away, which is why we’re so excited to celebrate the online launch of David Yurman jewelry. The precious quality and exquisite craftsmanship of this fine jewelry and timepiece collection is materialized through the partnership of its co-creators—David and his wife, Sybil, a painter, who brings a collectible-art-like character to each piece.

Starting in 1980, David and Sybil have built an internationally desired brand crafted from the alluring and pulse-charging element of the cable, which David describes as life’s rhythm. Captivated by the iconic cable motif in David’s latest line, The Willow Collection, The Thread asked the New York-based designer and sculptor to shed some light on the enchanting grace of willow trees.

HERO

David’s poem reads:
Willow’s icy reflections / Dance on the pond / My heart becomes light again

Easy Elegance: David Yurman ‘Willow’ Five-Row Chain Necklace,
‘Willow’ Medium Drop Earrings with Diamonds &
‘Color Cocktail’ Ring with Stone and Diamonds

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Snag spring’s most essential pieces, brought to you by Jason Wu. This season is about “adding ease to your wardrobe,” says the New York-based designer.

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Jeweler Melinda Maria recently made an appearance at our Seattle flagship store, where she showed us how to instantly glam up for New Year’s Eve.

“I love chandelier earrings for the holidays,” says the L.A.-based accessories designer on her must-have statement piece. “The Melinda Maria girl is wearing her hair pulled back from her face, a low-slung ponytail that’s so chic or just a super-sleek bun. Then, add on a big pair of chandelier sparkling earrings and, of course, tons of stable rings that personalize the entire look.”

Stackin’ Style: Melinda Maria ‘Nicole’ Cocktail Ring, ‘Odette’ Pod Stackable Rings (Set of 3) &
‘Palmer’ Pod Stackable Rings (Set of 3)

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This Friday afternoon’s eccentric editorial is brought to you by StreetWinker from the minds at Ted Baker London. Take a tour through this August/Winter ’13 digital campaign with your consummate (and cheeky) host Redge Blaker.

We’re crazy for these quirked-out GIFs (a.k.a. “Winks“) and the street-style-inspired section, “Teditorial.”

And we have to give a nod to the series of videos in “Baker’s Dozen.” Watch Redge’s trick to tying a perfect bow-tie knot every time—one of the most confounding dressing skills to learn. No doubt it will come in handy next time you happen on a man in a helpless state of dishabille.

Jeff Powell

Meet the perfect new way to show off your taste in style: the Rebecca Minkoff ‘Mini M.A.C.’, in color combos that you’ll only find at Nordstrom.

#loveit