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7 Minutes with: Bryna Nicole


Two pieces from Bryna Nicole's fall collection

We just finished our June Best of San Francisco issue today (coming soon!), which we’re excited to report is jam-packed with an assortment of local finds. While we’d like to say we’re unbiased, our favorite section is, of course, Fashion + Beauty, which required us to scout around the city for all things supremely stylish and quintessentially SF. We couldn’t fit absolutely everything we loved into the print issue, but we’re happy to bring the added extras to you online to whet your appetite for the grand issue to come. One local designer whose handbags we crave? Bay Area native and FIDM-grad, Bryna McMills. We’re especially big fans of the Panhandle resident’s spring/summer collection of bags in classic shapes and buttery leathers in such bright of-the-moment hues as electric blue, lime green and hot pink. For fall: watch out for McMills’ more muted color palette incorporating neutral shades on bucket bags, chain-strap clutches and slouchy hobos. McMills began designing her utilitarian-chic line, Bryna Nicole, two years ago, and hasn’t looked back since. Here, McMills gives 7x7 the lowdown on “It” bags, fall trends and her dreamy inspirations.

What are the key details you look for in a handbag?
A great shape—slouchy or structured, a unique combination of textures, materials and leathers. Also, I look for excellent quality and any surprise details.

What qualities do you think an “It” bag should possess?
An “It” bag should have a sophisticated style that isn't too trendy.  It should be classy enough to be worn now, but then also by your daughter in 15 years. Any “It” bags should be strong designs that are recognizable without overtly advertising the brand.

What trends in handbags can we expect for fall?
I still see oversized clutches as a strong shape.  I see bold, but muted colors transitioning from the bright colors of spring and summer.  The overall size of bags is still big. I see patent leather and less-is-more in terms of hardware for another season as well.

What inspired your fall 2008 collection?
Fall for me was a big step from my past collections.  I brought in a few new styles and decided to use bold, but muted colors, even though fall is typically more subdued.  The inspiration, believe it or not, came from a dream I had one night of painting on a huge canvas. The design that showed on the canvas led me to the design of the Prentiss and Dore bags which are both new style for fall.  I woke up super early and started sketching… and had the collection done by the end of the day.

Other than your own, what handbags do you carry?
I own some others brands like Chloe and Miu Miu, and also a bunch of vintage bags, but I really only carry my own designs.

What bag are you currently lusting after?
I really admire Lanvin and Marni's collections for spring, although Miu Miu's Coffer bag is still at the top of my list.

Look for Bryna Nicole handbags at Muse Ten, 1820 Fillmore St., 415-922-6873; or Mingle, 1815 Union St., 415-674-8811.

Images courtesy of Bryna Nicole