i am a fashion designer. gee
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click here to view my favorites from the archives. gee




are you a fonts enthusiast? a typophile?
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find the beauty on your daily walk! take time to notice the details of your landscape.
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there is nothing like seeing a great handbag in action.
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plastics are our future. how can you resist plastic? it is so shiny and pleasing. I have a penchant for plastics.
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chronicling my quest for the one true
Greek Cup
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have you ever noticed the similarity between nyc fire call boxes and benevolent Kannon, goddess of mercy?
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every design, fashion and art magazine I read lately features some important directional artist making big contributions to their genre. and where do they live? brooklyn!
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who says there are no more 'new ideas' in art and design? the newness is in the juxtaposition.
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this is how I really get things done. with my little green co-worker/task-master.
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my clothing & accessories design
east-meets-west minimalism

my site

the look
dressy utilitarian

my concept
useful, economical, modular pieces that can be mix-matched in numerous ways (because why can't fashion be useful and lasting? I think it can!) So I say Maximize your Minimalism!

Satin Karate Belt featured in Dec 06 Real Simple

Voted Best Designer 2006 Style Bakery
'On the Rise'

Daily Buss Feature

Luckymag.com Feature

in the blog press
midtown lunch
the girl who ate everything
queens eats
(into) the fray
funky finds
style document
gowanus lounge
far too cute
ethereal bliss
couture in the city
independent luxe
decor 8
funky finds
urban socialite
lady licorice
high fashion girl

more press...

furniture (especially chairs from the 50s and 60s), uniforms, repeating patterns, menswear, Oscar Niemeyer, traditional Japanese architecture, the Rimpa School and Ogata Korin's 8-Point Bridge, Matisse, bromeliads, succulents and other waxy flora

particular loves
bamboo, coral, moss, woodgrain, silhouettes & other cut-outs, plastic, low-resolution images, the photo copier, off-registration prints, Max Ernst's Lunar Asparagus, NYC fire call boxes that look like Kannon, Fauvist color sense, the Noguchi Museum, pretty much all of Abstract Expressionism

magazines of current interest
Domino, Elle Decor (British), ARTnews, Art in America, Wallpaper

favorite heel style
the wedge, but a sleek modern interpretation

second favorite
the stiletto

current shoe obsession
alas, the sneaker. (because I live in nyc and walk a ton!) but not too sneakery of a sneaker. more of a sneaker disguised as a shoe, like a mary jane style or a high-tech looking black one with a metallic accent. how about Royal Elastics? I must go try some on. I really like the non-sneakeryness of their styles.





shopping on franklin: hayden-harnett

The Hayden-Harnett Design Shop also features jewelry from
Dejarnette New Orleans plus more...

The shop's decor is a wonderful combination of textures, patterns and finishes.
You must pay
a visit to experience the full effect.

Hayden-Harnett opened their first and only design shop on March 25, 2007. I saw them doing the build-out one day in March, and got very excited when I saw the wallpapered wall and the chandeliers. And then I found out that Hayden-Harnett specialized in handbags! Oh joy! A designer-driven label specializing in luxury leather goods including handbags and small accessories would be opening down the street from me on Franklin Street.

Hayden-Hartnett is available in boutiques nationwide, including Albertine on Christopher St, Sir on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, and Barneys Coop, to name just a few in New York. Their bags are just plain sexy. When you try one on in their store, you will be under their spell. I cannot get the LORCA Flap Bag in soft gold, plum or chocolate out of my mind. Or the MERCER Clutch in ink or pewter. And after a few visits to the store, I have now discovered the belts and all of the small accessories arranged in the corners of the store. Don't miss the corners when you go. There is a lot to see. Including their newly launched clothing line, designed by Sonia A. The details on the clothes mirror the bags; it is a very sculptural, wonderful, accessories-inspired line.

I was very happy to have a nice e-mail chat with Toni Hacker, who is the designer of Hayden-Harnett handbags and accessories. She runs the company with her business partner and boyfriend, Ben, whom I met on my first visit to the store. Toni had a lot of great things to say about design and her vision for Spring/Summer 07. Below, our conversation, via e-mail.

EP: Talk about your design philosophy.
TH: My design philosophy really started with myself. I was looking for bags and wallets to fit in with my busy life as a designer in NYC (who traveled extensively) and who had a ton of gadgets, plus a laptop to haul around. I also needed to look stylish, yet be organized, at all times.

That's entirely how Hayden-Harnett began...realizing that if I, as a designer, were looking for bags that really performed (for less than my NY rent), then there must be thousands of women looking for the same. I made it my mission to make the bags that I always dreamed of having for travel, day, evening, and weekends.

Our overriding aesthetic is ultimately form + function. Each design has to really work for our customer and with her busy, modern life. Our bags are well-designed and made from fantastic leathers that Ben and I travel the globe to source, yet they aren't precious (and certainly lower in price than NYC rent!). All of our bags, even the most fantastic and ladylike frame bag, will have a minimum of three interior pockets for your mobile, iPod, and PDA, plus a zippered rear-wall pocket. Many of our lovely mod cocktail dresses and slinky satin tunics have hidden pockets built in for your mobile and keys. Just the thing for stylish city-dwellers!

EP: How long have you been in the fashion business?
TH: I've been in the fashion business since 1999, when I came on with a small private label company in NYC as their design director for accessories. My background, however, is in Product/Industrial design. I graduated in 1997 from Eastern Kentucky University and did commercial interiors and fixtures for a while in Columbus, Ohio and Knoxville, TN. Then decided it was time for a change...I wanted to do something more personal with my life and to be able to give back in a way that felt a bit more human than banking fixtures and drive-thru signs for Burger King.

Accessory design, thankfully, came knocking at my door and I've been happily sketching away and developing great bags for a range of prices for 8 years. I did a lot of design for the juniors market...really fun stuff! I feel that same joie de vivre really translates to the Hayden-Harnett line. Nothing is overly serious in our collection. We do a ton of fun prints and brighter colors. There are too many unhappy looking black and brown bags in the world :) I want the interior of our bags to feel like a secret... only you know what's inside, plus there is something about every bag to make you smile...you are looking super-fly with your new HH bag, but hey, you've got a weekends worth of work, a laptop, and a pair of Repetto flats inside and a vintage Marni cardigan. You are ready to rock the weekend in style and being totally organized for next weeks meetings only makes life that much easier!

EP: Name 2-3 hot trends you will capitalize on for Spring/Summer 07. I realize your bags are not strictly trend-driven, but if you do incorporate trends, i.e. colors, shapes, details, hardware, please comment on what interests you design-wise, and how you transform that trend into your own language.
TH: Our top trends at Hayden-Harnett for SP07 are:
  • vintage look metallics (especially gold)
  • floral and graphic prints
  • handbag shapes becoming a bit more structured...our entire design influence was based upon Paris in the 60s
  • yellow and a washed-out vivid color palette
  • natural materials mixed with slick patent trim...the look of opposites uniting to create balance of extremes

Thank you so much Toni! I loved receiving your thoughtful eloquent answers and feel very pleased to now have an understanding of what drives your wonderful design work. Congratulations on your new store. I wish you all the best success!

[Note to readers: I have included many links to Hayden-Harnett's Website, so you can investigate thoroughly before your first visit. Many of the picture captions are links too.]

211 Franklin Street
Corner of Freeman Street

Greenpoint, Brooklyn 11222
G to Greenpoint Ave, exit India Street
HAYDEN-HARNETT is the second store portrait in our new "Shopping on Franklin" special feature. Watch for another store portrait a week from Thursday.

The LORCA Flap Demi is my favorite bag, available with or without tassel.
In my opinion, you have to get the tassel. It makes the bag.

The fantastic wall of bags! I got the chills when I saw all the exciting styles.
Near the register, there are great change purses to match your new bag.

Remember to examine all the small interesting objects on display in the corners of the shop.

The style: relaxed elegance, draped, and sexy.

A view inside from the front door.

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Anonymous Jessica said...

Hayden-Harnett is a great shop and I am shocked how far down it is on Franklin. I love how it is a corner and it is designed really well.

I am fawning over their fantastic trenchcoats and am sooo tempted to purchase one.

9:41 PM  

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