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designed by Sonia A. is not to be missed!
Above, the NORA Short Swing Trench in leather.
Click here to see additional jackets.
You must pay a visit to experience the full effect.
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!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.
EP: How long have you been in the fashion business?
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.]
Hayden-HarnettHAYDEN-HARNETT is the second store portrait in our new "Shopping on Franklin" special feature. Watch for another store portrait a week from Thursday.
211 Franklin Street
Corner of Freeman Street
Greenpoint, Brooklyn 11222
G to Greenpoint Ave, exit India Street
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.