Designer spotlight

Meet the brains behind two local handbag lines, then enter our giveaway to win a bag for yourself!

  • Photograph: Ivo Pjerotic


    Zoe bag, $315, at Coclico

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    Adelia bag, $347, at Verve

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    Adelia bag, $347, at Verve

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    Gypsy tote, $348, at Verve

  • Photograph: Brian Henn


    Laced Julia, $372, at Coclico

    WIN THIS HANDBAG! To enter for the chance to win a knotted variation of Follis's Julia bag, visit

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    Muse bag in black, $328, at Verve

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    Muse bag in chocolate, $328, at Verve

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    Venus belt in caramel, $70, at Coclico

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    Venus belt in chocolate, $70, at Coclico

  • Photograph: David Rosenzweig


    Designer Catherine Meyer

Photograph: Ivo Pjerotic


Zoe bag, $315, at Coclico

Catherine Meyer of Follis | Corie Humble of Corrente

Catherine Meyer of Follis (
Who she is: The Midwest transplant got her retail start designing apparel for the now-defunct New Balance Performance Outerwear label and dressmaker Nieves Lavi after graduating from FIT in 2005. It was only once a friend approached her about starting a handbag company that she considered making the leap from clothing to accessories. "With bags you're not as limited; really, anything goes," she reflects. "It's also more of a challenge, which I like. I don't think I would ever go back to apparel." Meyer started Follis (Latin for "leather bag") in spring 2008, working out of her Inwood apartment and with a local sample maker in the Garment District to produce her satchels.

About the line: Meyer's simple, structural bags ($115--$390) take a back-to-basics approach with neutral-colored hides and subtle detailing (burnished-gold hardware, turn-lock closures, corseting)—a departure from the It bags that were so prevalent when her line launched. "At the time, it seemed like it was really hard to find bags that were restrained in design," she explains. "I try to bring a lot of quality into a really affordable [product], so I wanted to do beautiful skins and colors that look really rich but aren't necessarily super expensive." She achieves this by using embossed lambskin, cow and goat hide that's treated to resemble crocodile or snakeskin for a luxe look for less. Her efforts to create classic, versatile carryalls have not gone unnoticed: This year, Meyer received an Independent Handbag Designers award for "Best Overall Style and Design," and as part of her prize will create a limited-edition tote for Kate Spade's Resort 2012 collection.

Where to buy: Coclico (275 Mott St between W Houston and Prince Sts; 212-965-5462, and Verve (338 Bleecker St between Christopher and W 10th Sts; 212-675-6693,

FREE HANDBAGS! Click here to enter for a chance to win a bag from Follis and Corrente



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