HANDS FREE IS SUMMER”S WAY TO BE
How Designer ERIN DANA Remixes the Classic Handbag
By Eden Herbstman
Coachella fashion has become a summer signifier of trends to come for the warm months ahead. No other trend took the festival by storm, or sand storm that is, than handbag designer Erin Dana’s take on a hands free approach to fashion. Her designs are fun, fashionable, FUNCTIONAL, and saving a penny or two isn’t a bad bonus either. Erin’s line of leather accessories eliminates the anxiety of literally handling your handbag. She also managed to transform the once cardinal fashion sin, the fanny pack, into a stylish go to for any day or night event. The Belt Bag is this summer’s best friend combining both accessories into one, and has become an essential for stylish music gals Mia Moretti and the Nervo sisters.
Eden Herbstman: You”ve officially made the fanny pack cool again! Where did your hands free ideology originate from?
Erin Dana: I”m a music festival junkie, and I love to dance worry free about where to put my bag. I also just love the way an awesome belt cinches a loose dress, or adds color to a cool pair of jeans. I always loved fanny packs, but they always looked nerdy to me. That”s when I decided to do something a little different by making a high end Belt Bag that wouldn”t break the bank.
EH: Your bags have an architectural consciousness to each design. How did you develop this aesthetic?
ED: I received my master”s degree at NYU for Sustainable Real Estate Development, so a lot of my background is in architectural design and building.
EH: If you were stuck on an island and could only bring ONE of your bags with you, which would it be?
ED: Definitely the Evan Belt Bag. You could carry other necessities and not worry about holding a bag. You could also attach tools to the belt!
EH: How has it been starting your own business, and what advice would you give to someone about the industry?
ED: To be positive. I know that is such a broad and generic thing to say but it holds so much power. You have to believe in yourself and not even entertain the idea of failure.
EH: Your handbags are super popular amongst fashion icons and celebrities. Where is the coolest place you”ve seen someone carrying your bags?
ED: It was pretty cool to see a bunch of girls wearing my bags at Coachella dancing and having fun while still looking super chic. There was also a segment on Fox where Susie Essman (Susie Green from Curb Your Enthusiasm) took the bag off the model who was wearing it and started walking around the show saying how much she loved it. That was a highlight for me as she is one of my favorite comedians. I also like how it shows there is no age group for this bag—anyone can wear it. That makes me really proud.
EH: Do you have plans to expand your brand from handbags to other accessories?
ED: Yes for sure. We plan to make other accessories as well as introduce new categories. The sky’s the limit baby.
Erin Dana is a handbag designer living in New York City.
Written by Eden Herbstman
Design by Mina Darius
Photography Courtesy of ONE PR
Photography Courtesy of ONE PR