Ones to Watch – Shana Luther

April 16, 2014

ShanaLuther bagOur Ones to Watch feature is a weekly interview highlighting an independent fashion designer that is making moves in the fashion industry.

This week we had the chance to catch up with Brooklyn based handbag designer Shana Luther to get the latest on her FW14 collection. Having showed at the Nolcha Fashion Week: New York Fashion Lounge February 2014, we were keen to get the inside scoop on what is next for the brand.

Shana Luther Headshot

Why did you decide to become a fashion designer? I had my mom teach me how to sew when I was a kid and at that point I knew that design would be a big part of my life. Design is something I’m constantly thinking about. I’m always brainstorming on new color combinations, shapes and new design ideas.What’s it like being in the fashion industry? It’s exciting, inspiring and I love meeting new people within the industry. However, with any independent fashion brand, it can be very hard. The competition in fashion is fierce and sometimes one gets caught up in that. At the end of the day, it’s super important to stay true to your design aesthetic and let what others are doing only inspire you.

How would you describe your brand? I’m not one to wear a lot of labels and I certainly didn’t want labels emblazing my designs. My collection is for the women who knows what’s going on in the fashion world but is certainly not dictated by every trend out there. She’s drawn towards high quality and unique items and I believe my collection speaks to her in that way. Modern, fresh and independent.

I believe in having design speak for itself, without unnecessary hardware and extra add-ons. Original design made with impressive, local craftsmanship is a big part of my design aesthetic.

What has been the biggest highlight of your career so far? When I was in my first season I was selected as a finalist for the first annual Martha Stewart American Made Awards. That was thrilling and I certainly was not expecting to be chosen from over 1,500 nominees! Unfortunately, I did not get to meet Martha..

What is the inspiration behind your William Tote bag? The William Tote is my favorite design for many reasons but mainly because of the inspiration behind it- on a business trip to Japan back in the 80’s, my dad brought home this gorgeous bag for my mom. It was made with such buttery soft leather and had a shape that I’ve never seen before in bag design. I loved it but wanted to put my own spin on it, which I did. It turned into the William Tote, my father’s middle name, and it’s been a best seller!

That bag is what began my life long obsession with bags. There is no label on it and it has broken in amazingly well. My mom gave it to me several years ago and obvisouly, I still have it and will never part with it.

Describe your ideal consumer. A woman who appreciates good quality, made in America products and who dresses with a modern approach.

What is your favorite piece and why? The William Tote because it reminds me of my parents- for the above reasons.

If you could have any celebrity spokesmodel, who would it be and why? Oh my gosh, do I have to pick just one?! I’m really drawn towards fashionably independent women such as Solange Knowles and Chloe Sevigny.

What store would you love to have your clothes in? Bird, based in Brooklyn, NY and Barneys!

What does 2014 hold for the brand? New styles, new colors and hopefully more fans!

“If your dreams don’t scare you, they are not big enough.” -Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

The Nolcha Fashion Week Ones to Watch feature is a weekly interview highlighting an independent fashion designer that is making moves in the fashion industry. Whether from a runway show in New York City or discovered by our globetrotting team we are proud to be a platform of discovery supporting innovative independent fashion.

If you are an independent fashion designer interested to be featured in the Ones to Watch interview series please email with more information about your brand.

Nolcha Fashion Week: New York, founded by Kerry Bannigan and Arthur Mandel, is a leading award winning event held during New York Fashion Week hosting independent fashion designer runway shows.