Shana Luther- Leather Handbag Designer

Growing up in Pennsylvania, I was no stranger to arts and design before I cut my first piece of leather. As a child and teen, I was very involved in dance and then, in high school, was introduced to fine arts. Studying painting, drawing, printmaking, even sculpture led me to pursue a degree in fashion from Pratt Institute, chosen partly because of the picturesque brownstones in the school brochure. My degree led me into the costume world and I took a job at Parsons-Meares, the storied costume house in New York City.

There, I worked on and sourced materials for costumes on Broadway, film, and TV. My love affair with leather began after working on Scar’s leather chaps, part of the Broadway run of The Lion King. While drawing, cutting, and marking up countless numbers of these double-layer leather chaps, I took a liking to the material and brought some scraps home. A clutch was made from a scrap of dark brown leather, and I’ve been hooked ever since. A very small handmade line of colorful leather and fabric clutches was born, and I happily worked on it in most of my spare time.

I switched from the costume to fashion world and worked for several New York based independent handbag labels. I took what I learned from both fields — the art of quality craftsmanship combined with both business and manufacturing — and created what I have now. My brand has evolved over the years, but the craftmanship of bag-making will always be front and center. Now, along with a small team, we design and produce most everything in house because it’s what we love to do.

I have called Brooklyn home since 1995. I live here with my husband, a fellow design entrepreneur and founder of Houses In Motion, a Brooklyn-based animation studio, our adorable cattle dog mix, and our two young daughters who we can’t imagine life without.