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How a Fever Dream Launched LA's Sweetest Bag Line

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It's time to get to know some of the emerging designers nominated for Racked Young Guns, our annual search for the country's most promising new fashion talent.

Los Angeles is such a hub of made-in-the-USA activity that this week's list of Young Guns profiles includes not one but two local bag designers. While Welcome Companions produces high-concept riffs on surrealism and Henri Rousseau, Donatienne's approach is a little simpler: California-cool bags handmade by a California-cool girl.

The totes, clutches, and cross-bodies come in ice cream shades like pistachio and raspberry, but designer Nikki Erwin says she obsesses about the functionality beneath those sugary exteriors. (That might explain why she went all out on this Rolls Royce of a baby bag, made of luxe two-tone leather and a cool $1215.) In the video above, Erwin shows off her studio and explains how a bout of pneumonia led her to start her business.
· Donatienne Handbags [Official Site]
· LA's Welcome Companions Makes Bags Shaped Like Toast, Mice [Racked]
· All Racked Young Guns 2014 [Racked]