I’m delighted to share with you my latest Instagram Live with the wonderful Sharon Wilkes, an incredibly talented handbag designer with awesome new line of bridal handbags – plus some truly fabulous Jewish-themed bags!
She’s filling a much-needed gap with her show-stopping bags with a personal touch.
A committed Zionist, Sharon’s a longtime supporter of Shenkar College in Israel, and she’s worked with some up-and-coming young talents from Shenkar on some of her designs.
Gold Brocade Marian Bag | Photo © Andrew Werner
A Smashing Beginning
Sharon and I first connected when we featured her daughter Micaela’s wedding on Smashing The Glass – Sharon designed and sewed Micaela’s beautiful gown, and also crafted this adorable custom bridal bag for her featuring the couple’s beloved beagle Loki recreated in sequins! Though Sharon’s long worked in fashion, it was that Loki bag that inspired her to get into bridal bags in a big way – and I’m so in awe of what she’s accomplished!
Micaela and Zac’s Jewish wedding | Photo © David Bastianoni
All in the Family
We chatted about Sharon’s incredible family story working in couture in Vienna before the war – and how her grandparents’ Italian fashion contacts helped them escape Austria in 1939.
Then we got to see some bags! I’m absolutely obsessed with Sharon’s sparkly Tel Aviv evening bag – and the quality and craftsmanship is absolutely exquisite. All of Sharon’s bags are manufactured ethically in Italy, and the level of workmanship is just beyond.
Sharon showed us some of the details that really show the quality of her bags, and it’s just incredible. I also love her commitment to working with factories that treat their employees well and pay them fairly – such a rare thing in today’s world, but so important.
Beautiful Bridal Handbags
Next, we chatted about Sharon’s bridal offerings! Even though you probably won’t want to be carrying a bag around on your big day, it’s such a nice touch to have something special you can pop your lipstick and other essentials into that will look great when you leave it on your table. Sharon does incredible custom work for brides – the sky is truly the limit! – and her team of artists is happy to create something based on a beloved photo, match your color scheme, or whatever else your heart desires!
Bespoke Handbags | Photo © Andrew Werner
Sharon’s got some fab ideas for personalized bags – like incorporating the place you met, a favorite phrase or quote, or your initials or wedding date, or working in a piece of the lace from your gown. There are also options to customize Sharon’s standard range in bridal colors like white or ivory!
A great thing about a special wedding bag is that, unlike your dress, you can keep using it even when your wedding day is just a distant memory – what a great reminder of a special time!
Bespoke Handbags | Photo © Andrew Werner
The Ultimate Evening Bags
Even if you’re already married (or still dreaming of the future), a customized bag is such a special piece to add to your collection – not to mention an awesome conversation starter!
Sharon’s also got some fab metallic evening bags that are perfect for all of your event needs – they’ve got a handle, so it’ll be easy for you to grab some champagne and canapes, and, like all of Sharon’s bags, are sized to accommodate even a large cell phone – love it!
One thing I really love about Sharon’s pieces is the timelessness of the designs – they’re true investment pieces you can use for a lifetime.
Women on the Money
Next, Sharon showed us her incredible Ruth Bader Ginsburg bag! The first in a series she’s working on called “Women on the Money,” Sharon’s looking to rectify the fact that the US has never featured a woman on its paper money – and who better to start with than the notorious RBG?! Obviously I love the concept, and the level of detail that’s gone into this bag is just beyond. Up next are Harriet Tubman and Emma Lazarus!
Sharon also shared some of her top style tips for brides-to-be – and some timely fashion advice for everyone.
Head over to Sharon’s website to see her full line, or message her on Instagram if you’re interested in something custom!