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Bags of the Season

These Central Texas designers didn’t come from a traditional fashion design background, but they share one thing in common: a passion for well-made bags with an adventurous spirit.

Bexar & Co.

Bexar Goods & Co. is a family business. Guy Rubio and his cousins Falcon Craft-Rubio and Christian Craft worked together at a family pizza joint growing up, and knowing they made a good team, decided to start Bexar & Co. after Rubio came across some old leather working tools at a resale shop in 2011. “The manufacturing, design and production is all made by us in our San Antonio workshop,” says Rubio. “Even the photography, graphic design, and web design is kept in-house, and we’re really proud of that.” The trio produces durable waxed canvas roll top totes, and porter satchels made entirely from smooth and waxy American English bridle leather. Bags are sold online and in Austin at Mockingbird Domestics and HELM Boots.

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Fortuna Monsoon

Chris Franks found his calling as a designer while traveling through Northern New Mexico two years ago. That’s when he produced his first line of travel bags, backpacks, and hip pouches out of a teepee he rented in Arroyo Seco, New Mexico. “I knew that from my travels, my designs were what I wanted to wear—something that was sleek and low profile when I went out,” he says. Sure enough, other people wanted to wear them. He sold his bags to tourists passing through the Rio Grande Gorge market in nearby Taos before boutiques in New Mexico and Colorado started picking them up. In May, he returned to his home base of Austin to launch Fortuna Monsoon—travel gear and accessories inspired by primitive designs and natural materials. The bags are sold online and in Austin at Traveller Denim Co., Charm School Vintage, Las Cruces, Wheatsville Co-op, Windmill Bicycles, and East Side Pedal Pushers.

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Satchel & Page

The inspiration behind Satchel & Page’s latest vintage-inspired collection came from a map case Daniel Ralsky’s grandfather used in World War II. “It had aged perfectly when I found it,” Ralsky says. “I thought, I would use that bag. So why don’t we take these old designs that are beautiful and tweak them for today’s technology, and use quality materials and construction methods?” Raslky launched a Kickstarter campaign this summer to get the collection off the ground and ended up exceeding his goal by over $200,000—and he was able to do it without spending any money on marketing. “If you make a superior product, people will be drawn to it,” he says. “If you make something really nice people will tell their friends.” Orders are only available online.

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Consuela

Consuela’s designs have always been inspired by travel, says Connie Reed, Consuela founder and creative director. So it wasn’t unusual that the entire Consuela team ventured to West Texas to shoot looks for the Marfa Collection. “What drew me to Marfa was the fine art mixed with the desert and the old-school rockabilly cowboy vibe,” Reed says. The Fall/Winter collection draws inspiration from the artisanal craftsmanship found in the frontier, yet it retains Consuela’s extravagant aesthetic of combining vibrant patterns with saturated hues. Bags are sold online and at its flagship store (910 Congress Avenue).

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Kelly Wynne

Growing up, Kelly Wynne White was the girl everyone went to for styling advice. “I had so many handbags and jewelry,” she says. But pursuing a career as an accessories designer seemed like just a pipe dream for White—until a year and a half ago. Out of boredom with her public relations job in Dallas, White tapped into her graphic design skills and began sketching purses, and after spending a year finding the right suppliers and a manufacturer based in the United States, White launched Kelly Wynne in April. The fall collection is preppy with a rock and roll edge, mixing imitation exotic skins made from suede with neutral leathers and classic hardware. The bags are sold online and in Austin at Valentine’s Too and c.jane.

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