If Kendall Conrad's eponymous accessories line makes a strong case for seaside living, it's really no wonder. As the California native and current Santa Barbara resident puts it, "the beach is a part of my DNA."
It's a DNA that comes across quite nicely in the designer's Spring 2013 collection of handbags, small leather goods, brass jewelry, and flat sandals. In a sun-bleached palette of seagrass, sand, mussel shell, driftwood, bone, cypress bark, and aloe, and with style names like Narcisa, Azucena, and Cincha, these pieces just can't help but evoke the salt-and-sand spirit of the beach.
But that's not to say these pieces are wild by any means. Nope, their real appeal is their simplicity, and it's a refined sort of elegance that Conrad has worked hard to achieve. "I would never make anything that I did not want to wear myself. I design what I want to wear in my own life. The accessories I am drawn to have clean lines, no logos, and usually come in a natural color palette," she explains. "My handbags are unfussy and need to be functional because I love beautiful things but I am pragmatist at heart. I don’t believe the two need to be mutually exclusive."
A selection of Kendall Conrad's Spring 2013 pieces, here in the gallery.
At left, the Spring 2013 moodboard, courtesy of Kendall Conrad.