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A Peek At Marie Turnor Designer Beth Goodman's DTLA Studio

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Photos by Elizabeth Daniels

Marie Turnor designer Beth Goodman was born in New York City and her love for design was welcomed at an early age. While her mother began teaching her to sew when she was young—the designer remembers tie-dying t-shirts and making her own clothing—she grew up admiring her mother's best friend's bohemian, chic style. "It was clean and simple but bold and memorable," Goodman says of her early style inspiration. "To this day those influences infuse my wardrobe."

Goodman studied art in London before moving back to the states and attending the Fashion Institute of Technology in her hometown. At FIT, she studied fashion and textile design which led her to several different design positions upon graduating, and she even had her own lingerie company. (Ooh la la!) Goodman's hit accessories line, Marie Turnor, launched in 2009 and features recognizable designs, including clutches, card cases and handbags that retail anywhere from $40 to $525. The Picnic Group, with its notable paper bag style, is easily the brand's staple collection. "The Snak is my go-to pouch for my makeup and lives in every bag that I carry," she told us of her must-have product.

We caught up with Goodman in her Downtown LA studio, where we got a firsthand look at everything from her best-selling pieces to the board that holds all things inspiration. While we were there, the busy designer let us in on her secret after-work spots and how a trip to Europe sparked an entire accessories line.

How did you come up with the idea behind the bags that replicate sacks?
"The brand's signature style lies in The Picnic Group; a family of six members: The Feast (being the largest), The Dinner, The Lunch, The Picnic, The Snak, and The Stash (being the smallest). The original style I designed was The Picnic clutch. I wasn't interested in anything that was currently being offered in the US market when it came to handbags. I had been traveling in Europe and remembered seeing a chic Parisian woman carrying a folded paper bag and being struck by that vision. Something about the timeless functionality of something so simple. I took that concept and adapted it to a line of handbags and small leather accessories, and in 2009, the Marie Turnor brand was born."

Where do you draw inspiration for your designs?
"From everywhere and anywhere. Travel, books, magazines, and vintage shopping are some main sources. The brand's signature is reinterpreting functional ideas into new classics."

Describe the design process.
"Ideas spark in my head all the time and when they do, I jot them down. I gather all my notes, drawings and sources of inspiration before creating a collection. I then take my strongest ideas and have them sampled by our factory. If they do not execute as planned, I rework them until they are just right before adding them into a collection.
A recent design came about from vintage cuff links and collar studs that belonged to my grandfather, circa Mad Men. I have been playing with leather-made collars and cuffs, coming soon!"

How did you choose your current studio space?
"I wanted to be Downtown, near our suppliers but not quite in the middle of the garment district. I found this building by chance after the agent of a place we turned down told me to look into it. I quickly fell in love with its age, look, well-kept quality and close proximity to just about everything."

What do you love most about your studio?
"I love the building's features; from its beautiful wood trims to its marble floors and fancy grille work. There is an essence of nostalgia; It's quite pleasant to work here. Plus, we have a great café and it's a huge bonus to have The Last Bookstore as well."

What are your favorite off-duty spots in the area?
"When I am not eating in our building's café, I enjoy going to Pie Hole for lunch. I also love going to Mignon, the cutest little wine bar on 6th Street, after a hard day's work. And not to forget, Perch; it's down the street and is great for a nice dinner and grand view of downtown! For shopping, I like going to Brigade and a lot of the local galleries."
· Marie Turnor Accessories [Official Site]
· A Glimpse Into Sophie Monet's Venice Beach Studio Loft [Racked]
· Hanging Out With Drew Bernstein at The Original Cult HQ [Racked]
· A Day Trip to SAbel designer Serena Abel's Silver Lake Studio [Racked]


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