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Handbag designer Nikki Erwin's hunt for a functional, stylish bag that could take any look from day-to-night is essentially what led her to launch Los Angeles line Donatienne. With bags in a variety of leathers, colors and silhouettes, the designer gives credit to her versatile Camille clutch as one of the brand's most popular pieces.
While the small, transitional design might be the go-to for most of the population, Hollywood moms can't seem to get enough of Erwin's oversized options. Katherine Heigl and Gisele Bündchen have been spotted with Donatienne handbags on their shoulders (we hear Heigl hasn't settled on just one) while Hilary Duff took to Instagram to rave about her new Nikki tote.
With Mother's Day just around the corner, it was the perfect time to catch up with the designer to find out when she became obsessed with bags, how she landed her star fan base and which celeb she'd love to see sporting her designs next.
When did your love affair with handbags begin?
"I remember the first time that I went on a conquest for the perfect bag, and the exact day I found it. It felt like years of searching and not settling, which is so important, went into finding it. I took it with me to see The Mighty Ducks in the theatre, so I had to have been all of 7 years old. It was a navy, cross body with light purple floral print. I filled it with 30 Lip Smackers, a Troll and a candy necklace. I have it to this day."
Celeb moms are loving your line, Who's wearing what?
"Katherine Heigl, Hilary Duff, and mom-to-be Jamie Lynn Sigler have all been spotted wearing the Donatienne Tawny Fringe bag. I have also seen some pictures of Gisele wearing our Jordie bag, which was very exciting for me. It's an honor to see my bags on anyone ever, but I was pretty excited when my girlfriend sent me the first pic of Gisele in one of my bags because I imagine she has any designer and her disposal."
Why do you think your bags work so well for them?
"Although I am not a mother, I am an auntie to my perfect nephew and to many of my friends' children, so I have a small bit of experience. I have found that when you start carrying things around for your children, you need lots of space. With more space comes more stuff, and when you have more stuff, it is a necessity to have individual compartments. In all my bags I have an interior zipper and two generous sized pockets. I keep my keys, lip-gloss, and anything small that can get lost in these areas. Nothing is worse then having a screaming baby on your hip and not be able to find your keys. Pockets are so key, no pun intended!"
What celebrity mom would you like to see carrying your bags next?
"I would love to see Jessica Alba, Heidi Klum or Reese Witherspoon in Donatienne. I think they are all so beautiful and have great individual style. They are also seemingly amazing mommas."
Any fashion advice for these busy celebs?
"I commend any mom that finds the time to be fashionable while simultaneously being a mother. All moms get a fashion pass from me, but mom or not, I believe accessories can fix almost anything. If you can get a shirt and some jeans on, I suggest adding a pop of color with a bag. Then, throw on a hat, shades, and some heavy bracelets. You're golden."
· Donatienne Handbags [Official Site]
· Pretty LA Bags; Fall Must-Haves; Eyewear for Guys; Veggie Shoes [Racked]