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This Handbag Designer Dominates the Awards Season Red Carpets

By Kathryn Romeyn | January 14, 2019 | Style & Beauty

It wouldn't be awards seasons without a Tyler Ellis clutch on the red carpet.

tyler-ellis-2.jpgThe chicest bag lady in LA, Tyler Ellis.

Sarah Paulson and Allison Janney all carry one. There is no question that handbag designer Tyler Ellis’ ( clutches are today’s most prolific red-carpet accessory. Ellis has her finger on the pulse of what women want, and it’s in her blood: The late legendary fashion designer Perry Ellis was her father, though she never met him (he passed away when she was a baby). She grew up in LA, away from the fashion scene, and didn’t know until her 20s what she wanted to do. “I [realized] I couldn’t escape my DNA and that it was time to follow my passion,” she says. Tyler Ellis launched in 2011 in New York, but the designer has since returned to Hollywood, where her bold Perry and Lily clutches in bright metallics, edgy chain mail and rainbow-hued Swarovski crystals shine at Tinseltown’s glitziest functions, such as the Golden Globes and Grammys. Ellis’ travel- and architecture-inspired creations marvelously marry function and form, and follow old-school luxury protocols. “My designs are handmade by top Italian artisans in a small village outside Florence, the mecca of the handbag world. I purchase my materials from tanneries owned by Hermès, LVMH and the Gucci Group, and the hands of my artisans are the best in the region,” she says. In all these ways, she’s living proof of Perry’s legacy, and then some. Ellis’ latest brainwave: Bespoke by Tyler Ellis, an entirely customizable approach to intricate bags that might involve matching the fabric to a gown (see Janney’s Emmys look), handstitched monograms or even custom embroidery bearing zeitgeist-y phrases like #TimesUp. Says the savvy designer, “When women like Oprah Winfrey, Meryl Streep and Sharon Stone—who have the opportunity to carry anything and everything—choose to carry Tyler Ellis, it’s incredibly validating.”

tyler-ellis-clutch.jpgSmall Lee pouchet in red velvet, $1,250