I have an Instagram obsession – with a handbag. It’s an unashamedly 1990s-style clear-vinyl tote with a just-short-of-loud pink pouch and handles. It takes only a few clicks to find its source: a new-to-me Los Angeles-based label called Staud that was founded in 2015 by Sarah Staudinger and her partner George Augusto, and has become something of a cult favourite.
The Shirley (from $195), as the object of my obsession is known, has many iterations – mini and standard sizes, but also myriad colour combinations, including a refined tan faux-crocodile version and a super-polished and clean white model. Yet the Shirley is far from the only standout bag in Staud’s collection. Grace (from $250) is a sweet yet sophisticated drawstring evening pouch with a braided top handle, available in patent leather, satin and velvet. More playful pieces include the net-covered Moreau (from $295) and its quirky successor, the tie-top-handled Britt bag (from $325).
I was surprised to find that Staud also designs a cohesive selection of clothing that very much fits into the label’s modern yet timeless aesthetic. The close-fitting Victoria top ($185), for example, has a feathered neckline that is both fun and unexpectedly sophisticated, while the puff-sleeved, square-necked Tai mini dress ($265) makes a statement in either lilac or emerald green.
But it’s a somewhat traditional bucket bag that stole my heart in the end. While it has a distinctly 1950s feel, the Bissett (from $350) is a thoroughly modern bag, its vintage appeal brought up to date by its clean cylinder shape. The range of beautiful colours – from pale blue and baby pink to a playful floral-inspired green and blush combination – includes the gorgeous bordeaux-coloured version I decided had to be mine. It’s understated and unusual; Staud is very much a contemporary classic.