Photo courtesy Gabriela Hearst

Photo courtesy Gabriela Hearst

A few in the industry of fashion can master producing an It item. It's not an easy task. Designer Gabriela Hearst makes it look so simple.
Her 'Nina' bag has a waitlist of 100 plus names, her first-ever bag.
How did she do it? Well, with women who inspire and support other women.

“I did a limited edition of 20 bags; I didn’t do it for commerce, I just wanted to launch it,” she said. “And I gave them to friends of mine and to women I work with. The woman who makes my shoes has it. And Brie Larson, the actress, has it.” Miroslava Duma, the Russian street style star and publishing entrepreneur, got snapped carrying hers at New York Fashion Week. Larson, for her part, was photographed carrying the smallish, top-handle bag with fold-over closure, which Hearst says is inspired by her love of the artist Fernando Botero, on the February weekend she picked up her Oscar for Best Actress. Just like that, the emails started coming in.

“We had retail stores asking for it, and I said ‘No, we’re going to keep it,’ ” Hearst shared. “And we’re not going to sell them online, either. You have to email. If you really want the bag, you have to email.” A novel sales strategy, to be sure, but that’s not the only thing Hearst is doing differently. “It’s so hard to explain this to the factory, but there’s just one bag. I tell them, ‘No, I’m not launching a collection, I’m designing one bag, and you’re going to sell a lot of one bag. And after this I’m going to sell another bag to go with this bag.’ ”

'Nina" comes in two colors, black and cognac, and goes for $1,995.