Filed under: Handbags
Francesca Joy's hand-painted canvas totes in megawatt primary colors are the must have this summer. Launched last February by artist Elise Francesca Fargnoli, the totes quickly became a cult item in Palm Beach. "My idea was to turn art into fashion," says Fargnoli. Her goal was to create a tote that looked bright and sunny, "something very original, but was also practical for the beach or the street." The bags are made in North Carolina and painted in the artist's studio in Pomfret, Connecticut. They are surprisingly practical and rugged. No worries if they catch a wave at the beach as the colors hold fast and don't chip.
It's not easy launching a new tote business that is for the most part "owned" by the big catalogs. As she had virtually no budget for PR, Fargnoli, who went to Pomfret and Mt. Holyoke, relied extensively on her "old boy" network which really came through for her. Next in her Francesca Joy ventures is a line of pillows and towels, more t-shirts, and of course, her signature summer season totes. Check out the website, www.francescajoypb.com for styles. You can place an order online at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 866-249-6768. Prices for the totes range from $80-$110.
Gallery: Francesca Joy Totes