My shopping buddy, Monique Anderson, checking out the (all good) options.
When you go to a party in the only free-standing Patricia Nash store in the world, you are going to be tempted! Not only by the wide range of beautiful Italian leather offerings on display in the spacious showroom, but also by the not-for-sale samples and not-yet-for-sale offerings from upcoming seasons. One always wants what she can’t have, right?
About 40 folks discovered all this last Thursday at one of the Knoxville Symphony League’s Elegant Dining events held at Patricia Nash Designs located at 1132 N. 6th Ave., near downtown Knoxville. The only disappointment was that Patricia Nash herself was not present, but she did make a video for the occasion.
Some things we learned:
- Eight years ago, after many years of designing purses for other people, Patricia Nash started her own company. She gets her inspiration from a wide variety of sources: travel, vintage pieces, beautiful or unique leathers.
- Her products all are made of vegetable tanned Italian leather, which she feels is special for its softness and sheen. But they are manufactured in China in order to keep the finished cost down.
- Today, Patricia Nash is one of the top five handbag brands in department stores. She describes her purses as “that elevated luxury handbag that you’ll keep forever.” She credits high-quality leather and high-quality hardware with the success of her products.
- The top three places she sells: Home Shopping Network, Dillard’s and Macy’s. A challenge: each outlet wants products or prints that are exclusive to it. (Even the Knoxville Patricia Nash store.)
- Patricia Nash recently started designing products for men. And shoes. It has been difficult to break into these two markets, she says, primarily because those two lines require her to find entirely different manufacturers than those who produce her women’s lines.
Three of the hosts of this Elegant Dining. From left, Mary Sue Greiner, Susan Yanno and Rhonda Webster.
Guests, from left, Dawn Channell, Jim Harness, Ricky Kennedy and Mike Channell.
Suzanne Koontz and Brandon Rader represented Patricia Nash and did a great job.
More hosts, Jeffrey Taylor, Pat Jobe and Elizabeth Koester, at right.
Some of the products.
From left, Wanda Taylor, Susan French and Janie Bitner.
Mary Sue offering pinot grigio. Yay.
The food was Italian, in keeping with the Italian leather theme.
An assortment of wraps.
We settled in for the short video by Patricia Nash.
From left, Linda Royston, Debbie Emery and Robin Smith. Debbie and Robin are co-chairs of the entire Elegant Dining series.
Cathy Briscoe-Graves, left, and Cynthia Sowa.
Gary Teper and Cindy Nelson.
A tour after the video brought us up close and personal with this stunning chandelier on the second floor.
Mirrors added a dramatic effect on the second floor landing.
Suzanne Koontz led the tour and answered a slew of questions.
In Patricia Nash’s office where the design gets done, there are dozens of samples of beautiful Italian leather.
A mood board. Part of the creative process.
Maggie Gordon asking a question. The most frequent question as we looked at samples from upcoming seasons was, “Can we buy them?” The answer: No!
In Patricia Nash’s office were these hat samples. She was considering adding hats to her collection, but has decided against it for now.
Suzanne showed us some holiday leathers to look for later this year.
Current trends? Metalics and turquoise.
Here’s a spring purse.
Another for spring.
Monique checking out the colorful fur on leather samples.
Wow. Look at this leather pattern.
Suzanne shows us a train case from a future season.
More pretty spring bags.
Back downstairs, folks were admiring their purchases.
Debbie got a great purse.
Robin displaying some boots.
I highly recommend a visit — even when there’s not a party going on!