Exclusive Interview with Designer Elaine Turner

Elaine Turner Take Me Away

“It’s unexpected, feminine, fun, & just right,” Elaine Turners answer about her signature color, hot pink. This statement could also be used to described Turner herself. Vanessa and I were excited to be given the chance to interview the Texas born and raised designer, Elaine Turner. Being featured in countless fashion magazines, such as Lucky and People, Turner has taken her passion for fashion and turned it into a successful line of handbags.
The interview took place at her flagship store in Rice Village.

Urbane Times: How did you get your start?
Elaine Turner: For several years I worked in New York for Ann Taylor. Later I felt it was time to start my own business. My love for fashion inspired me to start a handbag collection. It started with me designing straw purses and clutches, which is what I became known for.

UT: How long have you been in business?
ET: Ten years, it started with set-ups in stores, for example Saks and Nordstrom.

UT: I love your store, not only are your products amazing, but your store is visually beautiful.
ET: Thanks, I wanted to open a store in order to have the customers experience the brand, so when they step in they would feel like they’re somewhere else. Also, everything in here you can buy, from the tables, to the lamps, to the couches. I design the shoes and handbags, and pick products that fit with the brand [so it has a cohesiveness] which I call “fancy travel” [Smiles.]

UT: I see there’s a definite theme with every purse.
ET: Yeah, we’re very classic. All of the purses have a signature pink lining, crown logo, and some sort of bamboo design. As you can see from the store, I love pink, you can never have enough. [Laughs.]

UT: Name a celebrity who you would love to see wearing your shoes or carrying your purse?
ET: Reese Witherspoon & Kristin Davis (of “Sex in the City”)

UT: Where do you see the handbag trend going this fall?
ET: More effortless [simple & classic], animal prints, berries, fuchsia, and purples. My fall collection has a lot of suede, metallics, cheetah, leopard and wine colors.

UT: We read that you’re inspired by interior designer, David Hicks.
ET: Yes, every season has a theme and this season is inspired by Hicks, who’s know for his use of color, texture, and print.

UT: What are you inspired by in Houston?
ET: The energy of the city and the people.

UT: Where do you see your brand in 5-10 years?
ET: Having little boutique shops all over the country, and growing through stores, hopefully in NYC, the Hamptons, and Atlanta. Also, a jewelry and resort line would be nice.

Visit Elaine Turner’s website:



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