Joy Gryson chats with FLARE about her designs, her inspirations and why the it-bag is dead.

Joy Gryson chats with FLARE about her designs, her inspirations and why the it-bag is dead.

Who is the Gryson girl?
She’s fashionable, savvy, appreciates really great quality and design but doesn’t need to be screaming that she’s wearing a designer brand. She’s more understated, sophisticated and confident so doesn’t need that logo. Our customers range from age 16 to 60 and I think it’s about the person who appreciates beautiful design and the special details.

What inspires you?
Everything! Nature definitely is a huge inspiration for me when it comes to colour. I have a tendency to be more natural in the colours I use.

Do you name your designs after people?
We name the bags after little girls in me and my husbands lives for 2 reasons: 1) My favourite bag is named Olivia after my daughter; and 2) When you’re designing something it takes from 9 months to a year for it to go from initial conception to product so it’s kind of like a birthing or pregnancy stage. So we use all the girls’ names in our lives that are really precious to us and inscribe them with my handwriting on an ID tag. We used to do that at Marc Jacobs but these names are obviously very, very important names.

What advice did Marc Jacobs give you?
He’s very anal. He’s a perfectionist and just seeing him in action and working with him makes you strive to be even that much better. He makes you think bout all the little details and not just the exterior and to think outside the box. You have to be always aware of your surroundings and see what can be added to the design process ‘cause you just never know. Really he’s just such a stickler for details.

Is the IT-Bag over?
I think in some market there will always be a demand for it but there’ll always be you know what happens now is that you’re going to spend a ridiculous amount of money for a bag that people are going to know exactly what season and at what time and then after that you don’t even want to be seen with it once the season’s over. Women are starting to realize that so Gryson really strives to be an anti-it label. It’s really more about timeless stuff that you can just wear year after year and it just gets nicer over time.

What can we expect for fall?
It’s a little bit of an evolution. We have one group called Chaos that’s in a nice grainy leather with a contrast colour trim and another called the Piped group that’s a cotton type of fabric with leather trim on the outside so it looks like a leather bag but it’s actually just fabric so it’s lightweight. We also played with colour blocking, different textures and variegated leather which brings a little bit more of a modern retro feel but still very wearable and timeless.

What profession would you attempt if you weren’t doing what you were doing?
I’m adopted so a lot of my inspiration comes my mother’s social work so if I wasn’t doing this I’d be doing something more on the social service side but still yearning for some artistic aspect. There’d be some withdrawal going on!

What’s your style mantra?
Less is more.

Gryson is available at Holt Renfrew. Go to Gryson.com for more information.

Aya McMillan