After nine years as a graphic designer, Lauren Blake decided to launch American-made luxury handbag brand Wyld Empyre. The Fort Worth native and resident lives with her husband and two sons and studied architecture at the University of Texas and 3D design and sculpture at Texas Christian University. “Throughout my career, I’ve navigated a balance between craftsmanship and creative risk-taking while working with metal, wood, and concrete designs and testing color theories,” says Blake. The designer already had a keen design eye and taste level that made the transition to fashion design seamless.
“When embarking on this journey, my vision was to provide consumers with unique yet practical leather goods with a modern edge and a touch of pop art,” says Blake. The bags are made with the finest skins, leathers and other materials, all ethically sourced from family-owned tanneries and ateliers in Spain, Italy and Louisiana, and the hardware is 18-karat-gold-plated. “When planning my collection, I always try to keep function and style in mind. I want our timeless designs to complement [customers’] everyday lives,” the designer explains.
This spring, with so much economic devastation across the country, Blake committed to donating 30 percent of the proceeds from every handbag sale to BABY2BABY, an organization that provides children living in poverty with all the basic necessities that every child needs and deserves.