Austrian-born Sylvia Steininger is a professional photographer and my dear friend. You may have noticed that I have mentioned Sylvia as the photographer for many of the the photos I have featured here over the last several months. Sylvia, with her exemplary eye for aesthetics, has been taking my photos and has taught me quite a bit about the importance of lighting, backgrounds, and posing since we began working together last fall.
But photography isn’t Sylvia’s only art. She is a woman of many talents. Last year she introduced a unique line of tote bags that embody her skills as an artist, photographer, and stylist.
Sylvia learned how to sew in 2011. She worked very hard to learn the craft and once her skills were honed, she created her signature tote bag. She then went about selected her textiles. She searched high and low for the right fabrics – San Francisco, Los Angeles and online – and was underwhelmed with the selection. Nothing was speaking to her and besides, she wanted textiles that wouldn’t be seen anywhere else but on her totes.
Sylvia came up with an idea: why not design her own fabrics and have the textiles made?
Using photographs taken on her travels, Sylvia spent many hours digitally manipulating them into her desired designs. Depending on what inspired her at the moment or a certain look she wanted to achieve, Sylvia was able to take a create a variety of patterns.
This photo of Sylvia’s is of a natural rock wall. By manipulating the image, she was able to create the design for both Salzburg and Vienna.
Isn’t that amazing?
Last October I wrote about Sylvia’s totes. I said how incredibly well-made they are with their expert construction. And that they are made with quality fabrics which are durable, resilient and both stain and water-resistant.
My own Sylvia totes have maintained their form even when stuffed full with books, large makeup bag, heavy wallet, iPad, phone, pashmina and a bottle of water.
Once I even stuffed a wine bottle in the bag along with everything else. Still, no sagging!
The totes have a zippered closure on top. I don’t know about you, but I always feel vulnerable carrying open totes with an insecure closure or none at all.
Jill of Everything Just So also has a Sylvia Steininger tote and wrote a fabulous review of the New York style. Jill has great sewing skills and really knows her stuff when it comes to structure and stitching. Be sure to read what she has to say about Sylvia’s tote.
If you read my blog regularly, you have likely seen Sylvia’s totes in some of my blog posts. Vienna was a key piece of one of my Sneaker Chic looks.
The zigzag pattern with its soft blue and gray hues looks fantastic with jeans or it can be easily dressed up.
And I love how New York, with its modern design, looks like it was made for a pair of hot pink pumps.
The vibrant shades of pinks and purples, excellent examples of Radiant Orchid, Pantone’s 2014 Color of the Year, really pop against the black background.
Sylvia’s latest tote style, Salzburg, has just been listed on her site!
It’s a tote that will complement many outfits and appeal to both the woman who has a mostly neutral wardrobe and the woman with a closet full of vibrant colors.
Sylvia has generously agreed to give away one of her totes to a lucky reader of The Rich Life. Her totes retail for $195.00; the same price point as similar totes on the market such as Longchamp, Marc Jacobs and MZ Wallace.
But Sylvia’s totes stand apart from the crowd. Carefully handcrafted, made in California with unique textiles and durable fabric, a Sylvia Steininger tote will be your go-to bag whether you use it for travel, as a handbag, laptop carrier, your everyday bag or all of the above!
Have a rich day!