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Fashion / Style File

The Happiest Handbag Ever

Inside the Mind of the Woman Who Created the Purse That Makes Everyone Smile

BY // 03.28.16

With apologies to Pharrell, this Edie Parker clutch makes me, well, happy. The limited-edition gem of a bag is the result of collaboration between Neiman Marcus and Edie Parker designer Brett Heyman — a former director of PR for Gucci and a CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund finalist.

To toast the cheeriest accessory of the season, I caught up with Heyman about all things that put a pep in her step.

CG: Your clutches are inspired by the acrylic bags carried by women in the ’50s and ’60s. Name the style icon of that time who you imagine would carry the ‘Happy’ clutch?
BH: I think it works much better in the optimistic 1950s than the 1960s. In my dreams, Marilyn Monroe à la Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

CG: When are you at your happiest?
BH: With my husband and two children anywhere — but on a beach in Greece is a close second.

WIHB-Brett-Heyman-1
Edie Parker designer Brett Heyman

CG: Happiness is …
BH: … when your frown is upside down.

CG: At what kind of event or occasion would you like to see your ‘Happy’ clutch carried?
BH: Anywhere! It’s an infectious word and a call to action of sorts. You can’t help but smile when you see it, especially in big, bold, colorful letters.

[Editor’s Note: I think this little guy is ideal for a casual, margarita-filled afternoon on the patio at Mr Mesero; also perfect for an extra pop at something more formal, say Art Ball, where black tie oft gets art-y. Bonus points that the Acrylic clutch is handmade in America, making for a good conversation starter, if asked.]

CG: This clutch was commissioned as part of the Neiman Marcus #OnlyAtNM collection; can you recall your favorite Neiman Marcus memory?
BH: I spent many an afternoon at the Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills. My mom loved to visit the shoe department and she would often bring me with her for a drive-by after picking me up from school.

CG: The most recent fashion item you purchased that makes you happy?
BH: I am very pleased when I find an item vintage or second-hand that has been on my wish list for years. The most recent was a white leather, studded Balmain jacket with an American flag on the back. It’s the coolest.

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