When it comes to designing bags, FIT-educated Joy Gryson’s definitely been around the block. After spending years and years creating It carryalls and cross-bodies for the likes of Coach, Calvin Klein, and Marc Jacobs, she and her husband—who she met in the world of C.K.—decided to branch off on their own in 2006. “We figured this would be a great way to forge our own destiny—take a leap of faith and live that American dream and all that good stuff,” she explains. Their brainchild: Oh, just the CFDA award-nominated label Gryson.
From there, she launched Olivia Harris, named for her daughter and infused with as much downtown cool as her first line was uptown sophistication, and then came Capsule, with clutches and the like meant for a big night out. In 2012, inspired by her own mother’s philanthropic efforts, she dreamt up label #4: IIIBeCa—pronounced like Tribeca, the downtown Manhattan neighborhood where she lives and works. She gives back a percentage of the sales of its minimalist, colorful designs to a trio of not-for-profit organizations close to her heart: Family Focus Adoption Services (founded by her mom), the 9/11 Memorial, and Memorial Sloane Kettering, where her husband’s mother stayed while receiving cancer treatments. Her latest undertaking—no, this woman just doesn’t stop—is a store in, you guessed it, that same ‘hood. “My world really does revolve around Tribeca. I love the beauty of downtown—anything from hardware on doors to colors on the buildings,” Joy says. —koun bae