When it comes to combining fashion and function, Juliana Hung is an expert—one of her early gigs as an industrial designer included coming up with ways to elevate steel trash cans and iPhone cases. But even though she got to spread her creative wings on the daily, the L.A. native was hungry for something to do with her hands. The solution was a collection of bright and pleasingly chunky porcelain jewelry and bags, which she started selling in 2013 after transforming her garage into an airy studio space (and you’d better believe even the waste bins are on-point).
There, to a soundtrack of goofy movies like Zoolander, she’s constantly tinkering with new ways to work leather and clay. Bags get sewn up with colorful seams, and a wash of flashy gold glaze amps up handmade beads—she’ll even combine the two by sliding those pretty porcelain numbers onto her sturdy shoulder straps. “I always want to introduce something new,” Juliana says. “You see clay used for china, like bowls and cups—but it can also be so delicate.” And what a wasted opportunity that would be. —kate cavanaugh