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Though Lizzie Falkenstein launched her pared-down accessories line in December 2013, she’s hardly a newbie: She started her first line, dubbed Lizbags, in the summer of 2008, while still in college studying architecture at University of Oregon. “At the time, I had just purchased a heavy-duty industrial sewing machine. I stumbled upon a beautiful scrap of cowhide on my first shopping trip for leather supplies and ended up making a bag for myself that I have used every day for the last two years,” says the Portland-based maker, who still puts her degree to use designing retail environments part-time.
Lizbags gave way to Primecuts when Lizzie herself felt that she had outgrown the line’s aesthetic and made a move toward something more minimalist. “My bags are purposefully simple to showcase the unique quality of the material,” she explains. And, boy, do those cowhides, sourced from the U.S., Brazil, and Europe, shine: Each clutch, wallet, cross-body bag, and pouch that Lizzie makes by-hand from her basement studio is different—and stand-out—thanks to the crazy-beautiful colors and textures of its main ingredient. “Living in Portland makes you appreciate natural forms and materials,” she notes. “So many things today are highly processed and disconnected from their origins. There’s a lot of natural beauty here that I try to translate in my designs.” —alisha prakash
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Let this be a solid reminder to look up.