Before designer Laurel Consuelo Broughton began making clever accessories for her line Welcome Companions, she had her sights set on something larger-scale. In 2006, she finished her grad studies at the Southern California Institute of Architecture and immediately jumped into designing houses, shops, art centers, and more with the firm Johnston Marklee in Los Angeles. In the back of her mind, though, she knew she wanted to make something a little, well, littler. “I’ve always been an accessories person,” she explains. “My clothes tend to be minimal, but it’s the addition of the accessory that’s more the point of novelty. In the end, it was a natural direction for me to go.”
So in 2009, Laurel took a job teaching at USC’s School of Architecture and began working on a line of structurally focused bags, clutches, wallets, and scarves on the side. “Obviously designing a house and designing a bag are totally different, but there are underpinnings of conceptual ideas and design ideas that, for me, are very similar,” she explains. Today she creates playful-yet-functional accessories that marry the visual and the tactile—think a purse the looks like a piece of toast. “A lot of the work has to do with this idea of shapes and how we use shapes and recognize shapes,” she explains. Well, we can’t wait to see the shape of things to come. —monica derevjanik
BEHIND THE SCENES
Why stop at stuff you can wear?
Cheeky, adorable, and practical to boot.