MEET THE ARTIST
Hooray for Hollywood
A Handbag Designer
Rekindles an Old Love
in a New Town
by Justin Wilner
Born in Bangkok, Thailand into a family of shoemakers, Danny Kong worked as a shoe designer in the family business while attending college. After graduating with a degree in accounting, Kong immigrated to the United States and soon began working with a large interior design firm in Los Angeles, California.
At work one afternoon Danny was given a sample of beautiful Italian tapestry from a nearby showroom. He took the fabric home and, using the skills he had learned as a young man, came up with a simple but beautiful tapestry tote bag. “I felt so happy,” Danny reports, “to be back at work doing something I love.” The following weekend he hung the bag in a friend’s booth at the Hollywood Farmer’s Market. That first bag sold quickly and soon Kong had a booth of his own with a steadily growing following of loyal customers.
Twenty years since that humble beginning both the sophistication of Danny’s designs and his selection of fabrics continue to grow. He has long since left his job with the interior design firm and now works on the bags full time. Adding to his early experience making shoes, Danny sought additional training in pattern making and design and has established a reputation for handcrafting the highest quality handbags. “Learning new techniques and experimenting with new designs,” explains Kong, “is an important part of my business.” And the most enjoyable part of the business? “Searching for beautiful fabrics and hearing from happy customers,” Danny says.
Danny has devoted himself to making the best bags possible. He hand cuts the fabric in every bag to highlight the beauty and design of the tapestry. Danny always has some new idea he is working on and existing designs are constantly re-examined for the possibility of further improvement. “Feedback from our customers is so important,” says Kong. “We’ve changed many features and come up with some of our best ideas after talking with customers.”
Danny has created something for everyone in the Danny K. line of handbags: the Isabella Tote that’s stylish enough for everyday wear, the Classic Backpack that is hands-free and secure, the Maggie Purse with an abundance of pockets both open and zipped and the new little Bella with adjustable shoulder cord and cutaway front pocket perfect for a bottle of water to name a few. And, of course, all the accessories to match, like the Cosmetic Case, the Cell Phone Case and the handy little Coin Purse. Danny has sent bags to customers in every state in the US and his bags have been sold at high end shops coast to coast- from the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens (Pasadena, CA) to the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, MA) and the National Gallery of Art (Washington, DC).
Danny has lots of new creations this season. Be sure and check out the Danny K. line of handbags in all the new shapes and colors.