Women rarely need an excuse to browse the handbag section, but here’s a new one: Hunting Season. Officially launched with Barneys New York in 2009, the impeccably crafted accessories line created from exotic skins and luxurious leathers has Miami roots. Hunting Season’s president and designer, Danielle Corona, was born and raised in Coral Gables, Florida and now finds herself jet-setting between New York and Bogotá as she runs her bustling bag business. We chatted up the 29-year-old stunner on life in the whirlwind fashion world.
You lived in Paris and worked in Rome for Valentino and VBH, how did that shape your career? In Paris I didn’t study fashion, but I believe being there helped define my ideas for style and fashion. It’s almost impossible to not fall in love with art and design once you’ve lived in a city like Paris. Italy was more defining for my career. At Valentino I worked specifically in the accessory design studio. Here, I learned and followed the process of design from sketch, to fabric selection, from sample, to show, to actual production. I learned to value couture and formed a deeper appreciation for both the aesthetic and business of fashion. At VBH also in Rome, I learned about exotic skins and detail in quality. VBH is known for their use of top-grade skins and craftsmanship and I was involved in everything from sketching, selecting skins, cutting, gluing, painting, stitching — every detail that goes into each piece.
When did you have the aha! moment that dictated you wanted to design handbags? While studying Accessory Design at Miami International University of Art & Design, I knew I wanted to focus on handbags.
Why the name, Hunting Season? Hunting Season was originally chosen because the inspiration for our first collection was based on fox hunting and the traditions for hunting parties hosted in the English manors much like Robert Altman‘s film Gosford Park. Although the brand has evolved from just this, I have kept the name. I like the idea that Hunting Season is based on classic traditional designs.
How do you best describe the Hunting Season collection? My focus as a brand now is to offer what could be considered as closet staples, something that a woman of any age can wear throughout their wardrobe, that can carry them through seasons; timeless pieces. There’s also a strong focus on the quality of the skins being used and the craftsmanship.
What are some factors you take into mind when designing? While initially it’s important for each design to be aesthetically beautiful, for me it’s just as important for the pieces to fit into a woman’s life in a functional way as well. This also goes for some of the home pieces I’m beginning to design, which is something I would love to add to the brand. I’m currently working on a project for Harry Winston stores around the world, I’m very excited about the project and to be asked to do work for such an established and exclusive luxury American brand.
Your bags are synonymous with leathers and exotics skins, what is Fall’s biggest trend? It’s very clear that for Fall the big trend is python in all colors! Every magazine spreads and ad campaign for the season are filled with beautiful bright pythons. I’m very excited about our new colors for the season! Where do you find inspiration? Everywhere! Films, books, interior design, travel and individuals such as Diana Vreeland and Karen Blixen.
Your handbags are sold in Barneys and Intermix stores nationwide, but you also create bespoke pieces. How does that work? I work closely with private clients that want to create their own personal bag, using our styles, they can chose different skins — ostrich, alligator, lizard, python and so on — and colors that they feel may work better for them.
We love that you are a Miami native and have managed to make it in New York. What do you adore most about your hometown? Miami is a great place because there’s a combination of so many different ethnicities and cultures. I believe that being exposed to this helps cultivate creative minds. It’s also a place were many artists from all over the world live in or visit often. Miami also hosts the most important art fair in the world, Art Basel. All of this is inspiring to people and promotes motivation for individual creativity and appreciation for creative talent.