Handbag designer Patricia Nash to visit Western Pa. Macy’s stores | TribLIVE.com
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Shirley McMarlin

Handbag designer Patricia Nash travels the world, gaining inspiration for her extensive line of handcrafted bags and accessories, but she says she has a special place in her heart for Southwestern Pennsylvania.

“There are certain pockets where we have a very strong following and Pennsylvania is one of them,” she says. “We have a loyal, passionate group of women who really embrace the brand. We’ve really developed a sisterhood, and I love to come see them.”

Nash has scheduled visits to three area Macy’s stores this week:

• 5:30-7 p.m. Sept. 13 at Macy’s Westmoreland Mall, 5256 Route 30, Hempfield

• 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Sept. 14 at Macy’s Galleria at Pittsburgh Mills, 100 Pittsburgh Mills Circle, Tarentum

• 2-3:30 p.m. Sept. 14 at Macy’s South Hills Village, 100 South Hills Village, Bethel Park.

Area Nash fans should feel honored — the Knoxville, Tenn.-based designer says that her busy schedule doesn’t allow for very many personal appearances.

Meet and greet

“(A)ttendees are invited to shop the Patricia Nash collection, meet the designer herself, and get their Patricia Nash handbag signed by her,” according to Macy’s.

They also can enter a raffle to win a Patricia Nash Cavo Tote. No purchase is necessary to enter.

“Plus, the first 20 customers to purchase $100 or more of Patricia Nash products will receive a free Patricia Nash Heritage Rosalie Canvas Cosmetic Case, while supplies last. The purchase must be made on day of the event,” Macy’s says.

The Nash brand features a signature leather bag embossed with a map of Italy, inspired by a 150-year-old map she came across in a periodical shop in Milan.

Her area visits are centered around the reintroduction for fall of a customer favorite design, the Prairie Rose Print.

The print is used on bags of various sizes and shapes, featuring “cognac distressed leather trim and brushed brass hardware.” The print itself is “scattered with flowers in pink, blue and gold set against a muted beige background.”

Other items, such as backpacks, clutches, passport holders, wristlets, cross-body and shoulder bags, employ “old world craftsmanship and techniques like hand-dying, hand-cutting, hand-sewing, with hand-burned edges and a hand-embossed logo,” according to the designer’s website.

Leather bags come in burnished, tooled, dyed and printed styles. The collection also features a line of wooden bead bags, scarves, umbrellas and shoes.

Coming next, Nash says, is a jewelry line that will have “the same old-world feel” of the bags.

Be yourself

Nash says she comes from a family of artists but never felt she was talented enough to pursue art as a career. Instead, she studied accounting — though she loved doing crafts with her children and, in the 1980s, opened a home decor shop, which led her eventually into handbag design.

Prior to launching Patricia Nash Designs in 2010, she worked for brands such as Disney, Warner Bros., Banana Republic, Express and American Eagle.

In addition to Macy’s, Nash merchandise is carried at Dillard’s and Lord & Taylor, and is available via television and online from the Home Shopping Network (HSN).

The map bag was inspired by a vintage tooled leather bag Nash found while cleaning out her mother’s closet.

“I thought, ‘I could make a bag like that for today’s woman,” she says — including her friends in the Pittsburgh and Greensburg areas.

“Pennsylvania women are so genuine and passionate and authentic,” she says. “Patricia Nash allows women to express themselves in a way that’s real and not like everyone else.”

Information on Nash’s visits to the area stores is available at macys.com/events/.

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