AVENTURIST Anca Barbu has designed countless handbags, including her sought-after “This is Not a Birkin.”
THE IT BAG
As a kid, Anca Barbu was a troublemaker who would paint on everything—including household items. As an adult, she’s turned that mischievousness into a business. Now the owner of Custom Bag Designs and Anca Barbu Bags, she marries her love for fashion and art by painting on purses, from envelope clutches to top-handle bags; one of her most coveted designs is the cheeky “This is Not a Birkin” bag. She’s sold her work to more than 500 stores throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, St. Barts, and Monaco. Here, Barbu shares more about creating these iconic accessories. (custombagdesigns.com) —C.L. AVM: Where do you draw inspiration? Barbu: I get my ideas from anything I see that I find beautiful. It may be a piece of art in a museum or an art book, a nice view, landscape, building, flower, plant, animal, design, or pattern I see during a trip. How long does it take to complete a bag? It takes several hours. It’s a complex process since all bags have multiple layers of paint and most
designs have multiple colors, and I have to wait for the paint to dry in between layers and colors. What made you want to expand to create bags under your own line? Some bags are not “paint friendly” due to either the material, finish, or size and shape of their design. So, I decided to create and manufacture my own bags, which I design myself.
Out on the
MEETING FOR DRINKS WITH YOUR CREW IS FUN, BUT WHY NOT MIX IT UP WITH THESE UNIQUE ACTIVITIES INSTEAD?
OCISLY Tap into your inner Demi Moore from Ghost at OCISLY (Of Course I Still Love You), located in the backyard of Wynwood’s Casa Mida creative space. Cristina Hermida founded the ceramics studio with her partner after discovering the art during quarantine. “It gives you a chance to play with clay and get dirty,” she says. Named after Elon Musk’s drone ship, the studio offers courses for beginners as well as bachelorette and birthday parties. Peep their calendar for special events like Sonnets and Ceramics, nude sculpting, and full moon pottery sessions. (ocislyceramics.com)
Any exciting news to share? I’m very excited to announce my new fall collection of baroque and luxurious metallic designs and for my couturier shows in Las Vegas and New York City. I’m also in the process of manufacturing a new bag that will be unique in its design and features, like no other bag in the current market‚ but this is a surprise for Art Basel.
MIAMI MINING CO. Yani Mora, Breigel Leiva, and Gigi Gomez make a point to mine for gems on trips, and they wanted Miamians to be able to do the same at Miami Mining Co. As you sift through your screen box, be on the lookout for quartz, pyrite, amethyst, aventurine, obsidian, rose quartz, and more. The team also offers mining buckets for at-home mining as well as an online crystal, fossil, mineral, and gem jewelry shop. (miamiminingco.com)
CANDLE LAND If you’ve got a candle for every occasion and mood, then gather your friends to make your very own at Candle Land. With locations in Wynwood and Coral Gables, the Instagramfriendly studio sets up guests with everything from a rainbow of candle vessels, more than a dozen scents, soy candle wax, and dried flowers and glitter to top it off. Stop by for a birthday party followed by dinner or the next time you and your gaggle are searching for something creative to get into. (candlelandmiami.com) —C.L.
8/2/22 1:29 PM