The studio in Laura Slate Shope’s Candler Park house, where she creates her accessories line Very Fine South, smells like a saddlery. Leather hides sourced from Italian tanneries are slung over racks, alongside industrial sewing machines, spools of thread, and bunches of horsehair. She even has springbok antelope, with its Mohawk tail, soon to become a one-of-a-kind clutch. Shope, who is the daughter of a seamstress and has been sewing since she could walk, grew up in Marietta and has a degree in industrial design from Georgia Tech. One of her favorite philosophies is “form follows function,” and that’s why her latest collection looks to the clean lines of modern architecture, with just four circle-inspired handbag styles: a tote, crossbody, clutch, and bucket bag. “No extra bells or whistles,” she says.
This article originally appeared in our May 2015 issue under the headline “Mint Condition.”