When we heard that our dear friend Abigail Spencer was teaming up with darling handbag makers Larsen & Lund to create the ASxLL Capsule Collection, we just knew it was going to be good. Between an amazing actress and mother who is always on the go, and a brand that prides itself on crafting all of its products by hand in Los Angeles (hey hey, LA ladies), this collaboration was set for success from the start. In today’s Anatomy of Design we’re chatting with Abigail and Lindsey Mortensen, founder of L&L, to get an idea of all the behind-the-scenes magic that led them to this handbag heaven.

The Inspiration

Lindsey, what made you want to design handbags?

My handbag designs really came from a direct need for specific things in my life. The very first bag I ever made was a small leather clutch so that when I needed to, I could easily move items from one bag to another. Every bag since then has been designed to try and elegantly streamline life. I have an art and textile design background, and designing handbags has given me the opportunity to explore form and function while getting to build a visual vocabulary and aesthetic with the brand.

What is your greatest source of inspiration?

There’s definitely an ebb and flow to the specific things that inspire me, but in general, I’m always inspired by art, design and certain style icons. Anish Kapoor and Constantin Brancusi are artists whose work I’m always looking back to. But most recently I’ve been inspired by the stone and wood sculptures of Barbara Hepsworth and the timelessly elegant style of Sade Adu.

The Collection

Abigail, describe the design process behind ASxLL.

I have been a fan of L&L for a few years. I love Lindsey’s simple, perfect design approach. Do one thing beautifully, simply, perfectly & keep doing that. Since I found her cross body it really is the only purse I wear. I’m always traveling & transitioning from hotel to set to plane to car to home to mom to day to evening. The crossbody is day. It’s evening. It’s dressy. It’s casual. It’s become an extension of having my necessities close with out lugging around the world.

But I ​also have​ “fashion cravings​” for the crossbody.​​

I have a pair of my mother’s shoes that are the perfect worn-in brown leather. I ​was​ longing for a blush color​ed bag​ that reminded me of the pink shirts my dad used to wear on the beach & on his surf trips…imagining wearing them if I ever make that trip to Positano. I wanted to bring Positano to me. I wanted to find that perfect classic black leather that never goes out of style. I was walking around Paris and wanting a statement color​ for the fall​ that would be chic and easy to travel with, but not black. I shared with Lindsey my longings for staples and statements, and if there were a way inside into a capsule collection.​

Lindsey came up with this dreamscape of inspiration photos and started working from there. We named the blush after my late father, Yancy. The Bordeaux after my son Roman, who is so completely unique. The classic brown leather The Abigail because that is my every day, and the timeless black after my character Lucy on my new show Timeless.

The conversation continues.

Describe ASxLL in three words:

Personal. Elegant. ​Minimal.

Advice

Lindsey, what is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as an entrepreneur?

Honestly, I think if I peel back what my greatest challenges have been to their core, I’ve found that overcoming the fear of failure has really been one of my biggest challenges. Starting a business is scary, but the truth is, for something to be a success, you have to be willing to take the risk of potentially failing.

What is the advice you would give to those hoping to collaborate on a line (or any creative project)?

Collaborating with Abigail has been really amazing! It’s been so inspiring to hear her ideas and get her creative perspective, all of which have enriched the product and collection and have made it all better than something I would have done on my own. Abigail and I have immense respect and trust in one another and our creative ideas, and that has been so important.

My advice to anyone whose hoping to collaborate on a line or any creative project would be to make sure that you both have a relationship built on trust, respect and communication. If you do, the collaboration is bound to be a good experience and fulfilling for everyone, and you can be confident that any problems you run into along the way can be solved.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

When I was a teenager, my mom gave me the best piece of advice (which she was given by her father): “It’s not the things you do in life that you regret, it’s the things you don’t do.”

Images via: Larsen & Lund