It’s easy to spot a piece from the Sara Barner collection. Every bag, clutch, tote and wallet is eye-catching in its minimal design; an exercise in elegant proportions, obsessive detailing and clean, modern silhouettes. These “simple, bold shapes” as designer and creator Barner calls them, are all handmade with deep-hued, veg-tanned English Bridle leather elevating a use-everyday accessory into something that is enduring, coveted and classic.
The aim of the Sara Barner collection is timelessness; pieces that will be used for decades, materials that age beautifully as the years pass. This is true for the well established line of leather goods as well as the newly evolving jewelry collection. Barner explains her ethos, “From the start my concept for the brand has been about simplicity and quality. Simplicity of a bold and functional form paired with true quality of material and construction. With each design, I want to pare down and express the beauty of the essentials.”
To make these classic and essential designs in both leather and metal, Barner finds inspiration from traditional forms, but her work always pushed forward into fresh, unknown territory, “I don’t have a set plan for where I want the work to go. I just hope to always be inspired by what’s around me and to stay true to my own vision.” The singular truth of Barner’s creative searching is found in the cult following that the collection has garnered by both the stylish pragmatists who are quality obsessed and with the high- minded who see both the art and fashion in her designs.
Born and raised in New Jersey, Sara Barner briefly studied architecture before moving to New York City to study metal smithing and jewelry design at Parsons School of Design. During her last year of college, Barner went to work at a leather shop in the east village, where she spent four years learning the craft. After a stint at a craft school in the mountains of North Carolina, Barner, a New Yorker of eleven years decided to move across the country and launch her first collection.
The Sara Barner studio was founded in 2008 and is based in Portland, Oregon. Her line of leather goods and jewelry are available at her shop in North Portland, in specialty
stores across the country and in select locations internationally.