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Arts and Entertainment

There’s a New Bag in Town: Hammitt at Cami in Manhattan Beach

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Caryn Van Dyke (shop owner) models a messenger bag with Hammitt CEO Tony Drockton. (Photo by brainylagirl via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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By Ina Ilson for LAistLong known as a beach volleyball Mecca, Manhattan Beach has, over the last several years, also been cultivating itself as a destination for boutique shopping akin to trendy locales like Robertson Blvd. and Sunset Junction further north, but with the laid back feel of the beach. We stopped in at Cami on Highland Ave. this weekend and found a treasure trove of jeans (marked down to $70), maxi dresses ($175-390) & gauzy summer shirts ($69-125) on offer, as well as eye-catching jewelry and accessories, including a wall of handbags worth making the trip down to the South Bay for.

Among other designers they carry, Cami is one of the exclusive retailers of Hammitt, whose tagline is “L.A., stitched into every bag.” Hammitt is a Los Angeles-based leather handbag designer, whose purses with familiar names like “Melrose,” “Getty,” “Griffith,” and (forthcoming) “Silver Lake” are starting appear on shoulders around town and on style-marker shows. Worth coveting: the “Westwood Satchel,” with its distinctive but utile shape and eye-catching 24k gold plated rivets. Store owner, Caryn Van Dyke, and Hammitt CEO, Tony Drockton, gave us a sneak-peak at the brand’s new take on the messenger bag. This one, not for sale just yet, will be making an appearance on upcoming episodes Entourage. (Look for Tony in a walk-on role, too.)

We loved the quality and shapes of the bags, crafted from fine leather and dyed in rich tawny, mahogany and nutmeg tones. We also liked that each one is hand-made in Los Angeles. The price point for these purses is in the $400-500 range, not cheap in these lean years, but the craftsmanship of these sturdy bags would run you much higher sold at a Bloomingdale’s or Nordstrom, and they will last. Plus, Hammitt’s designs are local and fresh, which is just how we like things around here.