Photo: Dax Gabler
Devi Kroell is the face behind DAX GABLER, a luxurious collection of textural and sculptural handbags.The Austrian-born, New York-based designer is both glamorous and elegant, speaking with just the slightest hint of an accent. As it turns out, she’s the daughter of a diplomat and spent her childhood in several countries, including Indonesia, Israel, Switzerland, and France.
Her experiences abroad later influenced her designs, and was one of the key reasons why she chose to feature so much of her signature “exotic” throughout the collection.
In 2006 Devi won the CFDA Swarovski Perry Ellis Award for Accessory Design, which she describes as the ultimate award–the “Oscar” of fashion. Since then, her designs have been featured in Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Dansk, and Flare (to name just a few!)
In an exclusive interview with Business Insider, Kroell stated that her DAX GABLER Summer 2012 collection is “a mix of texture and sculptural elements that is both multifunctional yet dressy.”
For all aspiring designers, she offers this piece of advice: “You have to bring something new, a concept, an idea…it has to be something that isn’t around yet. You want people to say ‘Wow! I haven’t seen that before!’ From there on, it’s very easy to grow but you need a novel idea to start.”
While the DAX GABLER collection remains only handbags at the moment, Devi says “she loves new challenges” and would love to eventually expand her lifestyle brand.
In the meantime, she’s keeping plenty busy.
I'm the founder and designer of DAX GABLER, a new line of exclusive and tightly-edited pieces I think are must haves.
My day starts with a security check in front of the Stock Exchange--this is right next to where I live. My four-legged friends love to hop into the trunk of my convertible Mini Cooper (this car is a total conversation starter! Go figure!)
Their cappuccino is to die for! I live in the Financial District and work in Chelsea, so Joe's definitely is not on my way. But I love going to my old neighbourhood to catch their unique blend and get some cool laid back vibes. Their baristas are passionate about their coffee--pretty rare these days! Passion is always important to me. It makes all the difference between mediocrity and being unforgettable!
Next, I have an appointment at Swarovski on West 57th Street. I love their crystal elements and they've always been such a great component of many of my designs...
Let me tell you: there's nothing more unglamorous in New York fashion than the Garment District. It's definitely my least favourite place to be, but a woman's gotta do what a woman's gotta do. And I have to go fabric swatch hunting.
Off to Brooklyn to check on the photography for some of my new DAX GABLER samples. Getting the light rights, the shadows and where/how they are cast, the colour intensity...the Devi's in the details! I love the dreamy view from the photo studio over Manhattan. It reminds me why I am in New York: 'Concrete jungle where dreams are made of/There's nothin' you can't do/Let's hear it for New York, New York, New York!'
Thanks for expressing my thoughts exactly, Alicia Keys! (Alicia was the one who handed me my CFDA Swarovski Award aka the fashion 'Oscar.' She serenaded me with John Legend--it's a moment I'll never forget!)
Here I am getting ready for a photo shoot. I always like to get my HMU done by a professional. I love to experiment with my look (I wanted to do a bright red-orange lip and 1940s wavy hair) but in the end, I always go for the good ol' classic me. It's part of the process: I try out new things but in the end they validate that what I've been sticking to is the real me! Is this boring? Puh-lease! Icons have been hooked on the same recipe for years! Anna Wintour has worn her hair that way since she was 20!
Blue Hill is just across the street from my old townhouse in Greenwich Village. Not only do they serve the most delicious, freshest and most natural foods, the team--especially Franco the manager, Rocky the bartender and Claire the sommelier who have all known me 'forever' (forever in New York terms is about 5-6 years!)--always make room for me.
When the Obamas came to dine at this restaurant, I was off for the weekend in the Hamptons. Franco had to convince Secret Service that the absent neighbour across the street was a respected, award-winning designer and surely no threat to national security! This is the stuff that bonds and later makes for great stories.
This is the 'Box Clutch in Python with Resin Icicle Chain.' I love experimenting with textures and shapes, so this one is one of my favourites. The embellished handle adds the oomph to any outfits and works perfectly with this summer's tribal inspirations. The resin icicles display the juxtaposition between the tribal aesthetic and today's modernity.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.