“I want to personally own all of the bags they make.”

I should call this post “the Amy Rutherford bag post.” It has been years, and I mean years, in the making. Amy has long asked me to carry a line called Clare V. I tried to hunt it down per her initial request, but I couldn’t seem to get anyone to respond, so I threw in the towel.

Then I walked into a showroom for another line called DONNI last year and there it was — rows and rows of the softest leathers and suede with the Clare V signature stripes. I quickly put together an order, asked how quickly we could get it, and emailed Amy to let her know I was finally getting the line! Of course the line just isn’t striped. There are animal prints and tonal pieces and, one of my favorites, snake print.

Then a few months back Amy texted me again about another line of striped bag perfection called Parker Thatch. I clicked on their Instagram account and my newest fashion obsession began. The owner of Parker Thatch, Irene Chen (her husband is her business partner as well) is on her IG stories almost every day and her outfits are amazing. I wake up now every morning and think “what would Irene wear?” and that’s one of the highest compliments I can pay a designer. She is the master of mixing prints and her style is that California ease and elegance that I aspire to capture here on the East Coast. And, oh yes, and I love all her bags.

There are so many similarities with the two lines — yes, they feature stripes — but it doesn’t stop there.


1) They are both all handmade in California.

2) The are both small companies owned and operated by the designer.

3) The pieces are timeless and the quality is top shelf.

4) I want to personally own all of the bags they make.


It’s a good thing I don’t have a big enough budget or house to own all the bags these two lines produce or else I would. But you can own one or two! So stop in and check out Claire V and Parker Thatch! And swing by to see Amy at Penny Post or Red Barn Mercantile to thank her for tipping me to them!


  • The latest from Elizabeth
I spent the first part of my career as a copy-writer who helped elected officials brag about their support for entrepreneurs. Then I decided to get off the printed page and do it myself. The Shoe Hive made a splash on the fashion scene in Washington, and was named the region’s best shoe store in its first year. Fourteen years later, I have tripled the store’s size and also opened a sister store, The Hive. At The Hive, we offer clothing lines that are sophisticated and approachable like Rag & Bone, Tibi, Raquel Allegra, Ulla Johnson and Veronica Beard. We have tried to fill our racks with clothing you will want to wear all the time, elevated basics that are worth the investment.

Heard the buzz? The Shoe Hive & The Hive are a pair of luxury boutiques in Old Town Alexandria. Featuring both big name designers like Rag & Bone and Stuart Weitzman and smaller brands like AGL and L'Agence, our unique selection and impeccable service are what set us apart.


The Shoe Hive                         The Hive
127 S. Fairfax Street               301 Cameron Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
              Alexandria, VA 22314

703.548.7105                          703.548.7110

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