It started with a Singer sewing machine given to her on her 10th birthday. Lauren Merkin had not dreamed of being a handbag designer, yet in the summer of 2002 she found herself with a Columbia MBA but without the creative job she craved. In need of an artistic break from the career hunt, Lauren pulled out the Singer and created her very first handbag. She named it Lorenzo- a classic canvas tote that seemed to have just the right mix of style and charm. After weeks of sewing madly to fill orders from friends and a nearby boutique, Lauren knew she had stumbled upon an opportunity. She sought out a factory to produce samples and honed in on a strategy that would define the brand - classic yet feminine styles, quality and value, an emphasis on clutches and made in NYC.