Meet the Designer: Lauren Koster

the sak handbag designer

The story of how you first started working for The Sak is pretty cool, can you share? 

I studied apparel design in college and the summer before my senior year, The Sak ran a contest with Lucky Magazine to design a bag. I waited until the day before, overnighted my entry, and the design team picked my bag. I had a bag in department stores before I even graduated! The Sak took me on as an intern and eventually hired me. The rest is history.

Where do you find inspiration? 

Blogs and Instagram are my main sources. I used to have a regimented blog list, now it’s much easier to go down the rabbit hole of Instagram, screenshotting vigorously. I have also developed a love for interiors. It’s great to get outside of your lane to find inspiration. I also have a blog called Undeclared Panache, where I document my wardrobe, interiors, and family adventures.

How do you begin the design process?

Mood boards! Always mood boards! I find it extremely helpful to have a visual reference point whether it lives on Pinterest, you make a digital mood board, or it’s a tactile board with swatches and tears.

Who’s the woman you envision when designing your collections?

I find it tough not to envision some piece of myself in the woman carrying our bags. I also think about real women I admire. These are strong women with families and jobs and busy lives. She’s looking for a stylish, quality bag that fits her lifestyle and her budget.

What’s your go-to, everyday bag?

The Tahoe Satchel – it’s crafted in a beautiful, soft leather, with special hardware details. It’s a perfect size- not too big, not too small, and the secondary strap is key.

What’s always in your bag?

More lipstick than I care to admit, a big, fat “mom wallet,” sunglasses, mints, and my phone. Those are the essentials, but there are usually about a dozen other things.

You always look so stylish- who are your style icons?

Why thank you! Olivia Palermo and Diane Kruger are my style heroes. They are two women who always look 100% chic, but have fun with fashion.

What’s your favorite current fashion trend?

My favorite trend is the capsule wardrobe. I’m spending this year finding the very best pieces that fit my life and keep me looking chic.  As a working Mom, I have very little time to put thought into what I wear each day. My goal is to only own pieces that I love and feel confident in- that whatever I run out of the house in, I feel great.

the sak handbag designer

Finish the sentence. “Every girl needs ____.”

Every girl needs a go-to outfit. I was never interested in the ‘uniform’ dressing theory until I had a kid and a commute. Now, if all else fails, a t-shirt, blazer and skinny jeans work all day, every day.

Lauren is shown with the Tahoe Backpack in Cognac, available here on

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By Lauren