With the temperature dipping into the 20s on a cold Manhattan morning, the only thought that warmed us were the brights that will be featured in Anthony Luciano’s spring collection. We had a chance to interview the designer in action in his very own chic atelier in the fashion district. The couture handbag designer will be in Neiman Marcus Boca Raton on February 21 and 22 to present his colorful bouquet of handmade luxury bags in fuchsia, yellow and turquoise—all the it colors of the season.

But don’t let the couture part fool you. Luciano has a very understated craftsman-like demeanor, thanks to his Italian artistic heritage (his mother was a seamstress and father a carpenter). Born and raised in New York, he studied apparel design at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). After short spells of costume designing and pattern making, working with a small accessories company ignited his passion to design one-of-a-kind handbags. Luciano launched his namesake label in 2000 and was immediately sought after by Stanley Korshak, Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus. There has been no looking back since.

Chanel had the fleur de lis as her signature in accessories. Which flower is used for your signature motif?

Anthony Luciano: The Mountain Lily. It exposes you to a beautiful fragrance. I interpret that scent in many colors.

What’s the story behind a penny that comes with every one of your handbags?

It’s in line with the Italian tradition of giving some money in a wallet or a handbag. So that’s a penny for prosperity, good luck.

What is your style advice for 2013?

Focus on accessories, specifically handbags. Express your individuality by adding an unusual handbag to you collection—it is a representation of your style sense.

What is the central idea of your new collection?

It’s all about color. I am focusing on Pink, Orange, Yellow and Turquoise with some splashes of black and white. I’ve taken out the matron styling, introduced younger shapes with embellishments, laser cut leather and inlay work. It’s all about details. There’s also a tremendous interest in exotic skins like ostrich, however, I also have embossed prints for the customer who doesn’t want to use real skin.

What’s the story behind the vintage frames?

I have always been attracted to vintage in general. They [the frames] have a great story behind them—who was carrying them and how... We source them from all over the world and sometimes customers bring their own frames and we design a bag around them so they become a wonderful keepsake.

What’s the next big thing for your label?

More is more. We’re known for our detailed work. Beautiful detail separates us from the other designers. The essence of my label is handcrafted individuality so I want to expand my label to the web and have a bigger audience that can order custom made bags.

About Jo:

Jyoti “Jo” Peswani is a fashion maven. As a Chanel-obsessed, published fashion and lifestyle journalist, she definitely has a nose for everyday style. In addition to being an award-winning copy girl, Jo runs her own marketing and writing consultancy, The Idea Is {In}. Jo currently curates her inspirations, observations and ideas on her recently launched blog www.theideaisin.com/blog. She’s a strong advocate of living (and dressing) creatively and takes great pleasure in denying the existence of “the box.”