By: Mia G.
Harl Joseph Taylor, a world-renowned handbag designer, was born on September 5th, 1970 to Mrs. Beverly Joyce Taylor and Mr. James Taylor. He attended St. Augustine’s College in Nassau, where he was born, and continued his education at Palm Beach Junior College. He completed his studies at Parsons’ School of Design in Paris, France, where he interned with Karl Lagerfeld and Givenchy. Bag designer, Taylor, also worked as an assistant designer at The House of Rochas before returning home in 1998.
Implementing the use of straw and native Bahamian products, Harl Taylor introduced a new innovative handbag collection. Designer Taylor insisted that the word ‘BAG’ should always be capitalized as each creation is different and should be treated as a Bahamian treasure and family heirloom. With his keen eye for detail and deliberate creativity, these pieces quickly became an international fashion statement. From clutches to handbags, Harl Taylor brought his sketched models to life with the combination of palm fronds, sisal, straw, seashells, wood carvings, bamboo, faux tortoise, and shell handles.
Harl Taylor was awarded the Cacique Award of Art and Design in 2000 by The Ministry of Tourism, for his valuable role in the resurgence of the Straw Craft Industry. This was one of many awards the designer had received for the exceptional quality of his outstanding handbags. The impeccable straw creations attracted Naomi Campbell, Oprah Winfrey, Vanessa Williams, Mrs. Ann Marie Davis and even made their way into Buckingham Palace in the hands of Her Excellency Dame Marguerite Pindling. His classic and extraordinarily embellished purses were carried by retailers such as Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, and Coles of Nassau.
Harl Taylor passed away at the age of 37, on November 18th, 2007. Taylor’s designs live on by way of his mother, Beverly J. T. Taylor. In August of 2016, the Doongalik Studios launched a line of Harl Taylor’s bags, ‘Forever…Harl Taylor Limited’. Included in this collection were elegantly handcrafted Bahamian creations. The company, ‘Forever…Harl Taylor’ was established by his mother in June of 2008. By bringing her son’s sketches to life, she wanted to carry on his legacy. Classic Harl Taylor handbags, fashion accessories, business-related creations, and distinct home decor designs are all featured. Harl Taylor’s classic pieces are currently displayed on a Facebook business page under the name of ‘Harl Taylor BAG’.