A Tennessee-based business empowers women while bringing their own unique style to the leather goods industry.
By Ashley Shaw • Photography by Nancy Center Photography
While fashion trends come and go as fleetingly as winter in the South, there are some accessories that remain steadfast in every woman’s wardrobe: a strand of pearls, a flattering black dress, a crisp white blouse, and a leather handbag. Recognizing this abiding niche, Regina Bauman, owner and designer of Urban Southern, sought to make her mark with accessories that would showcase the timeless beauty and versatility of naturally tanned cowhide. With the encouragement and expertise of her husband, a third-generation leather craftsman, Regina’s vision not only for a collection of everyday style essentials, but also for a lifestyle brand with a unifying message, began to take shape.
As Urban Southern attracted growing support, Regina recruited her cousin and best friend, Meg Delagrange, to help her articulate the company’s mantra: “Urban Southern is for everyone.” Intrigued by the clean lines and elegant restraint of her designs, customers expressed their desire for a bag that would complement all facets of their day-today routine. It was this idea that inspired Regina and Meg to parlay their products into a sense of community for women from all walks of life. “To me, the everyday woman can really be anybody,” says Regina, “no matter what her everyday looks like: a career woman, a stay-at-home mom, a single woman, or an older woman with grown children.”
From the chic and edgy Triangle Clutch to Urban Southern’s signature piece, the Market Tote, each bag exemplifies Regina’s eye for artful subtlety. “I’m always inspired by simplicity,” she says. “Sometimes I have big ideas, and I start taking details away until it’s just the absolute bare essentials.” Each crafted from a single piece of locally sourced and unprocessed leather, the bags are stitched, stamped, and sewn together in Tennessee by Regina’s sister, Ruby. Understated accents, such as hardware and brass button closures, allow the natural leather to shine, giving any outfit a touch of simple luxury. Comfortable shoulder straps and unembellished handles make for effortless function and a classic aesthetic.
Just as authentic leather patinas beautifully with use, the impassioned work of Urban Southern’s team is enriched by their commitment to bringing everyday women together—“whether they’re going to the office, running errands, or wrangling kiddos,” Regina explains. “Urban Southern is us, all of us.”
For information, visit urbansouthern.com.
Don’t miss our delicious recipes, party ideas for every occasion, and seasonally themed special issues! Subscribe to Southern Lady today!