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Inside Tyler Ellis's LA home: Princess Beatrice's handbag designer opens the doors to French-style mansion

The luxury handbag designer - loved by Princess Beatrice, Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé and more - invites HELLO! into her beautiful property with son Fitz Harold.

Tyler Ellis handbag designer inside walk in closer
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Tyler Ellis’s gorgeous French-style mansion in Brentwood, a stone’s throw from Bel Air, would make the perfect setting for a movie. And she wouldn’t need to look far for the plot – no further than her own life story, in fact. In this peaceful spot, surrounded by greenery, she tells us all about it.

Since hers is the name behind some of the most popular handbags on the red carpet – Princess Beatrice, Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé, Cate Blanchett and Selena Gomez are all fans – it’s no surprise to hear that Tyler’s background was creative. Her father was designer Perry Ellis, who put sportswear on the fashion map; her mother is TV screenwriter and producer Barbara Gallagher.

Tyler Ellis posing in floaty pink dress in Brentwood home garden© CESAR VILLORIA

"My father was very advanced for his time and so was my mother. She was a writer on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and produced Saturday Night Live. She was and is an elegant and very interesting woman," Tyler, 39, tells us. Her parents may have had a lot in common, but they weren’t a couple. Back in 1984, when such arrangements were still rare, Tyler was born of their shared wish to have a child. 

It was a mutual friend who introduced them. Perry, who was gay, told Barbara he wanted to be a father. Barbara, who was 39, told him she wanted to be a mother and that she didn’t have a partner, but was going to wait a couple of years to see if she could do it the traditional way.

Tyler Ellis home with swimming pool and al fresco dining area© CESAR VILLORIA

As she was gorgeous and Perry liked her all-American look, he decided to see what happened. And after a while, they both decided that they’d found the ideal candidate in each other. They were right.


Tragically, just 18 months after the pair welcomed their daughter, Perry unexpectedly became very ill and died of what was diagnosed as an AIDS-related illness. He was 46. Fortunately, Barbara rose admirably to the challenge of single parenthood.

Tyler Ellis modern home with pool table overlooking garden and swimming pool© CESAR VILLORIA

"My mother decided to give me as normal a childhood as possible. She asked her parents to live with us for six months of the year so that I would have my grandfather Harold as a father figure," Tyler says.

"She also kept me away from any kind of superficiality. For years, no one cared who my father was. If I was asked at school, I would answer with a vague: 'Oh, he was a designer.'’"Of course, Perry Ellis was much more than that. Along with Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren, he was one of the big names of the late 1970s.

Tyler Ellis beautiful blue lounge with grey armchairs and blue sofas© CESAR VILLORIA

When almost everyone was wearing pretty, classic clothes, he offered young peopl e unstructured designs with double shoulder pads, wide trousers and tops two sizes too big – pretty much what you see on the street these days. Now, original Perry Ellis jumpers are collectors’ items.

Along with his creative side, he was a savvy entrepreneur who had studied business administration. By the time he died, he had built a multinational company with a turnover of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Tyler Ellis holding son Fitz Harold in doorway of LA home© CESAR VILLORIA


"My mother says we have very similar personalities: we both take our profession very seriously, dream big and are content only with the best of the best," Tyler says.

She laughs off suggestions that she has inherited her parents’ talents. "I wish! What your parents do provide, through your upbringing, is your approach to life and your work ethic.”


Tyler studied communications at Boston University but she’d always loved accessories, so she decided to gain experience in the industry by working as an intern with Michael Kors.

I started as an assistant at his New York Fashion Week show, she says. "It was there, watching Michael adding a belt or deciding to raise a hemline by a centimetre, that I discovered the value of details, those little things that change everything.

Tyler Ellis amazing home with marble fireplace and floor to ceiling French doors© CESAR VILLORIA

"Later, I spent some time in his Madison Avenue store, behind the counter. When I finally said goodbye, I asked him for advice. He told me: 'Surround yourself with the best team you can get'."


She launched her own line of bags, made in France, in 2022, and called it Tyler Alexandra, her two given names. "I had discovered to my amazement that, all around the world, the women carrying luxury bags were all using the same brands and practically the same models," she says.

Tyler Ellis amazing modern dining room with black accents and gothic chandelier © CESAR VILLORIA

"I said to myself: 'It doesn't make sense.' So I decided to make my designs luxurious but also special, unique and more modern."

At first, finding artisans to produce them proved a challenge. “The best and most sought-after workshops were not interested in a company as small as mine and refused to consider working with me. It was frustrating,” she recalls.

Tyler Ellis beautiful interiors with roaring fire and neutral decor© CESAR VILLORIA

Finally, after three years of struggle, she found a small factory in Florence, where the owners, a father and son, understood that she wanted quality, not quantity. They use only the very best materials and finishes, and everything can be customised according to the client’s taste.

"My bags are lined in a shade I call ‘Thayer blue’, in memory of Thayer Avenue in Los Angeles, where I grew up. It’s a vibrant shade, which makes it much more practical than classic black when you’re trying to find something inside them," she says.


“I don’t have a logo as such, but I do use a little emblem of a pine cone, which represents spiritual awakening, and also a reproduction of my father’s penmanship, taken from an envelope he addressed to me on my first birthday. That’s my tribute to him and a way of having him by my side.”


Once she felt that her father could be proud of her, she decided to include him in her company’s name, changing it to Tyler Ellis.

Tyler Ellis handbag designer giant wine cellar© CESAR VILLORIA

Today, her success is undisputed, but she explains it with typical modesty. "In the past few years, following Michael Kors’s advice, I’ve put together my perfect team and I’m happy with the results. Honestly, I don’t think anyone reinvents the wheel when it comes to designing a bag.

"I have flashy ones that are perfect to go with a very simple outfit where the accent is on the accessory. For a red-carpet event where the star is a wonderful couture dress and the bag is a supporting actor, I fit in with the couturier’s vision. I want my clients to be happy; I don’t need to be the most important" she says. 

Tyler credits her husband, investment expert Ben Shriner, for his support. He deals with finances and sometimes advises on contracts or sales strategies. The couple met in 2012, on a blind date at a bar in New York. "He knew he was going to meet me; I didn’t know I would meet him," she says. "We immediately hit it off. Luckily, I was living in London at the time, which meant we enjoyed a friendship, which then turned into a long-distance, slow, old-fashioned courtship."

Tyler Ellis sitting outside in LA home garden with son Fitz Harold© CESAR VILLORIA


"We got married in 2014 and our son arrived in 2021. I had a very easy pregnancy and, as it was during the Covid-19 pandemic, a very quiet one. We chose the name Fitz Harold Ellis Shriner: Fitz because we both have Irish backgrounds and it means ‘son of our families’ in Irish, and Harold after my maternal grandfather."

Fitz is a cheerful soul, like his mother, and just as active. She tells us that he’s full of curiosity, a “discoverer” who doesn’t like conventional toys. His first word was “car” – Bentleys are his favourites – and “garage” was his second.

"So we’re off to a good start," says Tyler, who shares his passion. "I’m lucky to be able to work from home a lot, so I can enjoy his childhood as much as possible. Although I have an office close by, I’m often with him right here in the kitchen."

Tyler Ellis designer home exterior with swimming pool© CESAR VILLORIA

She and Ben have created an idyllic environment for Fitz to grow up in. Having acquired the French-style villa in 2017, they restored it for family use before adding a new guesthouse that is almost as large. The result is beautiful, bold and modern – entirely in keeping with Tyler’s history.

SEE: At home with the Conrans: Design dynasty open the doors to Grade II-listed home once owned by the Duke of Wellington





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