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New player enters high-end handbag wars

Stefanie Kratter
Danielle DiFerdinando, founder and Creative Director of Danielle Nicole.
Source: Danielle DiFerdinando

While Michael Kors and Coach may be among the more popular brands when it comes to handbags, there's another player that is quietly making some noise in the handbag wars.

Enter Danielle DiFerdinando, Founder and Creative Director of Danielle Nicole. Combining her love for fashion and chic style, DiFerdinando started a handbag business in her college dorm room in 2007 at the age of 18. She landed a prestigious internship at Bergdorf Goodman, which helped her launch her business. She has since grown Danielle Nicole by leaps and bounds, raking in $11.5 million in sales last year. "I wanted to create something with contemporary designs at more affordable prices," DiFerdinando told CNBC's "Power Lunch. "

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When DiFerdinando started out the majority of her handbags were priced in the $600 to $1000 range, but she quickly altered her business model to make the bags more affordable. By switching her bags to a superior quality non-leather material, she was able to drastically reduce the price point.

DiFerdinando's bags currently all sell for $100 and under and can be found in major retailers all over the world, including Nordstroms, Macy's, CUSP by Neiman Marcus, HSN, Nasty, as well as her website The brand was taken to the next level in 2010 after becoming part of the Artisan House company, founded by Steve Russo.

The Danielle Nicole brand got a huge boost in October 2011 when Oprah selected Danielle Nicole's signature Sydney shopper tote to be given out to their 5,500 attendees at her OPRAH's "O YOU!" event in Atlanta, Georgia.

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DiFerdinando,who was just featured in the "Forbes 30 Under 30," will launch a jewelry line at end of April with Capwell + Co. and partner with Alloy Apparel on a special collaboration this fall. "We are growing Danielle Nicole into a lifestylebrand. I want to dress our girl head to toe in Danielle Nicole," she told CNBC.