Archive for March, 2014
It’s not often that I come across an affordable, designer evening bag, so I was excited to spot a Gucci GG Black & Silver Beaded Clutch at Jill’s Consignment. Features include black leather piping; silver-tone GG logo press lock closure at center; and black leather lining with flat pocket. It’s made in Italy and measures 9.5″ x 5″. Condition: there is a tiny area at the corner (see circled photo), where some beads have fallen off. The price is reflective of this issue. The area should be repaired to prevent more beads from falling off. The bag is otherwise excellent with no other issues. It also comes with dust cover. Price: $200 at Jill’s Consignment.
I just spotted a fab find over at Fab.com – Buena Onda Handwoven Mochila Bag in three vibrant colors – dark fuchsia, bright yellow and bright blue. Buena Onda is a lifestyle brand that supports the Wayuu People of Colombia. Buena Onda mean “Good Waves” or “Good Vibes.” It is an emotional saying that describes the essence of something. All of Buena Onda products are completely handmade and fair trade by the Wayuu People of Northern Colombia. The Wayuu are known for making Wayuu Mochilas that are made by hand without using a loom. Therefore each mochila is one of a kind and can not replicated. A typical mochila bag takes at least 10 days to make. This traditional craft has been practiced by the local Wayuu community for generations, with weavers handing down knowledge generation to generation. These bold, bohemian bags aren’t simply stylish—each one is woven with history. Price: $120 at Fab.com.
Summer 2014 at Louis Vuitton is a festival of perfect pastels and sweet sorbet shades recalling Slim Aarons’ seductive images of the international jet set in the Sixties and Seventies. Quietly and coolly sophisticated, this is a collection that will stand out on the beach by day and, come the evening, by the pool for cocktails.
￼For an afternoon by the sea, the season’s essential tote comes in natural linen and cotton canvas with pastel leather trim, or else in Damier Azur. Both versions are printed with the heritage Articles de Voyage signature, and the natural canvas tote is lined with Summer 2014’s tropical flower print.
Sized up or down, in coral, pale yellow or both, this pattern also covers a cotton pareo, a silk square, a beach towel and, naturally, the glamorous zip-front swimsuit or bandeau bikini in which Louis Vuitton’s sophisticate takes her place in the sun.
￼As cocktail hour approaches, she slips out of her relaxed beach cover-up or crisp cotton shorts into something a little more formal – a fluid viscose floral-print dress, perhaps, or a baby-doll style as blue as the cloudless sky. She swaps her espadrilles for a pair of high-heeled wedges, but keeps the laid-back spirit of denim printed with the Articles de Voyage motif.
￼For evening, Louis Vuitton’s classic Epi leather in sunset shades of lilac, yellow, pink and coral dresses the neat Louise bag with its tone-on-tone LV initials clasp. Slung across the body on its slender strap, the Louise is casual and carefree. With the strap removed, it transforms into a chic clutch. Matched with strappy flat or wedge- heeled sandals in coral or pale yellow calfskin, the iconic Neverfull in Epi leather epitomizes the mood of easy, breezy elegance that infuses this Summer 2014 collection.
Wilbur Pack, Jr. stands by his commitment to provide bold, classic, and modern designs for today’s woman. We caught up with the fashion design veteran to find out more about SK WiLBUR and his Before the Label Campaign.
HR: When did you first start designing handbags? Did you always want to become a handbag designer or was it a gradual transition from a different career path?
SKW: I first started designing handbags in 2009. I was then designing a line of clothes for plus size women and I always created head-to-toe looks for my customer. Unfortunately the market didn’t support my endeavor and I found myself deep in debt. I almost gave up on my career. But when Hurricane Sandy hit around my birthday, my sister offered to send me to a one day handbag workshop as a gift. It was a sign from God.
HR: What is the most challenging/rewarding aspect(s) of designing handbags and being in business for yourself?
SKW: It’s always gratifying to live life on your own terms and pursue your dreams. It’s freedom but it’s not easy. As a new handbag designer, every well-known brand name is your competition. Many times women want the cache of carrying a Michael Kors or Marc Jacobs or Louis Vuitton and although my designs are of equal or greater craftsmanship, my name is not yet recognizable.
HR: Where do you find inspiration when creating each piece of your collection?
SKW: Bold, rich color always excites me when I am designing a new piece. I also look at market trends to see what’s hot now. Great music always inspires me. Right now, I have Chaka Khan, Ella Fitzgerald, and Dionne Warwick in rotation.
HR: Describe the woman you design for.
SKW: The woman I design for likes classic shapes and silhouettes, but with a modern twist. She is not a “label whore”, but a woman of discerning taste who craves great craftsmanship and the personal touch. She’s a free spirit not defined by society’s expectations, and marches to the beat of her own drum. She’s stylish and she possesses a wicked sense of humor. She’s not obnoxious, but confident; smart, but not pretentious; and chic, but also approachable.
HR: Which SK WiLBUR bag is your personal favorite and best seller?
SKW: I love all my designs equally, but the small clutch from my very first season designing handbags (spring 2013) is the best seller. This season, I am reissuing the black & white zebra print and the orange & cream zebra print, as well as introducing 4 new color-ways. They will be available at a price point that is nearly 30% lower than when they first launched at retail.
HR: Name five celebrities you would love to see rocking a SK WiLBUR original.
SKW: My dream roster of celebrity clients includes Solange Knowles, Amber Riley, Sarah Jessica Parker, Anne Hathaway, and Kerry Washington.
HR: Tell me more about your plans for expanding the collection and the Before the Label campaign?
SKW: Before the Label is a crowdfunding website dedicated to emerging designers. I was really impressed by their platform because instead of giving donors a small token of gratitude for their money, people who donate are actually helping to launch a product. The great thing is that nobody is charged unless the campaign is successful. I am offering an extraordinarily chic handcrafted tote for 40% less than the retail price so I can quickly raise capital for my company. If I successfully reach my goal by March 28, then everybody wins. If I don’t reach my goal, I collect no monies and nobody gets a bag. This campaign will give my business a much needed shot in the arm to properly market my bags.
HR: What advice can you give to aspiring handbag designers?
SKW: Aspiring designers must figure out what makes them special because that is what is going to make them stand out. Since emerging designers just can’t compete with established brands, they must be creative with marketing, production, and selling. Stick to your vision, but be flexible. And above all, aspiring designers must not give up.