A Bag Less Ordinary is more than just a brand name; it's the brand vision too. From when I started making bags whilst doing my degree at fashion college, I was not designing bags that would fit into the norm. Take my final year project as an example. The inspiration for my collection was 'Childhood toys' looking at construction toys in particular. The primary colour palette of toys was also a big inspiration. I loved the idea of creating accessories that were colourful and multi-functional. Multi-function was something I was really interested in. How can I make a bag more than just one standard bag? Can I make a bag that can be taken apart and made into several different bags? These were the kind of thoughts and ideas that I was exploring.
My final collection was a riot of colour, and an interesting take on playing with proportion and multifuctionality. This collection was not that wearable or commercial but it was a chance for me to really explore my creativity and ideas. When you start working as a designer for companies the end result is for your deigns to sell, so creativity is not something you can be so free with. Whilst at University I was a finalist for the Drapers student accessories designer of the year. The accessory that I received the nomination for was a multi-functional travel trolley/bag that had different attachments that you could remove and use as separate accessories. It was a little wacky but an interesting idea :)
This multi-functional concept is something that is still present in my designs today, but in a more commercial and wearable way. Often the bags I design for ABLO have a detachable zip bag or purse that can be used inside the bag or separately. I call these 'Joeys' after baby marsupials. I also make wallets that have detachable coin purses inside. This idea came to me after realising that I often find my large wallet with lots of cards in too heavy for a small evening bag and worry i'll loose my wallet on a night out. So I would take a separate coin purse instead. But with combining the 2 products in one it becomes a multi-functional accessory.
I find that there are a lot of great bags on the high street but they are often missing something. If it's a really practical bag with the right length straps and lots of pockets, it is often made from uninspiring materials, especially the lining. Or the opposite to that; a bag made of a beautiful fabric that stands out and is unusual but it may not be practical and lacking essential things like a zip pocket inside.
With A Bag Less Ordinary my aim is to create beautiful, handmade accessories that are also practical and a little different. Something you won't see everywhere.
When I think of A Bag Less Ordinary in 5 years time I hope to expand on the multi-functional idea and have bags that provide the owner with many uses and that can be greatly adapted. To make this vision come to life I may need help with production and that is something I am happy to explore.
And as I say in the title of this post 'Be Less Ordinary' is the vision for my brand but also myself. I don't want to conform in life. I want to live a life that is true to myself and live my own journey and story. I think it is so important to learn to be ourselves, and live a life that we can enjoy and be proud of.
Part of starting A Bag Less Ordinary was listening to my true self and knowing that I had to give starting my own business a go. And another example of being myself is the way I like to dress. I would say I do not conform to having a certain style, only a style that makes me comfortable & confident. Some days I like to wear a lot of print, colour & layers and some days I like a more minimal, monochrome look. They are both aesthetics that I appreciate and feel myself in so why just wear and identify with one?
This is something that applies to A Bag Less Ordinary also. I sometimes make bags that are simple on the outside, maybe made from a Navy or black waxed canvas and a colourful print on the outside but then I also make bags that are a riot of print and colour on the outside and inside. But they will always be A Bag Less Ordinary.