Local designer Allison Mitchell‘s handbags are uniquely crafted from sustainably obtained animal skins and hides from around the world. Each of the bags is what we like to call one-of-a-kind arm candy, representing the raw gorgeous spirit that drives the avant-garde, the courageous and the fearless.
After a season of brightly colored statement clutches, Dallas native, Allison Mitchell felt a need for sophistication, practicality, and subtlety. Inspired by a single crocodile back strap found while searching for materials, the designer’s new Autumn/Winter 2016 collection is filled with warm, rich colors perfectly crafted in new styles and shapes. What started as a simple DIY creation evolved into her first eye-popping collection and now her new signature look.
Read on for our interview with Allison and more information on her namesake line:
DFW Style Daily: What were you doing before you got into designing handbags?
“I was running my marketing agency, Brand New Marketing, which I founded in 2012. Once the bags began to take off, I handed the reins to my best employee. He still runs it today.”
What’s the inspiration behind your new Autumn|Winter 2016 collection?
“I had such a colorful collection for the season before, I wanted to draw it back into a monochromatic, minimalist aesthetic. Each collection I design starts with a specific material that moves me.”
Can you describe your clientele?
“Sophisticated, strong women who know what they want and don’t need approval from anyone else. They would rather spend their shopping dollars on pieces of art, investment pieces that they really love and connect with emotionally.”
Why did you choose Dallas as the home base for your fashion line?
“I am from Dallas originally and moved back here after living in Chicago. I never intended on starting a handbag line, so you could almost say Dallas chose me! I am certain I could not have reached this level of success if I had started the business in any other city.”
Have you collaborated with any other fashion designers in the Dallas area?
“I am actually in the middle of a project with another artist in Dallas, but I can’t divulge all the details! What I can tell you is that we are collaborating on a small, limited collection of clutches. Each piece is one of a kind and very special.”
Bubble lambskin, exotic ostrich leg, ancient crocodile, and warm wools contribute as strong foundations for the new cold weather collection. Allison’s usual oversized aesthetic takes center stage in the form of functional totes, modern briefcases, and cross bodied handbags.
To get a full look at the new Autumn|Winter 2016 collection, click here. Stay tuned for more details on her upcoming collaboration. The designer also recently announced that she as accepted a spot as one of six emerging designers chosen for the coveted Saint Louis Fashion Incubator project. The two-year residency program will provide the chosen SLFI designers with tools, education, and mentorship.
Photo credit:Kristi and Scot Redman