The be-all, end-all giant carryall
There’s definitely something to be said for staying focused. Emerging New York City accessories designer Alison Wood recently unveiled five bags in her new collection for fall and it’s not hard to see that they are all large bucket hobos. This is not by accident. Wood, a Racine, WI native who started out ten years ago as an assistant in the small leather goods division of Polo Ralph Lauren, says that before she ever started thinking about becoming a real “designer,” she had simply been looking for a large handbag she could use for herself.
From left, Wood’s “Max’s Kansas City” and “The Roxy”
“I wanted something that was good quality leather, that was big enough to carry magazines, books, gym shoes—everything that I lug around town.” When she couldn’t find anything exactly right, she sketched a design and, using leather from a small tannery outside of Solofra, Italy, had a bag made for herself. Her resulting line of slouchy, edgy hobos—all logo-free, many of them peppered with strong hardware accents—have since been picked up by Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys New York and Fred Segal.
Wood’s best-seller, the “Bowery”
Because Wood, who is 5’9″, based her design on what she craved herself, the bags are quite large. “I’ve been hearing that they’re perhaps a little too big for some people, so I’m adding smaller versions for spring,” she says with a laugh. Those who love the look of her original bags need not worry, however. “They’ll be the same shape, just smaller.”
A sneak peek of one of Wood’s spring bags, “Cat’s Cradle”