"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.

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."

Alison Wood's bags are available at Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus. See alisonwoodnyc.com for more information.