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"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.

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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."

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