Last September at New York Fashion Week S/S 2011 I had the pleasure of meeting an up and coming designer named Gessica Brooke. You may remember seeing her in this street style post. After seeing what a talented designer she is (did you see her outfit and handbag? killer.) I knew I had to share more about her with you guys. I’ve kept in touch with her since then and am excited to show you her new line of handbags for the Fall! They’re gorgeous, versatile and definitely mesh with my style.
My personal favorites are the envelope clutch and the aztec bucket bag. I really appreciate that she created bucket bags with flat, structured bottoms – a pet peeve of mine with handbags is when you can’t set them down. I kind of loathe a lot of hobos. What do you do… lay it on its side? The materials she used are incredible too – I especially love the boucle (read below/the bottom bag in the photos above). You can tell that these are well made and carefully designed bags.
Aaaand not to mention, her clothes are fantastic too! Check out her Spring/Summer collection on her website. A huge thank you to Gessica for taking the time to answer some of my burning questions :). Enjoy!
1. What inspired you to start the Gessica Brooke line?
I was working with Cynthia Rowley and I was so inspired to put together a collection of my own. It was really a way for me to showcase myself as a designer more than anything else. To be honest at the time I’m not sure I new I was actually starting my own line and company. I feel the best things in life happen organically and that’s exactly what this was, just rolling with the punches and I do that with every aspect of my life. It seems to be going pretty well that way and I feel like its way more exciting!
I was really feeling like a promoter of everything I owned at the time and I thought why not do something with this. A wide range of people take to my style or what I’m wearing from nail polish colors to shoes, handbags, etc. I felt that people would really appreciate my style of design and that it was time to start exploring that!
2. If you had to describe your style in 5 words, what would you say?
Clean, easy and modern meets edgy, sexy and fresh. Sorry I said 6!
3. You went to Florence to create this new line of handbags – what materials did you focus on and why Florence? Did you draw any inspiration from being there or did you go with your mind set on what you wanted to create?
I focused on the amazing materials that Italy has to offer like the leather, suede and ponyhair that were used in this collection. I also used some wool boucle, alpaca and a cotton Aztec print to give a difference in texture.
Florence because it’s the best of the best and that’s exactly what Gessica Brooke is. I feel that not only do you get the best quality producing in Italy but character as well which can easily get lost when you work in china or mass production. Italy is about craftsmanship and that hasn’t changed since day one.
4. What is the typical “Gessica Brooke” girl? Who would we expect to see carrying your bags? I guess a stereotype if you will :)
The Gessica Brooke girl is definitely a girl/woman on the go, which is why the convertibility plays a helpful part in making her life easier, fun and fresh.
I would love to see Blake Lively carrying Gessica Brooke! She is always fresh, sexy, and confident. I think she is the perfect balance of sexy and mature, modern and edgy and I love that she is involved in her own personal style, its her and that’s why she always looks so great!
I also love Scarlett Johansson although I think she leads a pretty private life but she always looks stunning on the red carpet.
5. What other handbag designers inspire you?
That’s a really good question. I am inspired by Rebecca Minkoff’s journey I think that there are a lot of parallels as to how she got started and how it happened. She has done a great job to be at the level of success she has right now!
I’d have to say that I am really inspired by vintage bags and designs more than what I see out there currently. I am intrigued by the past and I always try and draw from vintage inspiration and somehow make the design modern and fresh for today.
6. What is one of the most valuable lessons that you learned from working at Cynthia Rowley and have taken with you as you have emerged as a designer?
Wow! Only one thing I learned from Cynthia? I learned a lot from her!
I think it would have to be that more than anything else you have to be true to yourself as a designer. No one is going to show your vision like you do and that it’s important to be hands. There are so many different facets of the business and each and everyone has to feel Gessica Brooke, meaning I have to be involved in everything! It’s a lot of work but well worth it.
She also influenced me in a way that I am always up for any kind of challenge! She is a licensing queen and I love that she always has so many projects going on. I recently designed an Oscar dress for Jessica Holmes who is a KTLA news anchor and she hosts the red carpet for the Oscars. I didn’t exactly know that was in my cards but it was an amazing experience and so much fun!
7. Where can we purchase your beautiful bags/clothes?
The Gessica Brooke online store will be up soon! www.gessicabrooke.com and you will be able to order bags and hopefully a few pieces from the collection! The Gessica Brooke collection has continued as a full handbag line for the time being and so far it’s been a huge success! Anyone who has seen this post can receive 20% off of their first Gessica Brooke order!
If you’re interested in receiving the offer code, tweet me @cpetric with the hashtag #gessicabrooke and I’ll send the code your way as soon as I get it from Gessica! *If you don’t have Twitter you can e-mail me
What did you think of the bags? Definitely easy, edgy and fresh right?