When it comes to accessories, fashionphiles understand that exotic skins come with exotic prices… But when the price of a handbag becomes higher than the cost of actually visiting the country from which it came, things can get ridiculous.
Enter, Alexandra DeClaris, the London educated, New York based designer - focused on creating luxurious handbags at significantly more affordable prices. While the bags (which begin around $800 a piece) are not exactly cheap, neither is the quality. Each brightly colored clutch and louche lizard skin hobo is impeccably executed to the standards of many similar designs on the market, designs that range upwards of 10 times the price. Personally, I’m obsessing over this tangerine stingray jewel, and this show-stopping red tote. But how amazing is this natural lizard envelope clutch?! It’s basically the only clutch you’ll ever need!
While each piece is lined in a signature pink suede, Alexandra’s bags bare no other outward logos - allowing the simple designs and luxury of the materials to be proof enough of their quality. All of the skins are CITES certified, and Alexandra takes care to personally oversee her factories to ensure the most responsible manufacturing possible.
So how does she do it? Click below for my interview with the designer, and learn how and why she began her company, and why she’s one to watch… PLUS get a code for 30% off on the website for a limited time only!
NATTY STYLE: What prompted you to begin designing, and specifically, why bags?
ALEXANDRA DECLARIS: I was obsessed with Nancy Gonzalez and Carlos Falchi but didn’t want to spend the money on just one handbag. I thought if I could source the skins myself I could cut the cost.
NS: If you weren’t designing bags, what would you do?
ADS: I would most likely be working in the magazine industry as that is where I did all my work experience.
NS: What’s different about an Alexandra DC bag?
ADS: My bags are timeless and vibrant without the extreme cost that other designers charge. There doesn’t need to be any overbearing statement piece on the bags to notify others of where you got it. A handcrafted exotic skin handbag exudes a different kind of exclusivity then any kind of logo.
NS: Where and how do you source your skins?
ADS: All my skins are sourced from farms in Indonesia and are supplied with CITES certification. I usually source manufacturers online and meet with potential suppliers whilst I am abroad.
NS: How do you keep the cost of producing your collections down?
ADS: I keep the cost down by buying skins in larger quantities and making sure my manufacturers use the entirety of the skin.
NS: Who are your personal fashion icons?
ADS: Iris Apfel, Rita Hayworth, and Marilyn Monroe!
NS: Who are some of your favorite designers?
ADS: My favorite designers are Azzedine Alaia and Helmut Lang. Completely opposite designs! But I love to mix up my wardrobe.
NS: Do you have a dream client, someone you’d love to see carrying your bag?
ADS: I don’t really have a dream client. Walking down the street and seeing someone carrying my bag means just as much if not more than if a celebrity was carrying it.
NS: Which bags are your personal favorites, and which do you find yourself wearing again and again?
ADS: My favorite bags that I tend to use the most are the cream ostrich box clutch, the fuschia python envelope and during the day the natural python hobo.
NS: Have you thought of designing additional accessories in the future, like maybe shoes?
ADS: I definitely can see shoes in the future. At the moment, I am working on introducing a jewelry line.
ADS: The jewelry line will be offered online for the start of 2013 and will debut pieces with exotic skin detail.
NS: Where can we buy ADC?
The best place to buy is online for the US and UK so you can view the entire collection and put in promotional codes for discounts.
[FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY] Enter the code HALLOWEEN at checkout for a generous 30% discount off of everything on the site! Now through November 4th.