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Oregon handbag designers find success

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Articles - January 2013
Monday, December 10, 2012
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Oregon handbag designers find success
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0113 Dispatches Handbags 03
Above: Portland boutique owner Anne Bocci stocks Christina Castillo Italian leather handbags.
Below: BD503 in Portland makes one-of-a-kind bags from repurposed Italian and American leather.
0113 Dispatches Handbags 04

BD503, owned by Bianca Pettinari, a purse designer in Italy for 20 years, and her partner, David Haines, also made a valuable connection at FASHIONxt when they met the singer Liv Warfield. Their 1-year-old Portland company, which makes one-of-a-kind bags from repurposed Italian and American leather, debuted the Liv Collection in December.

These two designers “get it,” says FASHIONxt’s executive producer, Tito Chowdhury. But for every viable business, there are a handful of hopeful DIY creatives. “We don’t have a shortage of craft people in this town,” says Chowdhury. “But all of us need to be very keen on the business end of it.”

A number of bag designers have been thriving for years. Queen Bee Creations, which was established when designer Rebecca Pearcy moved to Portland in 2002, has a national following for its vinyl bags. And designer David Stoops, owner of Black Star Bags in Southeast Portland, is in his sixth year of making waterproof messenger bags for Portland’s bicycle culture.

Handbags are not just a Portland trend, either. In Bend, Anne Scott is one of several purse designers. She makes Mari Lassa leather bags, which she sells for $250 to $400.

A sign of the burgeoning handbag industry is that the Portland branch of Girls Inc. has plenty of designers for their annual Power of the Purse benefit, with 15 lined up for the March event. Girls Inc. marketing director Benna Gottfried noted that when a similar event was launched in New York City, organizers there asked her, “How did you ever find so many purse designers?”



 

Comments   

 
Guest
+4 #1 Show where the bags are madeGuest 2013-01-03 03:38:34
Just visited Christina's website. No where in the product descriptions does it proudly state the country of origin. It would be nice to see the MADE IN USA for every product on the website proudly displayed. We need more made in USA products, and for the companies to proudly display it. Consumers are now looking for the MADE IN USA description / labels / country of origin.
Quote | Report to administrator
 
 
Guest
+1 #2 FashionXt is NOT Portland Fashion Week® - Please EditGuest 2013-01-08 03:13:42
Hello Susan,
You have been given incorrect information regarding the transformation of Portland Fashion Week into FashionXt. Portland Fashion Week is not FashionXt. Portland Fashion Week is a registered trademark of Portland Fashion Council, LLC. Mr. Chowdhury is a former producer of Portland Fashion Week and is no longer associated with Portland Fashion Week, nor is his event.
Thank you
Jessica Kane
Co-Owner
Portland Fashion Council, LLC.
Portland Fashion Week
Quote | Report to administrator
 

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