handbag design course: persona, mood board and trends

I’m doing a new handbag design course at the London College of Fashion. This is a little cousin of Central Saint Martins, and is part of the family of London University for the Arts.

My teacher is Ann Saunders, and she has been designing handbags for decades. Soon, her own brand of bags will be stocked at Harrod’s, and I cannot wait to go see them as she has confessed she has a pocket / compartment fetish to rival my own.

Our first task from week one was to define a persona, research the shops she goes to, and create a mood board and a trends board. I created both boards electronically, and can share them here. I used pinterest to collect bags for the trend board . and my iPad / iPhone / instagram collection of photos for inspiration. The things I see inspire me, and I tend to photograph everything that gets a reaction out of me. So I decided to use them for this project. The collages were made using the awesome iDraw app.

My client is Emmanuelle.

Emmanuelle is in her late twenties working in the big City. She works in a male-dominated environment, in a rather corporate setting, and while she doesn’t always need to wear a suit, she works with people who often do. She would like to move on in her career soon, but isn’t entirely sure which way to go yet. Often, she will think a lot about what to wear, or what bag to hold, depending on who she is meeting that day and how much she needs to carry. In her spare time she enjoys meeting her friends for brunch, but rarely goes out otherwise as she’s always broke from needing to save up for yet another big holiday.

She shops infrequently and only buys things she can also wear to work. Not quite investment pieces, but not high street trendy things either. Her handbag collection is quite kimited by her budget and she favours bags which can hold a lot of stuff. She goes to the gym often, but typically uses an old backpack for that.

Her favourite shops are Selfridge’s, Liberty, and the odd designer boutique off the beaten track. Uniqueness is something she values in her wardrobe. Some handbag brands she has owned or would love to own: Vivienne Westwood, DKNY, Radley, Herm├Ęs (Birkin), TopShop and River Island.

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