Tag Archive | accessory design

Video Tutorial Update!

Okay I’m Back! Been working on a few video tutorials. This series of tutorials are basic pattern making techniques.They should provide you with a basic understanding of pattern making. This set of tutorials will guide you through the steps needed to make and design a high quality handbag.

I’ve been thinking about this project for a long time. It feels great to finally get it off the ground. My wife Linda did a great job on many of the tutorials. This is our first attempt at doing tutorials, so if you have any comments , kickum this way! We look forward to bringing some more complex bags and patterns your way.

We posted the video’s on YouTube.  UPDATED: We now have them at http://www.howtomakeadesignerhandbag.com.

This site is still under construction, so bear with me.

Video #1 Front / Back Pattern

Video #2 The Gusset

Video #3 The Flap

Video #3 The Flap/Part 2

Video #3 The Flap Lining/Part 3

Video #4 The Strap/Handle

Video #5 The Outside/Cutting Pattern

Video #6 The Lining Pattern

Check out the video’s and let us know what you think.


Part 2: The Advantages and Disadvantages of Overseas Production

As you can see I can be long winded,so let’s try to get back to the subject which is overseas production vs US  production. As already stated I’m a strong supporter for the latter. I’m only speaking of this in terms of accessory designers starting out with nothing but a dream. I’m only speak about what I know.

My main reasoning, control, quality, better turn around time, and a reasonable amount of flexible. For those reason I’m an avid support of US manufactured products. I also think there’s a great market for  small US manufactures to exploit. They have the capability and capacity to compete on so many different levels.

It will be hard to compete  with labor cost, but we can compete with the other factors that are important to getting your products to market.

If we highlighted these advantages, we may not be able to get all of the manufacturing back. However we could regain some manufacturing and stem the tide of others who succumb everyday to overseas pressure.

  • Shorter turn around time. Orders can be place 30 – 60 days, sometimes in as little as 2 weeks.. Instead of 60 days to  6 months depending on the size of the order overseas.
  • It allows stores to purchase less and yet maintain inventories. Reducing initial capital expenditure  and keep more cash on hand. Resulting in lower inventories. Lower inventories could mean higher profits. No need for constantly reducing the price of your products. I’m going to give you the perfect example below.
  • It allows for greater flexibility in adapting to changing trends in consumer taste. Most orders are 6 months to a year in the pipeline. If something gets hot the stores aren’t stuck with what’s not!

These are just a few advantages that I can think of for designers to pitch when taking with buyers about the higher price points.

If you go with a contractor, you have a vast wealth of knowledge that they bring to the table. They can help perfect your designs, help with resourcing and you can go visit the factory, in most cases for a airline ticket for less then $350.00 . You have control of your product and you have legal recourse.

**The perfect example:

Years ago a product called Danskin Dancewear came on the market. The product was in such demand that the manufacture would only supply vendors who paid up front or on short net terms. They( at the time) kept inventories low and they got paid. Scarcity translates into lower volume and higher prices that can be sustained over a longer period of time.

Setting up your own shop ahhhhhh.

It deserves a post all it’s own! I’m going to tell you the basic setup need to start your own handbag factory. For less then $15,000!  Equipment needed…… everything!

How to Get Your Handbags Into a New York Boutique!

One of the things that limits the exposure of many accessory designers who are just starting out, is getting products to the stores. There are several ways a new accessory designer can start to gain exposure in the marketplace. However there are a few things you will need in place. Consider this!

1. The first and most important is production.  Am I ready to fill an order? After you have come up with an accessory line, How do I get it made? What will it cost? Production will be a concern as long as you are in business. Think about how big do I really want to be? The answers may help you lay the ground work for setting up  production, so that it expands with your needs. Another subject we will talk about later is Overseas Production vs US Production.

Size means more risk, less control, more people, more money, more reward. If… you measure success by the amount of possessions you have.

If you measure success by your happiness index then you may like smaller, profitable fun!

2. Do I have good samples? Samples can be made by you.  The samples you see in my press releases were made by me. That’s what this blog is about, to get you to the point of having a set of samples that you can take to a show. a rep or buyer. If you are fortunate enough to afford manufacturing then the manufacturer will provide you with a set of samples. Patterns have to be made, 1st samples have to be made. You can cut your cost by making the first sample and pattern yourself. Every manufacturer will eventual make their own pattern.

3. Vendors Day or Open Call Day, believe it or not, almost every accessory boutique has a day when you can come in and show your collection or items to a buyer. My first order came for an open call day at Felissimo on 56th and 5th ave. They’re fun. You meet Buyers, other designers and you start to get a sense of the business. It’s fun! You can pretty much walk into any boutique and speak with the buyer. We  got into Patricia Fields on 8 st. in the West Village by simply walking in and asking for the buyer.

4. Getting a Rep! Worth the effort! They know the market, they’re always looking for the next big thing, which could be you. But you have to chose carefully. The wrong rep and your work could sit. Price points are also a consideration when choosing a rep. Don’t have a $300.00 bag with someone who reps $20 items. A $300 buyer is not walking in to that showroom. Ask if they are boutique reps are do they have department store contacts. You may not be ready for a department store!

5. Can I sustain the debt if I strike gold? Big question! It will determine how you market your designs, who you market to and how quickly you can grow. Understand that in almost all cases you will have to have a 30-60-90-120 day net! What does that mean? It means you will have to carry that debt for those amount of days. Only in the smaller boutiques can you get paid on delivery.If you get one department store, that orders $30000 worth of product, can you take the strain of not being paid for 90-120 days! It’s an important question that needs an answer!

6. Create an eye catching collection! Be bold ! Get attention with your designs. Your first designs could be some of your most exciting designs So sketch and sketch some more and save each and everyone for tomorrows inspiration. Boutiques love to buy things that bring the customer through the doors.

The pay off is doing something you love!

Learn design, know design, love design, to design!


Ok found the widget ! You can now sign up to be notified as to when the first “how to make a designer handbag” video tutorial will be up!

Looking forward to hearing comments. It’s the first time I’ve tried to do something of this nature, I hope you like it! Again take a minute to sign up for our announcements. Ok!