Meet Brandon Blackwood, Who’s Officially Created The It-Bag Of The Season
Brandon Blackwood has an eye for designer luxury. He’s committed to creating the best leather it-bags out of ethically sourced materials, and fashion darlings have taken note of his elegantly minimalist totes, backpacks, and purses. They’re perfect with every outfit — invest in a Blackwood and it will be the bag you use for the rest of your life.
What is the best Blackwood bag to give as a gift over the holidays?
The best bag to give for the holidays would definitely be any variation of the dual-textured backpack. It’s the perfect everyday bag that pairs well with a variety of individual aesthetics. From magazine editors to women in their late sixties, the bag speaks to everyone. Though its main function is a backpack, it can also adjust to become a top-handle, shoulder bag, and a cross-body. The sleek lines and simple structure guarantee it to go well with your favorite outfit.
What are three things the perfect bag must include?
Quality hardware, inner pockets (for phone, keys, lip balm, anything that gets lost in the mysterious abyss of your bag), and adjustable straps. I feel like these three things can make or break a bag purchase and are really important details for everyday wear of a piece.
What bag trends do you expect to see in the upcoming year?
The mini-bag made such a comeback this year. Brands from Prada to Moschino have made their own version of a mini-bag and I don’t see that disappearing anytime soon. I would also say we will be seeing more structured pieces in the New Year. The contemporary market has definitely catered to a draped, loose appearance in regards to apparel and I feel like a structured accessory compliments these pieces really well. The customer really enjoys the juxtaposition of the flowy dress or blouse with and structural bag. If you take a look at my brand along with other newcomers and you’ll notice that we all are playing with structure in our own way. It’s definitely a movement of sorts.
What was your biggest obstacle when becoming an accessories designer? Your biggest triumph?
My biggest obstacle by far was garnering enough funding to get the start I envisioned. I went a whole month walking to work and eating tuna sandwiches to raise money for the line. I wanted everything to be perfect. From the leather to the hardware, everything used to make my products are top quality. The price reflects that, as does the base cost for each bag. The zippers alone took me two weeks to save up for.
It was really hard, and when you get to a place where it is your passion versus your reality you have to take the risk and believe in the end goal. There were times when I was using all my money towards the line and second-guessing everything. By far the hardest obstacle was raising the money and keeping the hope while building the line.
I feel like I am constantly chasing my greatest triumph with the brand. Every aspect from my meetings with ELLE and W magazines, to seeing my product on strangers, or having a friend text me a photo of the bags in a store; those all mean so much to me, especially so early on with the brand. It’s nice to have the reassurance that what you’re doing is legitimate and that people are supporting and loving the products you designed.
Why was it important to you to create unisex accessories?
The concept of the line was built around the idea of functionality and effectiveness while keeping the pieces current and beautiful. I feel that both women and men deserve to indulge in that ideology. My pieces are unisex because it just makes sense for my line, my aesthetic, and my customer.
I plan to branch out and make more pieces traditionally labeled for ‘men’ and ‘women’ but they will always be for whoever feels that the piece speaks to them. I also just think its silly to put a gender label on clothing and accessories in 2015. The other day I went to Proenza Schouler and bought a few pairs of pants because they all fit me so well. My rule is if I like something and it fits, it’s mine. That’s how I would like my customers to approach their decisions when purchasing clothing.
What are 5 things your fans and followers would be interested to know about you?
1. I played for several years in a Balinese gamelan Ensemble. I played the Slenthem.
2. I absolutely hate Chocolate; the taste, the consistency, just everything. Everyone I know thinks I’m so weird for that one.
3. I have the same birthday as The Dali Lama.
4. I’m obsessed with all things Young Thug.
5. Bad things always happen to me on Wednesdays.