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Friday, July 24, 2009

Spotlight On.....Victoire Focx Handbags

One thing is for certain, if you ever see a Victoire Focx bag in action you'll never forget it. The Victoire Focx aesthetic combines rare, hand-painted exotic skins with rich leathers achieving an "old world" feel. The brand's intricate designs and skilled craftsmanship exemplify the epitome of luxury. For handbag lovers and fashion-forward women that long for the antithesis of mass produced bags, a Victoire Focx design is the ultimate "must-have" piece.

Constance Victory, Victoire Focx's creative director and designer, launched her first collection for the upcoming fall/winter 2009 season. Her exclusive bespoke line was featured at the White Show earlier this year at Milan Fashion Week. This talented and experienced woman has worked arduously as a stylist, including gigs for Alek Wek and Be&D, in order to finance her dream of creating a line of unique and luxurious handbags. Her experience in the fashion world gave Constance the drive and knowledge to engage in such an ambitious task, but it was traveling that provided the inspiration for her bags. Who says traveling is a frivolous endeavor!

Señora Cartera had the opportunity to ask Constance a few questions about her designs, and she was gracious enough to give us and our readers these insightful responses:

SC: With your experience within the fashion industry, what influenced your choice to create this unique handbag collection?

CV: I've always had a fascination with Renaissance architecture and architectural motifs that decorated their facades. I thought about how I could combine this aesthetic appreciation with my love for design. I chose handbags over clothing because it's one size fits all, and more flexibility (than clothing) for stylistic experimentation.

SC: Your handbags are unlike anything we've seen in the luxury handbag market. How did you arrive at the idea of merging intricate, "old world" - inspired designs with fine leathers and exotics?

CV: Honestly, I got the idea of using exotics while strolling down the blocks of NYC's West Village. I was pondering which textures and materials to use for the bags, and when I saw the cobble stones on the streets, I somehow thought about crocodile veins and using some of the pricey flanks to adorn bags; shattered glass on a pavement made me think of Swarovski crystals. I felt that Python complimented the interlocking snake motif seen on all the bags.

I wanted the marriage of the bag design and the materials to have the same, or similar, visual sensation as a jewel box. The stones mixed with the exotic skins and patchwork help to create a vintage feel to the bags.

SC: What sort of woman do you envision carrying one of your designs? Is 'Victoire Focx' only for the fashion-forward, wealthy fashionista or can a suburban soccer mom tote one of your bags as well?

CV: My target customer is the savvy, fashion forward consumer with an eccentric edge. She's comfortable and confident with her own aesthetic sensibilities. Whether she's the fashionista who owns an enviable collection of Birkin bags, or the soccer mom in Gary, Indiana, this woman appreciates strong craftsmanship paired with beautiful one of a kind design.

Price points place the brand in the luxury goods sector; bags retail from $1150-$2500.

SC: Will your design talents remain solely focused on handbags or might 'Victoire Focx' expand to include other accessories in the future?

CV: Currently, I am developing a line of belts and gloves. Boots and shoes are also in the works. I thought I'd be happy to just design bags, but once I started, I just couldn't stop!

SC: What advice would you offer other women contemplating a career in fashion?

CV: My advice to other women in fashion would be to study and learn the business side of this business--this includes, but is not limited to, marketing and merchandising. It's not enough to simply design beautiful things, or have really great taste. Spend time exploring the various career options that are available in this sector--if you'd like to design for your own line, spend some time doing internships in the PR sector so you learn how to promote and publicize a brand (of course this is in addition to the sales, marketing and other design interships that one should be doing). And do not underestimate the value of learning foreign launguages. Globalization is here to stay, and if you can speak multiple languages fluently, this becomes a great asset.


For less than what a Chanel 2.55 Flap Bag will run you, fashionistas can invest in a bag that is a true work of art and worthy of being handed down from mother to daughter. Visit the Victoire Focx website to browse the entire debut collection by Constance Victory or to contact them for additional ordering and pricing details.

A special thanks to Constance for her time in helping us compile information for this feature. Someone who signs her e-mails with the phrase "Bags & Kisses" has to be fun and fabulous.


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