A firm believer of making a shift from the east to west in terms of craftsmanship, Laura Dotolo talks about the past, present and future of Clutch Bags accessories and making accessories with Clutch Made.
Clutch Bags NY commenced for a budding niche market that doesnâ€™t get appealed by the boom of loud and gaudy designer bags. How has the journey of the brand been so far?
The journey so far has been very eye opening. Every day I discover a newÂ Â perspective about our brand and product through our overwhelming diverse clientele. Our varied consumers pay a lot of attention to quality, which helps us improve every day as a brand. This journey has been a complete experience so far.
The brand image of Clutch Bags NYÂ harps on the fact that it is a pure New York inspired outcome. How are you incorporating that in the designs or the aesthetics of the brand?
The brand revolves around the lifestyle of a fashion conscious individual living and breathing the city life of Manhattan. We have bags, which easily mold into every outfit that you plan to wear in the city, from a utilitarian mailbag that can be carried for work to a fancy little wedding bag that you can adorn to enjoy the evergreen nightlife of New York.
The designs reflect the importance of detailing and precision, what are your main sources of craftsmanship?
As I said earlier, our products are very quality oriented. Thatâ€™s what our clients love about us. To keep our standards always high we import some of our hardware from Italy. The processing of leather is one of the key features for our detailed driven products that also make us unique and a step closer to luxury.
â€œManufacturing in the USA made easyâ€. This statement is not very common amongst fashion brands in the states. Do you see yourself as making a shift from the traditional Europe and Asia craftsmanship
Yes, we definitely see ourselves as a brand making a change/shift in bringing craftsmanship back to USA. With time, renowned fashion brands have experienced the degradation of skilled artistry in the East. We as a brand would rather pay more for the labor and other factors behind the creation of our products than lower the quality. Manufacturing in the USA has become one of our strongest USPâ€™s and we want to make it more concrete as the brand progresses.
Clutch Made USA Accessories
A service provided under Clutch Bags called as â€œClutch Madeâ€. What is this initiative.
Clutch Made providesÂ design and manufacturing services to individuals and brands looking to source and produce in the USA. We branch out to various young and upcoming designers through this service and help them make their brand stronger in terms of design, marketing and business. It also gives us a chance to work and experience what the budding talents have to offer to the fashion industry.
With the whole fashion world taking leaps in different and extreme directions, do you think consumers are going back to being primitive and shifting back to classic pieces?
I definitely see a massive shift in the concentration of accessories in comparison to apparel. Earlier accessories used to be an add on to what the main outfit was, whereas now people dress according to their accessories. They are playing the role of a canvas of style for an individual, on which you can paint or draw something new every day.
Do you follow the current trends of Womenswear Accessories or do you follow your own principles?
I always follow my own principles. New York is like an undying source of trends and styles. By observing the styles adorned by different age groups, you can make out what is going to be coming in next season and what is not. For example, the age group from 15 to 19 years is always new and experimental. They are the age group that always brings this shift and change in every season.
Â What qualities do you see in your Ideal client?
My ideal client is educated, urban, independent, well versed with fashion in terms of design and style and a woman who is always on the go. The most common quality amongst all my clients is that they always know what they want, very firm and decisive.
Commercial vs Contemporary? Your take.
Neither. Timeless, classic.
Where do you see the brand in the next 5 years? Do you plan on expanding to other potential markets?
Â As mentioned earlier, I want to expand and explore with Clutch Made in the span of 5 years. Clutch Made is a platform for us to work and collaborate with the new talent. As a brand we also see ourselves drawing inspirations and tapping the Asian and European market.