This week I’m talking bags with the lovely Jane Goodchild who, after years working with and alongside famous brand names including Calvin Klein, Mulberry, Jimmy Choo, Joseph, Julien MacDonald, to name but a few, launched her own glam brand collection of bags and leather accessories in 2011. Welcome Jane …
Hi! I’m Jane Goodchild – I’m getting married in 3 weeks to the love of my life. The other ‘loves of my life’ are handbags, boots, sparkly things, laughter, champagne and my gorgeous cat Monty Grayson!
After graduating from Ravensbourne College with a degree in fashion & textiles you were selected to join Calvin Klein in New York City, where I imagine you gained a wealth of knowledge as you experimented with designing ladies wear, CK Shoes and Collection Handbags. Whilst at College did you always veer towards handbag designing or was the love for handbag/accessory designing cemented whilst at Calvin Klein?
I always wanted to design accessories but my degree was in fashion & textiles. When I went to work at Calvin Klein I saw there was an opportunity to work in this area so I applied for a position in CK Shoes started straight away. Within a week I was shipped off to a shoe factory in Brazil and the rest as they say is history!
Returning back later to the UK as a Freelance Accessories Designer for some of the biggest global brands such as Mulberry, Jimmy Choo, Joseph, Notting Hill Design, Julien MacDonald & Loewe … as well as for High Street collections labels including French Connection and Next. What made you decide that the time was right in 2011 to put your own name to your own collection of bags and leather accessories?
I had always wanted to have my own label, but I was happy working for other designers and continued to learn my craft. After the holiday to Cuba, I felt so inspired that I knew in my heart it was the right time to follow my dream and create my own brand.
After being mesmerised by the graphics and culture of Cuba following your trip to Havana, the Star logo and medal chain that features on all your bags was born. What was it about Cuba that really captured your imagination & inspired your first collection?
There was a sense of freedom and contentment amongst the people. They were so friendly and happy that it created a very relaxed yet vibrant atmosphere. The colours and revolution graphics were a huge influence on my creative process and formed the foundation for my first collection.
I’m glad you love this bag! This bag has been very popular and sold out within weeks this season. The Zulu Loren has been our best seller to date. It’s practical, functional yet still makes a statement in the gold python!
Having stockists in the UK, what bags seem to be more popular in the stores? Have you noticed any differences between fashion tastes in UK & designing for the US market?
I think the UK market is adventurous and likes to be different. They have a very eclectic style and like mixing labels and trends to create a very unique look. The US market is a little more classic and conservative, but like interesting details and good quality.
My favourite bag I’ve designed is the Mansfield Tote. It’s a huge bag which I love as I carry everything around with me. I love the black hair calf we have detailed this season, so tactile!
If you had the chance to design a handbag for any famous lady in the world (living or dead) who would you like to see flaunting your handbag?
I think it would have to be a Hollywood Film star. All our bags are named after old Hollywood film stars so it would have to be either Marilyn Monroe or Audrey Hepburn.
What colours are going to dominate your collection this season, and looking ahead to SS15, what do you hope or foresee as being the trendy colours or styles?
For AW’14 we have a lot of black, gold and ruby red. For next season we are looking at vintage blue, a metallic grey/silver, hot pink and tan.
A varied, but very vibrant pallet.
We’ve already established that Cuba was a source of inspiration, are there any other locations that have also given you inspiration? Are there any cities/locations/countries you wouldn’t mind visiting for inspiration for future ranges?
I would love to spend more time in the Far East and Asia. Shanghai, Beijing and Tokyo are all on my list. I also love South America so would love to explore more the culture and traditions of this part of the world.
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?
I can always be found in skinny jeans, tunic top/shirt and boots or Haviannas. I always have a statement piece of jewellery on too to jazz up any outfit, either a bold necklace or ring – I do love costume jewellery and hope to design my own collection one day.
Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?
I love COS and Zara for high street shopping. My go to online sites would be Net-a -Porter or The Outnet for a designer bargain!
What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?
On my wish list this season is a pair of Marni boots and a new winter coat from Malene Birger. I love her collections, always so many great shapes and fabrics.
Boots or Shoes?
Boots Always. I love them! They are so versatile and just go with every outfit. I have loads of pairs, my favorite being a pair of Pierre hardy knee high leather boots with an amazing cantilever heel.
Links you would like to share e.g. website/Facebook etc. so that readers can find out more about Jane Goodchild Handbags.
Facebook: Jane Goodchild Handbags
Thank you Jane, your bags are an absolute delight and I love the fact that you’re a “boot” girl too! I hope your wedding goes splendidly and I wish you a long and happy married life 🙂 So readers, what glam bag took your fancy? Do tell….
Photo Credits: Photos have been published with kind permission from Jane Goodchild