There are a lot of amazing things that have come out of blogging. Although my blogs, websites, and social profiles were merely creative outlets for me, it’s actually given me the opportunity to do so much more. I’ve got to work with some absolutely incredible people and so many inspiring brands – for that, I am unequivocally and whole heartedly grateful.
Last month, I got the opportunity to do something I’ve always wanted to try my hand at. The way it kind of fell into my lap was a bit serendipitous.
Rudsak has always been one of my favourite Canadian brands – they exude this “cool rebel” spirit that makes you feel like a confident badass. Last month, I had featured a photo with my favourite Rudsak moto jacket (it’s that jacket in your closet that you resort to all the time when you’re drawing outfit blanks). I didn’t think much of it and casually tagged the hastag #ROCKRUDSAK – a campaign I thought they were trying to use for branding.
I got a beautiful notification on one fine afternoon (as seen above) informing me that that I had won a personalized handbag from Rudsak and that I would be able to design it completely from scratch. Best. Surprise. Ever. Literally a Cinderella moment, because I’ve secretly always wanted to try my hand at designing (or perhaps, in my dreams, creative directing a collection).
Initially, I thought I would just be choosing from a preselected collection and adding a few little details here and there. Contrarily, I actually went through an entire design process – from mood board, to sketches, to mock ups, to production. Dream come true, right?!
Here was the mood board I initially sent over, to outline the vibe I was going for:
I’m all for modern, clean lines, architectural structure, and pops of bold colour. I also love asymmetry and finding beauty in something a bit imperfect. In fact, the quote that actually inspired me was:
There are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. – F. Scott Fitzgerald
The next step was sketches. Rudsak’s lead handbag designer was actually the one assigned to the project (blushes) and from the preliminary designs, I could tell there were some truly #winning pieces. Obviously, the one I was immediately drawn to was the asymmetric clutch (above).
Rudsak always uses beautifully textured and treated leathers in their pieces. In fact, I would go so far as to say that they’re known for it. These were the samples that would be used for my bag (which we tweaked a bit from the initial sketches).
At this point, I was still kind of in shock – I was reviewing leather samples, looking through sketches, noting small details – this was really going to be my design. When everything was finalized and sent into production, I let out a bittersweet sigh of relief. I was happy and elated to finally get to see the final product, but was also admittedly sad that this amazing experience would soon be over.
The day finally came when the package arrived on my doorstep. I waited for it like a kid on Christmas morning (yes, every truck that drove by raised my heart rate a bit, I’ll admit ).
Here was the final product, my Rudsak baby, in the flesh:
It was exactly what I expected but better – I had asked for the yellow tassel and the shoulder straps to be removal, to give the bag a bit of versatility in its pairings. They surprised me by having the keychain detachable as well and even added a cute little detachable flashlight on the inside of the bag. HOW COOL RIGHT? I never would have thought of a light inside your bag (queue scenario in a dark lounge when you’re trying to find a tampon or earring in your purse).
Everything was perfect and because I’m a cheese ball, I might have teared up a little bit. Thank you so much for the opportunity Rudsak – this bag will be cherished, passed down, and possibly hung up in my living room (definitely better than my Kindergarten drawings, I think).
What sort of handbag would you have designed? Let me know in the comments below!