Carmen Woods: affordable leather luxuries
The Carmen Woods leather handbag online boutique is fast becoming woman’s latest vice. By using classic Italian style combined with her own personal flair, the Carmen Woods collections strike gold every time, keeping Woods’ sense of individuality all the while. “I don’t like designs that are obviously unoriginal and have just been taken from someone else’s vision. I think a designer should be able to stay original even if it’s in a subtle way.”
Our favourite piece has to be The Papaver Clutch. It is sleek, stylish, and has that mosaic patterning that defines the “Carmen” collection. “I am inspired by things around me, which at that time were the Byzantine mosaics I lived right next to in Ravenna. However, my printed collection (CWP) was inspired by my vintage jewellery collection.”From her new collection, meet The Ithaca. This is just one of Carmen’s many statement clutches, but we love it for the fact that it’s adornments are in fact a carefully arranged print. “I like balance. I think if there’s a lot going on with a print or surface decoration the style should be simple and visa-versa.”And the woman behind the designs? “I studied for a BA(Hons.) in Fashion with Textiles at Ravensbourne College where I learnt how to mix the textile techniques within a range.” Woods has used craft inspired techniques such as pleating, patchwork, appliqué and printing throughout her career and her experience is paying off. After college she went to Italy to work as a clothing assistant before moving on to a different kind of label. “My next job focused on textile techniques such as printing and embellishing. In this position I started to design accessories; it was here I realised that I really loved creating handbags and working with leather.”
Woods went on to start her first label with an Italian designer selling accessories to prestigious boutiques, but after a year she returned to England to start researching for her new label “Carmen Woods”.
Aside from her busy work, Woods is a huge fan of vintage, both from labels and high street. “My style is eclectic; I like mixing looks and colours… I love many decades of fashion. I only have to go into a vintage shop or the V&A to see the amazing past work that other designers have created.”Judging from her designs, Woods is an open-minded individual, with a definite eye for beauty. “I am inspired by the experiences throughout my life. I draw inspiration or solve problems from the most bizarre sources by just keeping my eyes and ears open. So naturally my work is a reflection of me, as it’s my version of the world around me.”
By surrounding herself with art, culture, nature and friends, Carmen Woods has already started to create her empire of stunning leather designs and we at The Upcoming cannot wait to see what her beautiful print range has in store for us. Check out the rest of her collection here.