There is little doubt that a fashionable handbag can tie a look together like no other accessory, and in many cases it ends up being the conversation piece of an outfit. While “It Bags” from design houses like Hermes and Moschino can set you back thousands — or even tens-of-thousands — of dollars, it’s possible to own a super cute handbag that is truly a work of art for a very affordable price. Allow me to introduce you to the Signature Handbag collection from designer and artist, Kent Stetson.
Kent Stetson creates functional, wearable art which he refers to as Art-To-Go! His handbag designs include popular themes like food, fashion, pets, flowers, cocktails, special interest hobbies, and his own abstract patterns, so there really is a bag to suit every taste. Assorted designs feature a novelty closure adornment, such as the faux oyster or donut seen on the bags in the above photo. Stetson’s bags are so visually exciting, you may not be able to resist the urge to own more than one!
The Signature Handbag collection has a fascinating origin story, which Stetson shares on his website; “In 2003, after the disappointment of dismantling an exhibition of my paintings where nothing sold, I started cutting up the canvas pieces and sewing them into bags.” Kent found that these fun and unique handbags sold immediately.
His story continues, “Raised on a farm, watching my mother repair and maintain the harnesses for the horses, I gathered a sense of the craft of leatherwork. I had the tools that I needed, I simply had to connect the dots to my paintings. It turns out that I did not need a wall to display my art, and that a bag was a perfect way to package it.”
Originally, the bags were a framing device but they since have become his medium. Stetson’s designs are an instantly-recognizable wardrobe staple enjoyed by celebrities and collectors worldwide. These signature clutch bags are made from luxury-quality coated canvas, and range in style from traditionally artistic to kitsch. You can see that these designs are a great way to spark a fun conversation that breaks the ice and turns everyday adventures into an opportunity to make new friends.
The designer employs a team of highly-skilled technicians who work alongside him to produce each piece, and his Rhode Island-based workshop has a high bar for excellence, having earned many awards. There are nearly 50 steps in making each signature bag and all pieces are produced to order, making each one specially for the recipient.
Stetson never loses sight of the fact that he had to fail hard in order to become a success. “Whether you are one of our early first patrons, or a new collector,” he offers, “it is an honor for me to make something that I know you will enjoy using. Thank you for helping me turn what was a disappointing start to my career as an artist into something more wonderful than I could have ever imagined!”
All handbags come with a removable cross-body chain, a logo dust bag, a clear vinyl inner pocket, and each is individually signed. All prices include shipping. Shop Online for Kent Stetson’s Signature Collection at This Link!
All Photos Taken at NY Now Summer 2019 at the Javits Center.