Alyssa Fishenden - Aly Chantal

Finalist of the The Cult Belt Bag Inspired by Nine West

United States

2019 Finalist Alyssa Fishenden Aly Chantal


What does the Nine West brand mean to you and the inspiration for this sketch?
When I think of the Nine West brand, I think of a company with the latest trends that are affordable and accessible to all. It is timeless, chic, and attainable. Nine West is a company that creates pieces that truly liven up and complete the ultimate fashionable look. With that in mind, I wanted to create a versatile bag that can easily transition from day to night wear. I sketched a piece that would be fun and modern, with a neutral palette, so that it could be styled with many outfits. I drew inspiration from the art of the Bahaus movement (100th anniversary this year) and particularly of the art of Laszlo moholy-nagy. I just wanted to play with the idea of contrasts and different layers/planes intersecting one another and a limited palette that could still be bold. I wanted to create something that could be timeless.

Why did you select these particular materials to work for your sketch?
I selected a faux-leather vinyl fabric to work with because it tends to hold its shape well and it is a material I feel comfortable working with. I normally work with this material because it is durable and waterproof.

What is your design background? Do you currently design your own handbags collection? Does this silhouette fit into your collection? Why or why not?
For my design background, I have an Associates Degree in Art and a Bachelors Degree in Fashion Design. I work as an assistant CAD artist for a Womenswear company. I currently design handbags just for myself. It is still very much a learning process in terms of construction, but I love to sketch different ideas that I will eventually create. This silhouette would fit into my collection. I like to design bags that are a bit more simplistic, but still are interesting/brought to life with attention grabbing colors or hardware details.

How can this belt bag go from day to night? Please explain.
This bag is multi-functional in that during the day, one can wear it as a belt bag or remove the belt and clip it onto the d-rings to make a strap for a shoulder purse. Then if you remove the belt completely, the large ring hardware can be turned upward to become a chic top handle purse. Or one's hand can slide under the white strap in the front of the bag, to make it into a cool clutch.

What can you offer to the Nine West aesthetic? Do you follow Nine West on Instagram?
What I can offer to the Nine West aesthetic is a cool, modern take on the timeless classics. Nine west does so well creating trendy feminine styles and I think my love of art and architecture can offer a fresh spin on the wearable and attainable designs. Yes, I do follow Nine West on Instagram.

Bag Description
Aly Chantal Bags, 'Analeigh Belt Bag', circle belt bag, faux leather vinyl, $49

See other finalists from the 2019 handbag awards