We are big fans of designer Ashley Watson’s recycled leather bags, and even though we have featured her designs before, we wanted to provide some exclusive coverage on her hip and luscious Spring 2008 collection, ‘Murre + Plover’. Despite the name, these accessories are ‘not just for the birds’, as their original, one-of-a-kind craftsmanship totally sets them apart in their multi-seasonal wearability and trend-defying style. Vancouver-based designer Watson handcrafts her one-of-a-kind products from soft, pre-worn leather jackets that she rescues from charity thrifts stores.
Whether or not leather qualifies as a ‘sustainable style’ ingredient in your enviro-conscious wardrobe, you just might change your tune when you spy Watson’s ‘Junco, Warbler, or Thrush’ bags dangling off the limbs of this season’s chic-est green gals.
Some of the most convincing evidence of the recycling process in Ashley Watson’s bags and wallets are the visible features and traces, such as the jacket pockets and seams, that the designer integrates into a piece’s construction. Despite the sumptuous color range in Watson’s collections, each piece is created from jackets that are already these warm, earth-friendly tones – no leather is dyed in the process. With an extensive background in studio art, it is no surprise that each accessory feels like a collectible work of art or piece of sculpture. (We also love art-chicks doubling as eco-designers!) Watson’s ability to generate collections that are extremely well-constructed as well as consistently stylish from season to season makes her work uniquely sustainable in its sophisticated, lasting appeal.
A native of British Columbia, Ashley holds a degree in Fine Arts from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. After studying fashion design in Vancouver, Ashley interned at Libertine in New York City. Upon her return to Vancouver, she worked as a jewelry designer before founding Ashley Watson Recycled Leather in 2006.
Ashley Watson recycled leather jacket bags and wallets are now sold online and in stores across North America, and will soon be available in select stores in Europe.
Visit our friends at Kaightshop for Spring 08 Murre + Plover selections, prices range from $300 – $395.
+ Ashley Watson + Kaightshop