10 posts tagged "Mandy Coon"
If you’ve been missing Mandy Coon since she left the ready-to-wear scene in 2012, you’re in luck. “I think I got to a point where I was just running a business, which was not really what I wanted to do,” said the designer, who hasn’t presented a collection for the past three seasons. But Coon has not thrown in the towel, rather, she’s now focusing all her efforts on an accessories range.
“I wanted to be able to focus and get really obsessed with something, and I love, love, love working with leather.” The former model decamped from Manhattan to the Catskills full-time more than a year ago. There, Coon cut her teeth in leatherworking—a craft with a pretty daunting learning curve. “It definitely took a lot of mistakes,” she laughed. “I watched videos, read a lot of books, and tried to learn from people who do the really traditional stuff. Then from there, I’d just find something I really wanted to make, and then that would be my task: I would just learn how to make that, and I would screw it up a lot until I got it.”
From that perseverance—and with plenty of Italian leather—Coon began developing her latest range of bags, belts, necklaces, and harnesses. She credits her new upstate digs with bringing the contrasts that have long distinguished her work [see bunny bags in badass black leather] to the fore. Also on the horizon? An expanded color palette. “I’m starting to try and incorporate more color, so maybe that,” the noir-loving designer said. While inky hues are still the order of the day for Coon, they make the appearances of rich cobalt and brilliant emerald all the more impactful.
Coon is keen to shake off the less-than-cosmopolitan connotations that in many circles still dog the idea of ethically produced, handmade pieces. “I think there’s still kind of a stigma,” she says. “I’m trying really hard to make things fashion-forward.” And indeed, from her textured bucket bags and strappy harnesses to her bondage-tinged totes and the aforementioned lapins in leather, Coon’s pieces are more Dover Street Market than farmers’ market—a marriage of the hard-edged and the handcrafted. “Just like [with] what they’re eating, I think people are starting to think about who’s making it and where it’s being made, if care is put into it or if it’ll fall apart,” Coon mused. “I think that’s important.”
Mandy Coon accessories, priced between $125 and $1,125, are available at mandycoon.com.
Mandy Coon’s bestiary gets a little larger this season. The New York-based designer and Ecco Domani winner scored a hit with her much-loved (and often copied) bunny bag and channeled jellyfish for her seasonal print last Spring. Now for Fall, she’s skipping the fluff and fish in favor of the flies. Coon will debut a small collection of fly jewelry, made with Made Her Think’s Meredith Kahn, at her February 12 show at Lincoln Center. (It’s a new, bigger venue for the label, and signals another step toward the big time.) At a preview yesterday, Coon explained that she’s an avid collector of vintage bug jewelry and came across an early American bug brooch, which set her thinking about her own accessories. Her brood grew to include a ring, a necklace, and two brooches in gunmetal and rhodium, with Swarovski crystal details. As in art, so in life—is Coon an appreciator of in-the-flesh insects, too, we wondered? “Not so much,” she said with a laugh.