Checking In: Collina Strada Launches Ready-To-Wear

Hillary Taymour of Collina Strada has been whipping up distinctive leather satchels and slouchy backpacks since 2008. Known for her signature strips of thick, layered leather and appealingly practical shapes (leather bike bags, anyone?), Strada has a number of devotees among the city's downtown set.

Starting this spring, fans will also be able to partake of Taymour's new collection of suede ready-to-wear. We caught up with the designer to see how she transitioned her aesthetic into garments. 

What's keeping you busy this winter?
I'm currently working on my Winter '12 collection and starting with my lookbook, which we're shooting in the next week or so. I've also been trying to teach myself the art of macramé! ... I'm also expecting my first NYC puppy to arrive next week. He's a little Minnie Merle ball of fluff with blue eyes. I'm super excited.
Are there any handbag trends, or particular styles that you're loving this season?
Pouches and small bags are in high demand right now. I'm also working on the perfect size backpack for my next collection!

What made you decide to launch ready-to-wear?
I've always wanted to do ready-to-wear since the launch of Collina Strada. This season just seemed like the right time to start.
We noticed that many of the same motifs on the bags appear in the collection -- horizontal strips of leather, for example. Was it difficult to transition your bag aesthetic to other garments?
I wanted the garments to really work back with the brand aesthetic and I think it was an easy transition. I wanted the collection to be very true to the brand and recognizable. It’s all washable suede clothing and I just love the concept of leather clothing you can wash.

What has the reception been like so far?
The response has been great! We have a bunch of stores picking up the collection -- it will be out in February.

Where did you look for inspiration for your upcoming Fall '12 collection?
I was really inspired by patterns from all over the world for Fall '12. I'm always inspired by exotic lands -- often found on Tumblr! I wanted to give unique colors to the collection while at the same time making everything really wearable.

Your colors and prints are always so distinctive. Any hints about what we can look forward to next season?
I have some super fun patterns coming! Try to think "Mongolian hieroglyphics," if you can.

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