We are featuring Hammitt’s Corey Reversible Cross Body Bag ($485) in Glacier. This bag is extraordinary – versatility, supple texture, elegant design and high quality construction puts it in the must-have category. The leather Corey Reversible Cross Body can be worn with flap facing to the front or back and can be used as a clutch when the straps are detached. The rich metallic luster with contrasting brushed gold makes a statement ideal for ringing in the new year.
Hammitt’s slew of handbags has claimed the title of “It Bag” being seen on celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Kerry Washington, Britney Spears, Ashley Greene and Kaley Cuoco. The brand has also been featured in Vanity Fair, People Style Watch, Lucky and WWD. The Los Angeles based luxury accessories brand is distinguished by its classic, effortless handbag designs that are destined to last a lifetime.
We interviewed Hammitt’s CEO Tony Drockton about the identity of the brand and the entrepreneurial spirit that propelled Hammitt into success.
Hi, Tony. We read that you grew up in the Midwest. What was it like growing up in Ohio?
TONY: The midwestern values of hardwork, commitment and integrity are the pillars Hammitt was built on.
How did you end up in Los Angeles building such a successful brand?
TONY: I came to the West coast right after graduate school, and launched my first company in the early 90s. Being from Ohio, the allure of sunny days and the beach seduced me into staying. With my first two start-ups, success came easily so I thought fashion would take right off. A few years into it, I literally lost my house, wife and dog but I never give up. I stayed focused on what was important in building a fashion brand and knew it would just take more time than I originally planned for. It was all worth it.
What is the story behind the company name? We’ve noticed the handbag and footwear line all have names of people, can you explain that?
TONY: Hammitt is the last name of our founding designer. Our handbags are named after the men in our lives. The “Paul” is named after my father and our smaller version of this bag is of course, named after me. We love our dogs at Hammitt and they are a big part of our family, so we named our footwear after them.
What is your inspiration for the design of Hammitt?
TONY: When I started Hammitt my love of art, architecture and design were my inspiration. But now that I have a design team, we draw most of our inspiration from the casual California lifestyle where function and fashion are equally important and comfort can never be sacrificed.
Can you describe the process of creating a handbag from inception to hitting the shelves of high-end retail stores?
TONY: The design cycle is constantly in flux and while you must focus on what’s ahead, you must never lose sight of now. For example, we are currently designing Spring 2018 but our main focus is how are fans are embracing our current collection. We always start with the customer and begin designing from there. If what’s on your shelves right now is not resonating with our fans, we’re in trouble. Our design process works backwards from the consumer embracing our designs to the seamstress finishing up on a newly completed silhouette. When everything in between is focused on the customer, you have a great design process.
What advice do you have for aspiring designers?
TONY: There are many different types of designers in the world. For the truly gifted designers that can create something beautiful in their mind that is also a top seller at retail, I don’t have any advice. They are simply amazing. For the rest of the designers that want to be successful, remember this, if someone isn’t willing to pay full price for your designs, it probably should not have been made and you have to try again. Never quit, pay attention to the customer. Don’t hate me for this!
What will we expect to see in 2017 from Hammitt?
TONY: We are expanding our footwear collection. This will include boots and athletic, along with flying handbags and self driving clutches. Haha.
Sounds like Hammitt is taking the phrase “flying off the shelves” to the next level! We appreciate you taking the time to interview with us, Tony!
Get acquainted with Hammitt and scope out the new styles at http://www.hammitt.com.