Stephanie Wood is unique – a cocktail of simplicity, style and quality with a dash of raw electric creativity.
Her bags are as unique as Steph and are the very extensions of her character. All her products are timeless pieces made from high quality leathers and hides, carefully chosen for their colours. Her designs are meticulously finished and detailed. Let me give you an example, there’s a handbag on this site with three inside pockets lined in three different complimentary linings – and then Steph create a hidden pocket in one of them.. her bags are unique.
From her busy studio in the heart of Worcestershire, each handmade item is created with care, knowledge, craftsmanship using carefully selected materials.
You can’t buy experience, but you can own it.
Stephanie Wood grew up in a fantasy home with battlements and forests in the middle of The Black Country. This creative environment spurned her creative soul to take up a Fashion degree course at Birmingham Art College.
Whilst studying tailoring Stephanie became identified by national newspapers as one of the few women in England to design and make clothes for men. The Birmingham music scene was emerging and Stephanie found herself in the middle of the vortex of a transforming culture.
“ It was a time when there was new music, new fashions, new ideas and a new culture – when all the rules were being broken – rock festivals had started, so had psychedelic dreams, there was Swinging London, Mods, Jimi Hendrix and my brother Chris Wood became one of the co-founder’s of Traffic. Fashion was exploding with Twiggy, Mary Quant, Jean Shrimpton, Granny Takes a Trip, Mr Freedom. Even movies started changing – Blow Up, Mulberry Bush, Alfie,- every medium was being reinvented and liberated.”
Then, and now, Steph has a passion for all things British, and so started designing very beautiful men’s clothes using Harris Tweed, Vyella, and Liberty fabrics in her collections – an influence of the English gentleman mixed with the extremes of the music. At this time, even though still studying at college, Steph was supplying Mary Quant shops in London
“Men can look stylish and still be in rock ‘n’roll – just look at the style of Jess Roden, Robert Palmer, Bryan Ferry…”
A turning point in Steph’s fashion path came when she studied fashion adornments – such as covered leather buttons, belts, purses…
“As soon as I started working with leather, that was it. There was no turning back, it became the perfect medium for me. I even started designing leather jewellery.”
After a short stint with couture house Belville Sassoon, Steph also became more familiar with using beads and different metallic and glass ornaments in her designs.
She continued studying with a Master of Arts degree in Fashion & Embroidery, and it was at this point her burning desire for creating handbags started – mixing and matching different materials, textures and patterns – a fire which still lives within her today.
“Those were the days when I had the fashion freedom to do whatever I wanted. There was an inventing intensity in the air – it just fired you up.
From creating some handbags using Liberty’s fabrics, the London store started selling Steph’s clutch bags, before other prominent London fashion shops also started selling her crafted pieces – including Browns of South Moulton Street and Chic of Hampstead.
After features about Stephanie and her work appearing in British Vogue together with her annual exhibitions, Stephanie’s handbag collections started being noticed by the American fashion industry.
Mrs Bloomingdale attending a New York cocktail party one night, couldn’t help noticing an eye-catching handbag on someone else’s wrist. The next day Steph fielded a call from Mr Bloomingdale, and the rest is history.
Soon Steph’s collections were being seen in Saks of Fifth Avenue, Henri Bendels of New York, Neiman Marcus as well as being distributed to prestigious boutiques in Los Angeles and Miami.
Despite her success in the States, Steph has started refocused her annual fashion shows and collections back towards her creative roots, towards London and England -and concentrates on supplying shops in the UK, which she still does today.
However, her new foray into making her handbags available online now means she can, at last, sell directly to the discerning individual.
“It’s time to jump off the commercial bandwagon and stop manufacturing, to return to creating works of art that are handbags for individual people.”