By Diane Small
My dad was a great man, and a great artist. Stylish, too.
I remember when I was a little kid, he had this long, black leather ‘pimp style’ coat that he’d rock with his long hair and fly sunglasses. As he aged, his ‘New York in the 1970s’ made him look more eccentric than cool, so he traded it in for an exaggerated ‘British man about town’ unkept tweedy look–more Bob Geldof than Kurt Cobain.
He died over a year ago, and my mom still hasn’t thrown out his stuff, including that coat. I considered wearing it myself, but it’s far too big. When my editor assigned this story to me, I was delighted–I now know what I can do with that coat.
Aly Bond is a designer who transforms old leather coats and even upholstery into bags. From totes to clutches, handbags to wallets, no bag style is off limits to the young creator–she will even line the bags with old shirts, jackets or any other textiles you have lying around the house.
“I make all my bags myself and I’m completely addicted in working with leather,” she says.
Just as my dad’s coat is infused with memories of him as a young, punky artist and amazed new father, Aly says “Every bag is unique and has a story of its own. Each jacket has a previous life ready to be transformed into a new life–but I always try to keep the original jacket features of pockets and stitching and reuse into the bag.”
Besides allowing old clothes to take on new forms, the concept is, of course, eco-friendly, saving unused garments from becoming landfill, and giving old leather–and old memories–renewed lives.
For more information about AlyBond leather, please click here.