When accessories designer Andrea Crouse teamed up with Christian Francis Roth on our first ever handbag collection this past fall, she made Betty and Veronica come to life, in accessory form! Here she gives us the low-down on how she made it in the fashion industry, and whether she's a Betty or a Veronica!
BV: How did you start your career in designing handbags & accessories?
AC: Though I studied clothing design, it was an internship in London that opened the doors to the growing handbags industry. I began my career freelancing in New York, designing all sorts of accessories for various companies. Once I landed a full-time job at Kate Spade, that pretty well solidified my future in handbags.
BV: What is your favorite part about being a handbags designer, and have you had any favorite projects that you have worked on?
AC: I love that with handbags, we're not restricted to designing around the body the way we are with clothes or shoes. Anything is possible. The sculptural novelty bags we did at Kate Spade were always fun because each one posed a new challenge as a designer. Betty & Veronica is definitely on my favorites list, too. I'm pleased with the quality of the products, I love researching through the years of Archie Comics archives, and our customers are really inspiring with their #BVstyle!
photo by @ndreacrouse
BV: Are you a Betty or a Veronica?
AC: I'm into fashion, so I'd like to think Veronica. However, I probably have more the personality of Betty..!
BV: Describe your own personal style in 5 words or less!
AC: Casual/elegant, with a touch of fun.
photo by @ndreacrouse
BV: Where do you go for inspiration in creating new accessories season after season?
AC: I live in Paris, where I love to comb through the local flea markets for vintage finds. Then I go to places like Le Bon Marché and Printemps to see what designers are currently doing. I'm a big fan of little design details, which I normally don't notice until I see a design in person.
BV: Do you have any favorite designers that you look up to?
AC: My favorites change through the seasons, but Miuccia Prada remains consistent. Her collections are smart yet surprising, and she's not afraid to have fun with her clothes. Last season I was thrilled to see Prada do a comics-inspired collection, with similar graphics to some of our BV bags that were already in production.
photo by @afashionnerd
BV: Any advice for someone who wants to get into the handbag/accessories design industry?
AC: Start with an accessories design program, learn how to draw fast & accurate, then do as many internships as possible. Keep a great network, and be prepared to work hard throughout your career - passion is essential!