Friday, August 17, 2012

Holiday trend

I just fell in love!

The color blocking, the animal prints, the metallic!

Yes, I am also a shoe person, it was actually my first love before handbags...but a much harder world to dive into.  But seriously, these are awesome! 

Plus, it looks like I should be sending samples to Rachel Zoe or Rachel Bilson, since their picks look very similar to my holiday collection!

We are calling it a "Starry Night" collection.  Since it's a beautiful evening handbag collection, filled with sparkle!  Besides the classic color blocking combos, metallic snakeskin and stud detailing, we added some great neutral grey prints with pops of pink. (that's what this picture is missing...a pop of color!)

Stay tuned for more to come on our holiday collection with a sneak peak from our photo shoot!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Day at the Contractor

When I first started with Brynn, I had only worked with contractors within the company.  We work with an independent contractor; so working with them has been a whole new experience.  It has been very exciting setting up meetings with them, planning our production runs, making sure we have the materials inventory updated and ready for production, and then checking in on how the run is going.  When Brynn and I went to check up on the Fall 2012 line, they were in the process of working on sewing the Lauren Bags and cutting out the Sophie.  

To the left are the pre cut piles of Sophie bags ready to be sewn.  You can see some of the new fall colors, shown are Spill the Wine (oxblood), Imagine (blue/grey), Mary Jane (olive green), and Foxy Moma (burnt orange).  

We also went to make some changes to our overall order and some adjustments on a few bags. For example, we added a back pocket to the Sophie and changed the strap attachment on the Mini-Lauren.  Last minute changes are possible partly because we produce in Chicago!
To the right is the pile of half sewn Mini- Lauren’s waiting to be finished!  This photo shows the Spill the Wine, Mary Jane, Imagine, and To the Max (black).  There are also a few other leather and fabric colors not featured in these photos.  The contractor is hurrying to get everything done for our Liberation Collection debut next week!  Also, soon to come, sneak peek on Holiday 2012 colors!!
Your design intern Rebecca  :)

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Pre-view of Fall Inspiration

Everyone always wants to know: What is your inspiration?

It's always a funny question to me because so many things inspire me, but because I try to avoid being too trendy, it's always a hard question to answer.  I consider my collection timeless classic pieces that will always stand the "test of time".

But in light of the question, here's my best answer:

Being a So Cal girl, color has always been a part of my life, EVERY season.  Moving to the Midwest, I've had to change that a little.  And I've actually had more fun finding inspiration for fall than I thought I would.  Growing up in the 70's (yes I am officially old), I can't help but remember the  browns, mustards, olives and oranges of the decade, from mixing them with your clothes to even wallpaper (yes, our walls and even our door had wallpaper.)  Believe it or not, I still love those colors, as well as, burgundies and vintage blues. These are perfect for our Liberation Collection.

Besides being inspired by color, one of my favorite movies of the decade was the iconic Annie Hall, Diane Keaton wore menswear so effortlessly and I loved that...from houndstooth to wool blends to tweeds.

Not having a design background, I always just pull inspiration from within and get so excited when I see that my gut instinct is usually right on track.  So when I saw this "Talking Tweed" promo on for Fall 2012, I couldn't help but smile.

Our Fall collection is a 70's and menswear inspired line, honoring houndstooth and shaggy wools to the vivid colors in my memory of my youth. (I just wish I had a picture of the butterfly wallpaper covering our door to share with you!)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Meet Nicole!

Hi, my name is Nicole, and I am honored to be taking on both the PR and marketing positions here at Brynn Capella. I recently inherited the duties from the late great PR assistant Allison Mack, and I am super excited to be part of the team! Allison did a wonderful job, and I hope to continue her efforts and carry out a successful semester while I'm here.

Me with my fav bag, the Heather
I have learned a ton in the short time I've been here so far, and all of it has been truly valuable experience and education. I have to say that had my confidence shaken in the beginning, as I wasn't sure what to expect and had to get my handle on things, but Brynn has been awesome. She has shown me the ropes so to speak, and has also given me a lot of explanation and insight into her marketing and business expertise. To put it shortly, she has not just given me the 'what', but also the 'why' and 'how'.

Since then I have been working a great deal on press outreach, publicity efforts, press releases and other PR strategies. My favorite so far has to be the newsletters. Cutting my teeth with Photoshop (which I hated, but now love), and getting to design layouts as well as pitching their subject content.

I have always loved creativity and design since a very young age, and have owned a sewing machine for as long as I can remember. I used to make my own clothing and accessories in middle and high school. I was a creative little thing with a passion for design and expression, but little concern for technical aspects. Unfortunately that fact never changed, and while in school at Columbia College Chicago, I decided to switch my major from Fashion Design to Fashion Business with a concentration in Advertising Design and Marketing.

Being at Brynn Capella gives me the best of both of these worlds, as I can see the creative and design processes, how they carry into the business side as well. I am lucky to have been given a great reign of responsibilities that allow me to implement my creative thinking and passion for design with my marketing and business skills. I still have a great deal to learn, and am looking forward to the next few months!

Till we meet again...


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Color Blocking : Love it or Hate it?

It seems that no matter where you turn, there is no escaping the latest craze of color blocking. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, you should probably stop living under that rock of yours and open your eyes to what everyone can't seem to get enough of. Color blocking is putting the brightest, boldest colors together to form pure fun and flirty fashionista bliss. I must admit, it takes a brave soul to strut their stuff down the street in a bright orange and green ensemble and I most certainly not one of those people. If you're still rather shy when it comes to color blocking like myself, no need to feel left out, because even you can still take part in this season's biggest trend.  If brights on brights just isn't your thing, you can substitute one of them for a neutral piece to come up with a classic outfit with a refreshingly trendy twist. So add a little splash of color to your look, because all of the designers these days are making it hard to resist. From BCBG to Bottega Veneta, dabbling in color blocking is on everybody's to-do list and soon enough it will make Brynn Capella's. Watch out Bottega, because the holiday collection from Brynn Capella Inc. will feature color blocking that is sure to mix things up, so stay tuned! Until then, you can stay trendy by adding the perfect pop of color to your summer wardrobe with the Lauren Crossbody in Emerald Isle.

Lauren Crossbody in Emerald Isle
This bright green handbag is complimented with tan zippers, it is THE solution to those of us fearful of full-on color blocking. The Lauren Crossbody is perfect for carrying your sunscreen for a day game at Wrigley (or U.S. Cellular if you REALLY must) and even those purchases made at one of Chicago's fabulous street fairs. What better way to carry all those things you need for your summer festivities, but stay stylish in the heat than with the Lauren Crossbody by your side?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Meet Sasha

My name is Sasha and I have recently picked up where the wonderful Katie left off. It is evident that she made a huge impact on Brynn Capella Inc. and will truly be missed. We wish you good luck Katie on all your future endeavors, we know you will be great!

The beginning of my internship has already proved to be a huge learning experience. I'm lucky enough to get advice about the industry from Brynn directly and she has been great about answering my thousand upon thousands of questions, which has been really insightful- thanks Brynn! I'm definitely learning a lot about this side of the industry and getting a better idea of what I want to do with the Apparel Merchandising degree I am in the process of earning.

I have loved fashion ever since I can remember. When I applied for this internship, my first thought was "PURSES?! I can SO do this!" I was immediately intrigued and have finally gotten the chance to see what really goes into making what happens to be my favorite kind of accessory. From the design process and production to making sure that theses Brynn Capella originals find a home with fashionistas lucky enough to own one, we get to see every step of the way.

Lauren Crossbody in Champagne
An amazing outfit can give you the confidence to make you feel totally unstoppable. As much as I love clothes, I have always held a special place in my heart for purses. When I was 12, I saved up to buy myself a large Von Dutch bowling bag, because I thought it was super trendy-- and look at how well that investment worked out for me. I probably would have been better off buying a goldfish, because even a goldfish would have outlived that trend. Lesson learned was that trends may come and go, but a classic handbag will always be by your side to keep you looking and feeling good. That's why I am thinking about making the Lauren Crossbody in Champagne my new best friend...thoughts?

In this short period of time, I have already learned that these pieces are Brynn's pride and joy, but there is much more to this business than these being "just purses." For everyone who has criticized Apparel Merchandising and Design students, you have no clue what really goes into making all this stuff happen and let me tell you- it's tough work! I still have so much to learn and am so excited to get started!!!

Till next time,

Friday, May 11, 2012


Seated left to right (me, Katie Sink and Allison Mack)
I was so excited that FashionChicago finally came! During the week, we separated and organized all the bags, so when Friday rolled around, we were all ready for it! It took a little over an hour to set up and put all the bags into place. Then within the first hour, we sold a Wyoming Yellow Edie and a Winchester Lauren with continued success throughout the whole night! While we interacted with the customers, we enjoyed h'orderves and Luna Bars, with a sneak peek at the runway show. 
Mercedes and me

There was a lot of good energy and excitement amongst the people and the vendors. On the second floor was the DJ, styles of Angie, she played awesome hip music as people were mingling and shopping around. On the third level was the fashion show that ran about an hour long. It highlighted some great Chicago Designers, such as Nora del Busto and from FashionStar, Barbara Bates! 

All the interns, Katie, Allison Mercedes and I, went and had a great time! Getting a chance to be part of that experience was really awesome and we're all glad we got to be a part of it. 

The Transition

It all comes to an end, and we are never prepared for it.  I am rounding out my last week at Brynn Capella Inc. along with apartment hunting and getting ready for a summer history course – can you say YUCK???

Taking my place is the beautiful Sasha, but when I first met her, I of course had to be protective of Brynn.  I mean, this is MY territory, right?  Wrong.  Sasha was amazing right when I met her.  She’s smart, hardworking, fast learning, and is going to make a great impact at the company after I’m gone.  I have no worries about leaving her to take over.

Allison (PR) and myself (Merch) enjoying pizza during set-up
 The things I am going to miss are the random conversations Brynn and I have in her car and our multiple stops to Taco Bell when we need our fake Mexican cuisine cravings satisfied. Why do they never get my order right by the way?  When I say I want a chicken Gordita Crunch, that doesn’t mean BEEF people! 

All jokes aside though, the most I am going to miss are the people that I have met during this internship.  I had great discussions with the ladies from Veronica Riley Martens, Juliet Jewelry, Red Belly, Squasht by Les, Stylish Girl, and Evon Cassier bags.  I hope to keep building relationships with them in the future.

Mercedes, me, Allison and Brynn (Blue in the front)
My number 1 group of girls, however, has to be the fine young ladies that I spend time with in the office.  We have had to get up close and personal in Brynn’s slightly tiny office, and I have become good friends with all of them.  We are definitely a dominating group of girls.  Look out future - here we come! 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Anna Hovet - Chicago Designer

I wanted to introduce you to another Chicago designer that is making a splash into the Chicago fashion scene, Anna Hovet. 

She has a very contemporary edge and her style includes abstract designs and patterns, she's very urban and innovative, not to mention highly creative. I met Anna at the Florodora Boutique last week, when both her and Brynn were having trunk shows.  I had the pleasure with talking with her, about her travels over Europe and a little bit about her line. Anna is super adventurous and a risk taker! She is a witty, small blonde and was wearing one of her very own designs! It was a cute red flowy shirt that within a split second she snapped in the back and made it a tight fit. Anna Hovet's styles are very unique and the most original designs I've ever seen. You can wear her clothes many different ways, upside down, inside out, the creativeness goes on and on! I've never met a designer like Anna Hovet, so be sure to check her out!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Our Marketing lady, Blue, may have gone into some details on our fabulous photo shoot from Sunday, but I am going to reveal the truth.  The dirty details. What really goes on in planning a photo shoot before we hit the set.

I’ve done a couple photo shoots in the past for creative assignments, but I have never been a part of a Brynn Capella shoot…it was definitely an entertaining but crazy ride.

First, I collaborated with the amazing Allison (our PR intern) to research trends of the 70’s as well as determining what approach we should take to suggest that era without duplicating it in a cheesy way.  After we formed our concept board, we set off to the best part- SHOPPING. 

Brynn put a lovely dent in her credit card limit at Nordstrom and Anthropologie, but we got some great pieces for our models including high-waisted pants, loose tops, and other menswear-inspired outfits.  Paired with the array of Brynn’s fall bags, and we were looking forward to some “shagalicious” photos.

Oh, but the ride was not over for me yet.  Because Brynn and I are type-A people on caffeine, we decided to make sheets of all of the outfits, with all of the bags, with all of the pose suggestions in neat little packets…and yes, that did take me FOREVER to complete because my boss always likes to make last minute adjustments to ensure perfection.  Love you Brynn ; )

On the day of the shoot, all of this hard work definitely paid off.  It was definitely the smoothest running shoot for Brynn so far, and I couldn’t help but smile at the final product that I helped create.

Fall 2012 Photo Shoot

Last Sunday was our photo shoot for our Fall 2012 Liberation Collection!  

So much planning goes into a photo shoot, that I didn't realize, from rounding up the perfect outfits to coordinating everyone's schedule.  With Chicago's finicky weather, we had to reschedule the shoot, originally planned for Saturday, due to the rain. Of course, with 0% mentioned, it still drizzled a little.  Ugh!  

But we were ecstatic to have our photo shoot nonetheless.  

Carla and Kelly were troopers changing on the streets of downtown and Nicole made their hair look beautiful!  The day started off at the Board of Trade and ended up all the way to the South Loop.

Brynn had a goal to have every bag in the collection shot with our two models Carla and Kelly.  So we had to be on it, getting the next outfit ready, so no time was wasted.

Aside from the cold weather, us girls were ready to face through it, strutting all around the loop in style! This four hour shoot was very fun and flirty! The energy that day was groovy and the bags never looked better!  It that was a great success! 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Moral Tirade: Problems in Bangladesh

The aftermath of the December 14, 2010 factory fire. Photo courtesy of AP.

Hello World!

So as some of you may know, while I spend my days as an intern for Brynn Capella, my nights are filled with homework and graduate school.  One of my most recent assignments sparked some office conversation, because I had to write a piece on garment factory labor over in Bangladesh.

You might remember the factory fire from about a year and a half ago--it was one of the worst factory fires in years, and it resulted in the deaths of 29 workers.  The fire stemmed from an electrical shortage, but it just brought to light the even bigger problem of poor working conditions and low wages.  Brands like Tommy Hilfiger, H&M, Gap, and Kohl's all produced items there, and yet none of these companies did much to help remedy the problem.

That all changed after ABC News did an expose on the 2010 Bangladesh fire, and as a result most of these companies have now pledged to try and make a difference.  Our question to you though, is why were they even producing there in the first place?  They obviously didn't care about labor conditions, because even after the fire catastrophe, none of these brands did anything significant to try and change the situation.  They boast these ethical labor practices on their websites, and yet there's no evidence to support their high-minded claims.

That is just another reason why we feel so passionate about our "Made in the US" label.  Brynn goes to visit her contractors in person, and while their cost of production may be higher, at least their workers are treated fairly.  These Bangladesh workers are gated in to make sure they don't leave their machines, and their monthly wage is a measly $45--the same amount US workers were getting paid in the EARLY 1900's.

Bangladesh may be one of the cheapest places to produce garments, but it is only because sad and tragic conditions have allowed for these price points.  So to end my tirade, I would beg you to re-consider purchasing from those overseas producers; you don't always know what you're paying for, and it's just not worth the moral dilemma.

Much love,


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wildflower Power

Us girls are super pleased to welcome the Wildflower Collection! After countless hours and weeks with Brynn, we all have a chance to relax now. Brynn launched her latest addition to her hard working collection. As weeks went by, us interns have been working extra hard on making the Wildflowers shine! I had fun making sure the bags arrive to perfection. As a Social Media intern, it was my job to creatively give these beautiful bags an identity for themselves. From actually helping pick out name ideas, assisted at photo shoots to picking out each individual straps and putting them in plastic bags for protection. My hard work has paid off. Proud of what we all set out to accomplish, the new line looks great and aesthetically beautiful! My favorite color/bag has to be the Calypso Orchid Lauren, a super great chic bag that fits my style and is perfect for my liking. Be sure to find your perfect bag and see the fruits of our labor, Wildflower Power!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Florodora Trunk Show

As all of our handwork pays off, we are holding our annual trunk show at Florodora today and so far having great success! In the previous preparations we made flyers and are getting the people to come check out the jazz at Florodora!The day stared off with Brynn, Katie, and I setting up the table and had a few buys where currently there now so come check what all the fuss is about!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Look Out! Exciting Things are Coming at You!

When you think things have settled down, watch out! Something exciting is going to happen. In our case, I am overflowing with the excitement of trunk shows for spring. 

Like all of the tulips I am seeing shoot up in the streets of Chicago, I am constantly marking down another trunk show on our calendar in the office.  It’s like the slowness of winter was shaken awake by the epidemic of spring fever.

My time at Brynn Capella Inc. is unfortunately and quickly coming to close, but I am leaving with a bang.  Starting this month, I will be a part of most of these events we are doing:

April 20th –     Trunk Show at Florodora boutique
April 26th –     Trunk Show at Fixture boutique
May 19th –      Trunk Show at Spare Parts
June 2nd –       Trunk Show at Cerato boutique

I love seeing all of the wonderful people I have met through Brynn, so I hope to see all of you at these events before I leave!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

March Madness Division street

March Madness isn't just for those sporty basketball players it's going to be that season for us girls who love nothing better then shopping and sales, Saturday, March 24th and March 25th on Division Street. The boutique Frill is teaming up with Brynn Capella. For two days only get 20% off our signature handbag collection! Be sure to stop by and check us out!

Where: 1747 W Division (between Wood St & Hermitage Ave) 
Neighborhood: Ukrainian Village

Saturday - 11:00a - 6:00p   
Sunday - 12:00p - 5:00p

Twitter Truths

The Truth about Social Media and Twitter.

In this day and age, our society is constantly in sync to the internet, & usually on trendy social media sites. Whether they're staying connected through mobile or PC, these media sites are currently springing up all over the place. New sites for different interests are also getting noticed, like instagram; a photo app only designated for iPhones users. If you have interest for fashion, another site getting a lot of heat from the fashionistas and for the artsy & crafty are looking to get inspired on Pinterest. Which btw happens to be one of Brynn's favorites! And of course you have your typical sites, like Facebook, Tumblr, Myspace, Blogger and of course, Twitter.

Twitter discovered by Jack Dorsey, was created in March 2006 but wasn't launched til July. Over 300 million users are on it and many include fashion designers such as Calvin Klein, Banana Republic, Coach, Dior, DKNY and our very own Brynn Capella to name a few. They are getting their fashion spread across the world with their tweets about fun, fashion and gives us the little inside scoop on whats up, hip and hot. Be sure to follow Brynn Capella our star designer! on twitter who's tweeting about sassy bag styles & current updates on her must have bags.

Friday, March 16, 2012

I am a Lucky Girl!

Saint Patty’s day is tomorrow, and I am so excited for my first time in Chicago over this holiday.  I heard there’s a lot of drinking starting at 7am and something about a green river?  Sounds like a good time to me!

I am feeling so lucky this season with everything that I have in my life, and I couldn’t help but think about all of the good things that have happened to me while in the spirit of Saint Patrick’s Day – you know, with the whole luck thing.  Now I have never come across a pot of gold or met a giddy leprechaun; however, I have come across a city that I can call home and I have met so many new friends along the way.

My newfound luck in the windy city makes me feel it is like my duty to celebrate tomorrow and show off my Irish pride (even if I’m totally not Irish at all) by spending it with friends. Whilst I am out on the town, which Brynn Capella bag do you think I should carry with me?....and it has to be green of course!
 The bright Grace Kelly Heather?  Or go a little more subtle with the Moss Creek Lauren?

What are you doing for Saint Patty’s day?

Joys of Production

Since working with Brynn I will never look at handbags the same........

Fabric Rolls

Bins of Hardware
Every trip to the contractors is an adventure. We must have reorganized the fabric in the backroom a dozen times. It has all been a great learning experience. Now that we are going into production I  realize how important it is to keep an organized environment, not only for us but for the contractors too, and sometimes it takes more than one trip.

Another  way that  we organize the back room is bins. Since we use so much hardware we separate by bag and size. There are so many different sizes and colors that we have to make it easy to keep track. Now when doing inventory for hardware be ready for what seams like endless counting.

Hides of Leather

 Of course the signature look is leather. When getting the leather together we make sure that it is quality. One thing I do not like is when we get all the leather in, it stinks! The smell of leather is not very pleasant when it is all in one designated area. The best part is knowing everything is ordered and ready for production.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Spring is Almost Here

As the warm weather approaches, so do the new spring and summer bags. So that means it's time for Inventory day for the girls at Brynn Capella Inc.

Last Friday came and went so fast. It's actually amazing how many handbag bins fit in the office closet! After we took all the bins out, the main area was filled wall to wall with bags from season's past. It was fun seeing how much the line has evolved over the years. There were even some bags that we didn't realize were still in stock, as they aren't online anywhere. (I smell a new task a brewing.)

The morning was filled with counting every single bag and double checking our main inventory counts. After our quick Pizza lunch break, Brynn decided to have a fun session of researching names for the 70's inspired Fall 2012 Collection. From researching slang words (That's Dope, To The Max, Chill, Groovy, Foxy Mama), fashion trends (Bell Bottoms, Hot Pants, Menswear inspired) and popular movies (Annie Hall) and songs (Imagine, Heart of Glass, Brown Eyed Girl), we finally narrowed down our selections. Now besides Spring/Summer, I can't wait to see Fall too.

Lastly, we re-organizing the bins and shelves to make room for the new bags arriving soon.
I'm sure nothing will bring as much excitement to the intern girls once the new spring bags arrive! Fun bright colors to brighten the office, so as the days get warmer the anxiety grows!

Outfit Update!

So, I was browsing some local boutiques, and one of my new favorites has to be Comfort Me on Armitage.  When you walk in, you are instantly captured by the wonderful scent of homemade soaps.  After I bring myself back to reality and away from paradise, my eyes can take the rest of the store in. 
All of their merchandise is displayed in a very artful way.  As I glanced at the accessory table, I realized the table was actually a glass, fish tank made into a table.  How unique is that!

And then I saw it.  A super cute, spring dress that I have to have!  I can imagine it with this gorgeous necklace I found at Cerato boutique (another great boutique on Southport!) paired with nude wedges. 

“Mom!  Easter is approaching, and I am pretty sure they promote buying eclectic dresses for your daughters!”  : )

And don’t forget, you need a great handbag to go with this outfit.  My choice – the Sophie in the Grace Kelley color.  Perfect match!

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Truth About Pinterest

FACT: Over the past three months I have spent more time on Pinterest than I have on my homework.

FACT: I’m not the only one who’s been sucked in. Brynn’s guilty too.

FACT: Pinterest > Facebook (I may be biased). 

Hello world.

My name’s Allison, and I’m the PR intern at Brynn Capella, Inc.  I thought that my first blog post should involve something that’s on my mind, in my work, and filling up my free time—Pinterest.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with the website, it’s a social media mood board that lets you “pin” everything from your favorite fashions to the latest online meme.  Since January, I have been overloading my mood boards with runway ensembles and blogger photos, and working with Brynn to help build her own Pinterest presence.   

My questions for you: Are you on Pinterest?  What are YOU posting on your mood boards?

Talk to you soon! Oh, and check this out: Brynn's Pinterest Profile .



Friday, March 2, 2012

Old Money Vs. New Money

 Glamour, Sophistication, and long cigarettes – basics from the roaring 20’s.  And what better representation of this lifestyle, but The Great Gatsby.  It’s so influential that designers are reaching for a taste through their choice in silhouettes, silk fabrics, and feathers.

Of the inspirational designers includes Oscar de la Renta, Lam, Marchesa, and Ralph Lauren.  My two favorites?  The fabulous feather gown by Oscar de la Renta and Ralph Lauren’s beaded dress. However, they are missing one very important thing – a Cher wristlet by Brynn Capella.

Either a Windsor Rose, Slate Rock, or Seashell wristlet and you can’t go wrong with these ensembles.