Saturday, June 9, 2007

Purveyor of Portable Style

Becky O'Neil a.k.a. Becky OH! just dropped off some fabulous new handbags for the summer season!

Becky is a trained sculptor, she studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. She has been sewing since she was about eight. "Handbags seem like a very logical combination of my two loves." Her range of handmade bags run from small wristlets to elegant zippered clutches to large shopper totes and custom work for bridal parties. She has about ten styles at any given time and adds and subtracts to her designs several times a year. "I let the fabric inspire me to new combinations of pattern and color."


Becky has been telling me about these fabulous sandals - she wore them when she delivered her bags last night (seen here with coordinating bolsa bag). Mohop sandals are handcrafted in Chicago by Annie Mohaupt, a former architect. "They are composed of rubber soling made from recycled tires, a Finnish birch plywood core, and topped with various select veneers. These components are laminated together and pressed on molds that Annie designed and fabricated herself. The graphics on the footbed of the sandals are Annie's original designs, which she screen-prints by hand at Chicago's legendary Screwball Press. Annie takes care to use the most environmentally-friendly woods, glues, sealers and inks that she can source.

The most unique aspect of Mohop shoes is Annie's patent-pending 'strapping system' (for which she has yet to come up with a proper name). Essentially, the wearer can customize her shoes by changing the ribbons that tie the shoes on. Different lengths and styles of ribbons can be used to achieve a virtually infinite number of looks with just one pair of wooden bottoms."

Becky, Annie and other independent designers create products that are useful, fashionable and unique with quality and worth that surpass mass-produced items. One small step for sandals, another giant leap for independent design!