I have joined my lovely friend Ayanna for the release of her new campaign, “ALC My Way”. ALC My Way stands for Ayanna Listenbee Collection My Way.” ‘It features modern and respected style icons while celebrating their one of a kind take on styling the classic clutches and handbags from her line.’ Below you will see how I styled the The Celeste Mailer in Apple. But first, I would like to introduce you to Ayanna. She has a deep soul, beautiful heart and rich passion for creativity. Hear how her stunning collecting began…
Tell us about your history as an artist.
I’ve always loved art + design and have been drawing and designing since I was a child. I began working in the industry after college while designing for myself and private clients. In 2002 I started making handbags out of hand dyed brocade from Mali because I wanted something different than what I was seeing in the stores. I began selling these bags at craft shows and home shows. I moved on to leather goods in 2004 just before the birth of my son, because I wanted a chic diaper bag to carry. Since then I have transitioned into an online boutique, which has been open for 3 years now and continues to grow. My line has also evolved into scarves (another accessory that I have a major addiction to) and will evolve into more handmade lifestyle goods and a few choice home goods as well.
What is the main inspiration behind what you do?
The philosophy of my line is rooted in beauty and individuality, and in the resulting stories that style statement pieces can create when expressing that. I love when bags get passed down from mother to daughter. I love when I can pull out a scarf and remember my mother doing the same as I watched her dress when I was a child. I love when a woman can pull out a piece of clothing and remember what happened while she wore it. While others may see fashion as superficial, I believe it plays such a memorable roll in the backdrop of lives and our memories.
How is your collection an expression of your creativity with God?
As a believer, my designs are part of my personal relationship with God. He continues to unfold my purpose through the gifts He’s given me. He inspires my creations and I see His hand in what I do. I believe the industry needs to see the dynamic faces and styles of what people who love God look like. That things like art, fashion and personal style matter to Him.
Why do you focus on limited editions and one-of-a-kind collections?
One of the reasons I started designing was because I didn’t want to have the same outfits that everyone else had. Most of my bags are limited editions because I like to keep things interesting. I believe that how the bags are made are part of the overall story of the piece. I want them to feel like a treasure to the women who invest in them. Our silhouettes are classic which makes them timeless. Changing out the colors and textures on timeless silhouettes gives the styles new life. It also allows me to frequently add in new designs based on inspiration from my travels and life in general.
How did this inspired the campaign?
As you can see, I’m passionate about the deeper layers of style. I wanted to create a campaign that reflected that. I want it to have the same vibe as my collection. High quality, limited edition, and substance filled. That’s why I decided to space out my features and carefully select people that capture the energy of my brand through who they are. I want to focus less on the bag as an accessory that just looks pretty, and more on the statement story behind it.
If readers can attach a deeper meaning to their style choices, then my heart is happy. Hearing why someone chooses to put what they put in the bag, how they feel when they wear a bag they feel confident about, or even how the bag influenced their outfit choice…I’m just fascinated by it. It’s the things I wonder and think about when making them. I care about the woman who the bag will eventually belong to.
If that back story didn’t inspire you, I don’t know what will! I love hearing the motivation and the heart behind art and fashion. It brings so much life and meaning to what may seem like a simple piece. I love that as she makes her bags and clutches she thinks and cares about the woman who will be wearing it. It just brings so much depth to your accessory. What I love the most about her bags and clutches is not only the quality but the uniqueness of each item. See how I styled The Celeste Mailer in Apple below. She has been so kind to offer my readers a 15% discount off your purchase, March 23d- March 27th. Use code: RUTHIE15 @ checkout. Shop here.
Just a few gorgeous pieces she has created in the past: