Sharon Elaine Fall 2006 Collection: Bringing Classic Vintage Looks Into Our Stylish Attire!

Staying classic with a vintage look is all you need to complete your weekday ensemble. Chicago handbag designer, Sharon Elaine shares her knowledge about the fashion industry. As one of few designers selected for the Macy's Chicago designer's premier of her fall handbag line, how could you resist making Sharon E. a new accessory for your glamorous night out? Gracefully, we explore why having a Sharon E. handbag means getting more for your money with top quality and style that's long lasting and trendy for all seasons.

When it comes to designing you must be creative and attentive to your customer's need, having worked at Sear's before, Sharon believed in not price gauging the customer and making handbags that don't go according to trend but to make sure you can wear it within each trend season. Having been in the business for five years and continuously succeeding, where does she find time to come up with such exquisite ideas for a leather handbag? 'I'm a huge collector of vintage styles, and some of my ideas are drawn from raiding my grandmother's closet. I really enjoy the classic look, its quality (craftsmanship) with a vintage element. So I try to incorporate that within my design, jazzing it up but continue with old world, vintage element, making it more modern.'

When designing leather handbags you must have knowledge of the material being used and to not over power the texture and leather with your design, by first finding its important feature. 'Staying classic and doing so transcends into season trends, allowing customers to wear it season in and season out for each trend. I don't try and follow the trends too much, I keep it to a minimum, although, there are certain elements I may pull. Creating few pieces of trend worthy accessories, and hardware item pieces that I can translate into for my customers that they like and I as well.'

A Nashville, Tennessee native that later moved to Chicago has seen the acceptance of her line by many Chicagoans, being one of many that can put Chicago on the map as an up and coming fashion-trend city. 'Chicago has been a fabulous market for me, being receptive to my line. I have the best clients that any designer could have, some of my clients buy multiple bags which, says a lot to me. I know Chicago is not New York or L.A but, by Mayor Daley focusing on fashion, people recognize that we are fashionable; Chicago is fashionable with how we dress, and buy seasonally. We're on a different level with how weather affects us and our spending motives, what we choose and buy. We may not take on trends of L.A, or New York because of necessity and how we dress. We are very unique, and in tuned to our winter and fall and enjoy immensely our summer and spring and take advantage of it.'

By Coach and Louis Vuitton breaking our banks to have a one of kind piece, Sharon prices are below the three hundred dollar mark for her costumers. 'Pricing, is the most important thing about the line, it's a great leather bag that you might see elsewhere for $300 and up and I'm offering it for less. It comes from my background when I worked at sears, they believed in the audience and not gauging the consumer. I have reasonable markups and that's why they never go on sale because their sold at a reasonable price.' Reasonable prices and good taste, what could we expect in the future? 'Continue growth, edginess in leather, bold hardware but yet classic enough for you to wear everyday.'

What is your biggest selling piece?

Sharon Elaine: Pocket Hobo which is the bag I first started with, it's a good fit with the curve on the inset and the shoulder. People want plain bags with a little something to it which, the hardware offers. Next, would be the Ring Hobo that comes in black and brown, and I've sold through each time. Next bags that are up and coming are the clutches and shoulder bags.

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