Elizabeth Bayu is Philadelphia’s answer to Jennifer Lopez. Not only does she design and create her own line of handbags, Elizabeth Bayu Handbags, she saves time for a modeling and acting career. Her credits include Food Network’s Date Plate and TV’s Hack. In fact, she is able to combine these careers, often carrying her own designs on set. Taking inspiration from architecture, art and nature, Elizabeth Bayu Handbags enhance classic shapes with glamour.
The former Miss Susquehanna Valley and University of Pennsylvania alumni received no formal training in handbag design. Instead, she began by drawing on inspiration close to home. “Like a lot of women who love fashion, I raided my mother’s closet when I was very young,” Bayu says. “I loved looking at her vintage pieces. I loved handbags – it’s something I never get tired of, the styles and making them. It’s a constant source of fascination.”
Her dramatic custom designs include her version of the classic Kelly and an ultra-chic crocodile-embossed leather Rock Star bag, the line’s original best-seller. Colors, inspired by what Bayu sees seasonally in nature, run the spectrum from hot-and-spicy red to soft pink. She plans to include more hobos, clutches and shoulder bags in the new collection. “I like to play on shapes and styles,” Bayu says. “You do not have to make them exactly the way they used to be. You can make them your own, unique.”
She uses luxury materials, such as silk, satin and leather that are often imported. The hardware has also become a focus; she plans to begin incorporating platinum, gold and jewels in her designs. When asked who wears her bags, Bayu replies, “My bags are for the young and the young at heart.” Each bag is designed with versatility, fashion and utilitarianism in mind. “I want to design something that you can continuously use,” she says. “If you are not able to use the bag, you will not wear it.”
A true lover of the design process, her skills are not limited to handbags. She also designs gowns, clothing, shoes and accessories. She often wore her own creations during her days on the pageant circuit. No scrap material is safe in front of Bayu, who will start sketching on anything she can get her hands on, including napkins. She has even been known to create prototypes out of aluminum foil. Elizabeth Bayu Handbags are available at www.elizabethbayu.com.
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