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Meet Johanna Boccardo Designer Of Beautiful People

Searching for a new handbag can be harder than it sounds! You want something stylish but not too trendy, something noticeably high-quality but not drenched in labels, and something that you can lug life's necessities around in... without spending your monthly rent. Oh, and it has to look good too. Sound familiar? Turn to Beautiful People's collection of classic, feminine styles the next time you're yearning for a new handbag. Designed by former children's book illustrator Johanna Boccardo, Beautiful People handbags are full of inspiration and whimsical appeal, balanced with clean lines and supple leather for an everyday, yet extra special look. The current Spring/Summer 2009 collection, titled CAPULET, has just what you'd expect from a Shakespearean-inspired line, with subtle rose details, soft, feminine shapes, and deep, earthy colors. Take a look at the big bucket bag, in smooth or crinkled calfskin with plenty of pockets. For a playful evening bag, the little rose is on our wishlist- the rosette detail combined with the classic chainlink strap is irresistible. Read on to learn more about Johanna and Beautiful People in our interview!

Stylehive: I love the Shakespearean influence of your current collection- what else inspires you?
Johanna: I believe my inspiration comes mostly from my subconscious, which holds and combines together anything my eye's can see. It could be a picture, a person, any little insignificant item or come from greater inspiration sources like literature and art. There is no doubt that my designs are a reflection of my own life and the people/objects around me. A relaxed conversation with a friend about the weather can spark my imagination, which leads me to thinking about colors and textures, and create a picture in my mind of what Beautiful People's next collection should be.

Stylehive: How does your past work as a children's book illustrator influence your work at Beautiful People?
Johanna:The training and experience I have acquired as an illustrator has provided me with the tools to take abstract ideas and transform into a creative physical piece that can be appreciated by others, be it an illustration on paper or a beautiful leather handbag! The first steps when approaching a handbag design are very similar to those of approaching an illustration: I may have a very clear idea in my mind of what I want a handbag to look like, but I need to find a way for it to come to life, and that can take many attempts before it looks the way I intended it to. I like to think of my pieces as characters, all with different personalities and styles.

Stylehive: Do you think working as a family business has an effect on the way you approach handbag design?
Johanna: Absolutely! I design for my entire family. My thought on a collection is that it consists of a family of pieces that share a tight bond among them. Once I get a clear idea of what our collection will look like, I love sharing that information with everyone in order to get some feedback and more ideas, and right after that? I lock all of my studio doors to draft and not share a single sketch until I have completed most of the designs (otherwise we would never agree and the designing process would continue forever)!

Stylehive: What are some of your favorite Beautiful People styles for Spring?
Johanna: The lovely "Juliet" is my favorite bag for Spring. I love its free-spirited style and supple texture! For weekends, nothing like the practicality of "Tybalt" and "Little Rose" for the evening - very roomy and stylish!

Stylehive: Who are some of your favorite handbag designers?
Johanna: Carla Mancini, Marc Jacobs, Mulberry and Marni.

Stylehive: What are your future plans/goals for Beautiful People?
Johanna: Our goal is to create a legacy of our own to share with the today's "young-at-heart" woman! I, personally, have the passionate idea of seeing people connect and share our vision of the 21st Century woman through Beautiful People's accessories.

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