Materials & Construction
Aimee Bruyninckx is an experienced Senior Handbag Designer. Seeking freelance design and/or contract development work. Experience in Handbag Design, Print/Material Design, and Management. Currently working on design projects in development and research.
What should everyone know about you?
AB: I have spent the last 12 years designing and developing fabric and leather handbags. I started with a degree in apparel design and manufacturing and quickly realized my love for 3-dimensional design of handbags over apparel. I have worked for Fossil, Jon Hart, Kelly Moore bags, Sperry, Skagen, Ona camera bags and many smaller start up companies. Through these positions I have not only developed my interest and knowledge of product development, construction and design, but have also become involved in the business side of growing a product line over the years. I really enjoy working with people and overseeing creative projects.
How would you describe what you do?
AB: Currently I freelance for a variety of companies who vary in size and maturity of company. I work with a few start up companies who are needing initial concepting, inspiration boards and design, as well as help sourcing factories and materials. I also design bags for companies who have been in business 20/30 years who need help with moving their lines forward aesthetically and are looking to grow their business with new handbags offerings, mens bags or small leather pieces.
Why did you choose to be a designer?
AB: I love the creativity involved in construction, materials and really enjoy working with people. Its really exciting for me to help people/businesses actually develop their business or product ideas and to see it all come to fruition.
What steps did you take to become a designer?
AB:I graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in Apparel design and Manufacturing. Then began a small handbag line while in school and absolutely loved handbags, mainly the construction involved in a 3 demensional product. Quickly realized I loved 3d vs apparel design… Have since learned alot about process and business thru internships with clothing companies. I have continued my education by taking various classes over the years.
Best/Most Challenging part of your job?
AB: The best and most rewarding part of my job is being able to see my designs become saleable products in a store, with so many choices of materials and constructions there is always an unknown factor of actually knowing how product will make up. This can also be challenging to make sure you achieve the correct materials that also fall in the correct price point.
If you weren’t a designer what would you be?
AB: Probably an art teacher. I really love art and all that is involved in the creative process.
How did you get started in design?
AB: A few things-I was exposed to alot of sewing and art thru my mom at a young age. While in school I started a small handbag line at a local shop-it was fun to work with the store owner and really started my love of design and handbags. I then worked for a small clothing and denim company in New York, which really confirmed my interest in design and love for the process of creating saleable products.
What do you like about what you do?
AB: I really enjoy the creative process of brainstorming ideas and the people I work with. I have learned so much thru having great managers. At the start of my career I learned so, so much about the business and travelling on development trips. I have also had the opportunity to manage people and really love this aspect as well.
What’s a common misconception people have about what you do?
AB: That I sew all the time. While I do that here and there to see constructions work out and review patterns, I mainly sketch by hand and create most drawings digitally.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
AB: I hope to still be doing exactly what I do but on a more advanced level. Possibly working only for one company on a focused project-rather than for multiple people.
What sparked your interest in design?
AB: I have always been interested in design and sewing, on my own and decided to continue to pursue design in school.
How has your work evolved since you began your career?
AB: I have become more efficient in the process, it takes time to become more aware of materials, constructions of the end product. Also I have grown my knowledge of the handbag business-what is sellable, and what is not.
Are there any types of clothing/footwear/accessories that you avoid wearing?
AB: Yes, I like to keep things pretty simple. I tend to like neutrals and great simple well designed products
What are you fascinated by at the moment and how does it feed into your work?
AB: Clean, simplified construction. More forward thinking materials. I really am inspired by geometric shapes and lean more toward cleaned up bag/apparel constructions with less hardware and detail.
What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your career?
AB: I have learned to be more open minded when it comes to people and design. There is really thought, intention and beauty put into most every product and company.
What advice would you give to young designers?
AB: To explore and learn from everything/everyone. Travel, be mentored, do internships, allow yourself time to grow all the time (even as you advance in your career). When you are given creative talents I think you need to explore and be patient, to give yourself a chance to develop and learn what your strengths are.
What would you like to achieve before the end of the year?
AB: I have a few really fun business projects currently I am excited about growing. One well established accessory company who has huge growth potential and potential to push the line aesthetically, and another new fun modern line I am working on. Have seen big things this past year for both and so looking forward to what happens with them this upcoming year.
Are you superstitious or do you have any rules you live by?
AB: Work hard, hustle and to give yourself grace too.
What’s your motto?
AB: Pay close attention to detail whether in design or creating packages for development. I am triple checking everything aesthetically in the market and with my specific handbag projects too.