Decked out in our girl’s night out best, my friends Carrie, Maria and I headed to the Art Institute of Seattle’s (AIS) Americana Luxury: MOD Explosion fashion installation curated by the Victoria Stowe Collection. The evening was orchestrated by AIS Fashion Marketing students, enrolled in the 3D Visual Merchandising class by Yuliya Suleymanova.
Russian-born Victoria Stowe, a fashion historian, sat with the intimate crowd and presented a history of American mid-century designer luxury skin handbags. Her book, Exotic Skin Handbags: Alligator and Crocodile, outlines the 100-year history of prestigious exotic skin handbags, and their place in fashion as ultimate status symbols recognized since the 19th century.
Victoria has devoted over a decade to researching 100-year history of exotic skin handbags and has assembled an incredible collection of history, which was on display that evening.
It was fascinating to listen to her talk (her accent alone is just beautiful to listen to) about the history of high-end brands such as Hermès and Lucille de Paris, the implementation of the Endangered Species Act in regards to the use of exotic skins, and even the meticulous detail it took to create each unique bag by hand.
If you are interested in reading more about the history of these handbags, you can pick up a copy of Victoria’s book on Amazon here.
Stayed tuned for more upcoming events put on by the students at the Art Institute of Seattle!