FP Feather “Lipstick” purse - $250
Handbag designer ─Joe Charles creator of Foxcrow Philosophy, proves dreams really do come true with ─persistence, perseverance and an undying passion.
What inspired you to design handbags?, being that you are a graphic designer and most would expect you to do web design, layouts etc. I don’t really label myself as a graphic designer. I freelanced some projects for some people because I was good at it. I created flyers, album covers for local artists, and look-books. I was interested in building sites, but never got around to it. I never thought of designing bags to be honest. I wanted a bag to carry around my fabrics, supplies, and tools from home to school and back. Also I needed a weekender for trips. The duffel was the ideal shape for both tasks. I remember the first day I carried my duffel bag; I must have had at least 5 people ask me which designer made it. Then I started to get requests from friends, family, and I don’t have to explain the rest. I felt it would be exciting to create other products and see how far I could go with it. Handbags are a new canvas for me. It’s not a flat piece of paper. It has 3 dimensions: function, personality and style. If you know me, I’m not doing this for fame, or money, or parties. It’s the creative nature in me. I just love designing.
Tell me a little about the dream you had that inspired the logo? and what does the logo symbolize? You know the saying, “follow your dream, it will come true” believe it! In the dream, I was lost in a dark forest. I saw a fox, it ran and I chased it. It was tough following it, but I realized the forest was getting lighter and less frightening. As I’m running, I see a clearing up ahead and it’s so bright. At the same time, a crow flies over above me. It’s crowing and lands on the fox’s back. It was just amazing. Then I heard a voice, but not from the animals, “do what you love.” Fashion was my love. Now, we’re back together and this
time I will remain faithful. Personally, my logo represents a new beginning. On a design
point of view, it represents how contrasts work together. It’s the root of my design
Tell me a little about yourself as a designer? Describe your personal style? Who is your favorite designer and why? Where did you grow up ? I’ve been drawing since I was a kid. I can carve and paint too. When I was in high school,I bought a sketchbook and sketched some designs under different designers’ labels. I never actually pursued a career in fashion design until I had an internship with a localdesigner. I am a native New Yorker, born in Brooklyn and raised in Queens. At 31, my personal style changes from time to time. Currently my wardrobe consists mainly of t-shirts and jeans, and is very hipster influenced. The designer I look up to is Marc Jacobs. As a native New Yorker also, Marc lets it bust out. He pushes his creative flow to the limit without overdoing it. That’s where I’m heading with my designs.
What are some of the materials used to create your handbags? I use different types of leather, silk satin, fur, feathers, and reptile skins. I’ll use any fabric if I feel it can maximize the design aesthetics.
What are some trial and error moments that you went through before your success?
One thing I can say about starting your own business is that if you do not have any
mishaps, you really don’t have a business. I’ve had hardware development issues
(pieces I needed for backing not being in production any longer), and some aspects of
design not always practical for production. So there will always be errors made. I sort of
expect them to happen now. I don’t let problems get me down anymore. I make sure I am
prepared for anything. I have back up plans for future plans.
Did you go to school for graphic design/ designing handbags? Yes, I was in an intensive graphic design course for six months. I attended Parsons for Fashion Studies. I learned the design process and construction of women’s garments, but not handbags. There’s only a slight difference between the two in my opinion.
What distinguishes you from other renowned handbag designers? I hope the differences aren’t too far apart, but what top designers have in common is that they work hard, passion for fashion, and an eye for style. What distinguishes me from other designers is simple. I still have an imagination like a big kid. I still want to move things with my mind, I want to fly and touch the stars. My designs are filled with fantasies.
What is Foxcrow Philosophy's mission? what would you like to bring to the industry?
I’m still in a dream. I never would have thought one bag could bring me to this moment
right now. Foxcrow Philosophy’s mission is what my initial belief was for my own bag,
that is: to produce quality products that are distinctively and individually unique. If I don’t
approve it, it’s not being made. A designer once said, “I design with a pencil, not with a
calculator,” and I strongly follow that. The industry can be cruel or inviting to a new
designer. What I’ve brought and am looking to bring is what consumers are missing. Not
everyone wants a monogram bag, a buckle on the handle, or weighed down hardware.
People are looking for something different. I’m not saying I will never design bags like
those, but for now my direction has been to the left.
What should consumers look forward to in the future from Foxcrow Philosophy?
Currently, I’m taking in everything slow and steady. Designing handbags is Foxcrow
Philosophy’s main focus. Yes, we’re experiencing achievements, but success is when we
introduce other products like scarves, jewelry, and fragrances. For now, my goal is to
keep Foxcrow a fun luxury brand for the fashionistas of the world.
FP “Bowler” Satchel - $515
FP “Lipstick” in Red Patent - $150
visit www.foxcrow.com for more of Joe Charles designs