Member Since 2011
Name: Hillary Lammens, founder and designer Cecelia
Location: Rowayton, Connecticut
Product: Cecelia Matte Python Convertible Clutch
When Hillary Lammens launched Cecelia, her line of luxury handbags, her idea was to create simple yet chic accessories that were “beautiful on their own, not over-styled,” she says. With her Matte Python Convertible Clutch, she’s created an understated yet super chic bag that can go everywhere from the boardroom to the red carpet (where clotheshorses such as Rachel Bilson, Alexis Bledel and Jennifer Lopez have been spotted carrying it).
What inspired you to create the Matte Python Convertible Clutch?
I was inspired by a vintage clutch of my mother’s—navy satin with a bow detail. It was totally not me but I loved the way it folded over. That clutch was not convertible to a shoulder bag but I liked the option of having it used two ways.
How was the clutch made?
I work with a fantastic production manager and co-designer who helps me with all things technical, and I took the vintage clutch to him. We discussed how to translate it to a modern piece and took this to our manufacturer, who made a sample for our review. Depending on which materials are used, the simple shape makes it almost chameleon-like, which was another thing we loved about this style.
What was the big aha! you had while creating this product?
The aha! for me with the convertible clutch was that it packs flat, and that in combination with the two ways it can be worn really makes for a functional and chic bag.
Can you describe your creative process?
I’m very visual and am constantly tearing things out of magazines and looking through books…the other day I saw an ad for a Persian rug with the most amazing colors and so those colors might show up at some point. I stay with classic, clean silhouettes that will have staying power and be as beautiful in 20 years as they are today. Materials are a major focus and that is my favorite part of the process—I could spend all day in those showrooms! I enjoy sketching, but there’s always room for improvement there!
What do you love about what you do?
While it is not easy creating and running a business alone, the moment I see finished pieces and still get excited about them is fantastic. I’m also fortunate that stylists and fashionable girls have embraced the line, so it’s also exciting to see a red carpet moment or your bag show up on the arm of a trendsetter!
How would you sum up your aesthetic/design philosophy?
Chic, clean, classics with an emphasis on standout materials that are as beautiful to touch as they are to look at.
What are you working on next?
I am working on another collection and have optional semi-precious embellishments on that will be available soon. They offer more versatility and are so chic.
What would you like to do other than your current occupation?
It sounds cliché, but if I could extend the line into a lifestyle collection, I have that all waiting in the wings. Outside of design: I worked in production events at MTV in my former life and always wanted to produce movies—I’m obsessed with movies! I’m a multi-tasker so I’m available…