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Behind the Design: Meet Krista, Leather Design Director

02/28/2018

Behind the Design: Meet Krista, Leather Design Director

Meet Krista - the newest addition to the leather design team here at ABLE. She's brilliant, kind and always ABLE to brighten the room with her big smile and witty remarks. She's jumped into the design process head first and made a true splash in her short time with us.

In no time at all, Krista has become our leather expert - bringing a fresh outlook and unparalleled knowledge to the entire design process. She shared with us a little about herself and how our newest collection, the FRESH:EDIT, came to life for this new season.

Tell us a little bit about your story and how did you start working at ABLE?

Way too long of a story short: I’ve worked in fashion for fifteen years, most of it at classic brands like L.L.Bean and Fossil. I started out in textile design, which gave me a passion for materials, as well as an understanding that my work was just one step in a much larger process. Unless you’re planning to spend your life sitting at a loom in your studio, design is a team effort! Pretty early on, I found my way to leather and accessories design, and I never looked back. 

About two years ago, I was successfully working in the corporate world when a close friend lost their fight to cancer. Before he died, he asked me if I was really happy - if I would be doing the same thing with my life if tomorrow wasn’t promised. I gave him some basic answer, but it was a life-changing question. I realized that I loved the ‘what’ but not the ‘why’ of my work. It took some searching, but when I found ABLE, I knew it was where I was supposed to be. 

Tell us more about your role.

My job is to help take our already amazing product to the next level! As ABLE grows, we’re proving that socially-conscious design is not a compromise; it’s possible to be ethical while looking awesome. Every day, I get the chance to share my industry experience while learning from my incredible partners in social entrepreneurship. I love being part of a team that creates must-have pieces while empowering women at every step in the process.

Tell us what inspired the new Spring 2018 leather collection?

Our spring collection is all about reinventing the classics. We tried to create fewer, better pieces that take you not just through the day, but through your life. Pieces that are universal enough to wear again and again, but unique enough to become part of your signature style.

Do you have a favorite bag?

Right now, I’m loving the Selam Tote. It’s a perfect marriage of beauty and practicality. I’m a minimalist at heart, so the mix of clean lines and functionality really speaks to me. The exterior pockets give me the utility I need, and as the leather ages, it’ll become a piece that tells a story. That’s a win-win in my book!

When you’re not hard at work, what do you like to do in your free time? 

I spend a lot of my free time cooking. I love to travel and hang out with friends, and over the years that’s translated into more time in the kitchen. I have an adventurous palate, so it’s fun trying to recreate my discoveries on the road for the people I love at home. It’s been a great way to find common ground between my worlds. Lately, I’ve also been spending time on my slightly strange hobby - millinery. I’ve always been obsessed with hats and have been taking classes to learn more about this very old school craft. Next to bags, they’re my favorite wearable sculpture... I guess I have accessories in my blood!

 We believe that every one of us understands what it means to overcome, and we are all ABLE to find purpose in the work we do. What is something YOU are ABLE to do because of your work?

I’m able to do great work in every sense. After fifteen years in the fashion industry, I can’t believe how lucky I am to have landed in a place where I can create beautiful product that also creates a better world. The community of incredible women at ABLE is truly unique and empowering; I’m still pinching myself that I get to be part of it.

What's next for leather at ABLE?

Going forward, the goal is for our category to own it! We want to strike the perfect balance between effortless style and modern polish, all in a way that lets the ABLE woman move through the world with total confidence. This collection’s mix of function and crafted details reflects that perfectly, and it is just the beginning. Stay tuned for exciting things to come!