IN THE BAG

A llison Mitchell is a rising star in the fiercely competitive world of luxury handbags

(literally, as evidenced by her 2017 Fashion Group International Rising Star Award).

The Dallas native and Hockaday alumna recently completed a rigorous fashion-incubator program in Saint Louis that dovetailed with an award from that city’s

Arch Grants Global Start-up Competition, for which she was one of the very first fashion designers to be selected.

Last year, New York City luxury department store Bergdorf Goodman began carrying her eponymous collection. Mitchell landed in fashion design unexpectedly.

After stints in the Chicago corporate world and in Napa as a chef,

she founded a successful marketing agency in Dallas.

During her time at the agency Mitchell’s career path detoured yet again. One evening, in need of a bag to complete her look,

Mitchell solved the sartorial problem with some basic craft supplies and a healthy dose of do-ityourself spirit.

The result? A super-chic oversized clutch that became the prototype for Allison Mitchell Handbags’ signature piece,

which was ultimately rendered in luxe, brightly colored calf hair instead of vinyl and hot glue.

Fashionistas approached Mitchell on the sidewalk and in valet lines, salivating over her bag, wanting details. Before she knew it, retail buyers were calling.

Mitchell remembers, “The doors that were opening because of this bag…the signs were hard to ignore. I realized that if I didn’t take this opportunity, I would regret it.

So we launched the website for Allison Mitchell in October 2014, the week I got married.

After coming back from our honeymoon, I started selling bags to local boutiques like Elements and Stanley Korshak.”

Mitchell eventually made her way to the East Coast to be closer to her New York factory and showroom,

expecting that she would at some point move the entire business operation to New York City.

However, the increasing volatility of the retail industry led her to reevaluate the future of the brand.

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