Courtesy of Ciriaco
Which bag you choose to go with you from day to night is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. In addition to your jewelry, your bag brings flavor, style and mystique to your look and your personality. Chief architect, Ashley Ciriaco creates a line of sustainable Made By Ciriaco handbags that adds that perfect symmetrical zest of sun to sunset.
Celebrating a year after its release, the All Seasons Wand was mentioned in Forbes, Paper, and most recently Beyoncé’s website officially granting the label a staple in everyone’s closet. Designed in a “playful chic and New York lifestyle” spirit, the “Ashley Minimal Baguette” is a one-shoulder square handbag with a diagonal zipper. When designing the look, Ciriaco aimed to have a noticeable, attention-grabbing feel without mention.
“I like the asymmetry,” says Ciriaco. “I wanted to make a wand that made a statement. Do you know how to recognize a Prada baguette five miles away? I wanted to make the same statement with Ciriaco. You only know it by the form without having to get so close. ”
So far two collections have been released with the “Ashley Minimalist Baguette” in the colors Blush, Hot, Mint Blue and Neon – completing with the long awaited Cowhide collection. Inspired by ‘western-cowgirl chic’, the Cowhide collection features the minimalist Ashley wand in shades of blush, charcoal, sky blue and mocha. Ranging from $ 165 to $ 250, the handbags are 100% cruelty-free, made with vegan leather for durability.
Coming up, find out what we can continue to expect from the budding brand.
ESSENCE: You recently celebrated a year at Ciriaco. How do you feel ? How did you celebrate?
Ciriaco: I feel good. I celebrated by just hanging out with my family in Philadelphia. There were a lot of ups and downs, but I learned a lot, especially from Ah-Niyah and Jubi.
ESSENCE: What are the most striking gems that you took away from them?
Ciriaco: I’ve learned to be patient – because I’ll be too excited about new designs and colors. I also experienced a lot of, you could say, negative things. People will say, “Someone stole your design” or “Looks like this person designed it. I’m obviously not the first person to make a baguette or have their name branded, it’s part of the fashion industry – everyone is always going to take inspiration from something and make it their own.
ESSENCE: When entering the accessories and handbag industry, what are you doing to make Ciriaco different from the rest?
Ciriaco: Certainly the material. I love variety and create something that will be useful to everyone. Regarding age too – teens can wear it, women later in life can wear it, I wanted something to use on a casual day, evening or casual work, it’s universal .
ESSENCE: What’s your take on the pressures of being a black owned label?
Ciriaco: It’s scary. When it comes to shipping, couriers don’t care. They were just throwing away their boxes, so I had a few bags that were actually crushed. Luckily I know how to fix this and steam clean it to fix it. It’s scary to always have the packaging on point, but you can’t control it. It’s the way they run it in their trucks or just them in the particular area. You just hope he’s perfect.
ESSENCE: Here’s a fun question, how would you style the Ashley Minimalist Mocha Cowhide Wand for a trip to a nightlife event in New York City?
Ciriaco: I’ll probably wear nice black mom jeans and a nice brown cropped top, obviously. So maybe some cute corners for the summer and pull out my fro.
ESSENCE: Lately you’ve been posting previews and we need to know when can we expect crocodile chopsticks?
Ciriaco: Certainly by the end of July.