Quintessentially Australian in every way, the 'Convict' label was launched in September 2013 by Georgina and Karen. Their design philosophy is timeless luxury that reflects the raw beauty of Australia and that ethos runs through everything they do. Made by Australian leather artisans from the softest of cowhides and leathers; their bags are luxe, understated, pared back and unique. Each one tells a story ... named after a female convict and with a passage from Dorothea Mackellar's iconic poem 'My Country' woven into the lining. Their bags are refreshingly "bling-less" but totally timeless and cool. We're big fans.
What’s your background(s)? Georgina has an industrial design background with many years experience in product and graphic design. Karen has an advertising and communications background at a senior level. We both have creative souls.
How did you meet and what led you to start Convict Bags?We literally live a couple of streets from each other and met through mutual friends. We recognized something in each other and soon starting doing a few small projects together. We would often talk about something bigger but it wasn’t until we both had a change of circumstances that we decided to take the leap! Convict wasn’t our first idea, fortuitously the other fell through and we went on to develop our mutual love of handbags.
Why the name “Convict”? We wanted a strong Australian name that had a story to tell. We brainstormed hundreds of names and discarded them; then Georgina came up with Convict. Instantly we knew it was ‘the one’ and couldn’t believe our luck that it wasn’t trademarked! I’ve since discovered that I have a Convict in the family and also can’t believe my luck!
Where do you get inspiration from for your fabulous designs? It comes from our mutual love of Australia, the landscape and our lifestyle. It’s not manicured or pretty but has a wild and raw beauty juxtaposed with our barefoot lifestyle. That’s our inspiration, raw beauty and barefoot! We know what we mean!
Tell us a bit about your design philosophy? We always have ‘raw beauty’ in mind; you won’t find us producing ‘blingey’ designs. Our designs are pared back and utilitarian with a luxe-y feel.
Where are your bags made? From the beginning it’s been really important to us that our bags are made in Australia as we want to contribute to Australian industry. We have built a network of amazing leather artisans throughout Australia who hand make our bags.
What is it about your bags that set them apart from the competition? That’s hard for us to say, perhaps it’s the combination of good design high quality leathers and quality making, but also the story they tell. We find our customers reject fast fashion and are looking for meaning and connection in their purchases. They don’t want mass produced, disposable fashion.
Is there an ‘average’ day? There’s a multitude of ‘average’ days (does that make them no longer average?); production-focused days, at the desk organizational and operational days, delivery days, design or trade event days, strategy/planning days. And a sometimes a little bit of all those days!
What’s in the pipeline for Convict Bags? Drumroll!!!! We’re opening our very first retail store in Perth CBD in October this year. Ultimately we’d like a little hole in the wall in each capital city, extend Convict into other categories and export. For now, it’s one step at a time.
You can purchase Convict Bags online via www.convictbags.com