Burgeoning designer Brandon Blackwood does exactly what he wants, when he wants. One day, it’s designing an exclusive bag for the latest Saweetie collaboration. The next, it’s getting his cult pieces on the set of new Sex and the City reboot, And Just Like That. Today? It’s the debut of his first runway show. BAZAAR.com spoke with Blackwood, exclusively, about the decision to do it now rather than later. His response? “I just felt like it.”
“One day, I just came into the office and was like, ‘You guys we need to do a runway show,’” Blackwood says—noting that his team is always terrified in the beginning of his big ideas. “I kept saying, ‘We need to do something crazy visual.’ So that next week, I was in the atelier creating the first coat.”
Blackwood first entered the market in 2015 with four bag designs, named for his close friends and brother. But it’s the statement-making End Systemic Racism totes, which went viral last year, that have since created a fleet of coveted designs. With each new style selling out almost as soon as it drops, it has become increasingly clear how fans have managed to amass their own curated collection. As a result, the eponymous label has catapulted to fame seemingly overnight.
The Brooklyn native’s fall 2021 offering proves he has more tricks up his sleeve than great handbags. “I want everyone to see the direction in which we’re taking the brand.” Blackwood divulges. “The new outerwear is really an aid in tying the collection together with the eyewear, the small accessories, and the handbags,” he continues. “The coats are the perfect cherry on top to make the whole fantasy come to life.”
In the new lineup, you’ll find trend-driven updates on what have become some of BB’s core styles. Its classic Kendrick trunk is elevated with rhinestones and other tactile details. And the Kuei tote is reimagined in tufted materials that echo the industry’s current obsession with plush accessories. But it’s the new silhouettes that stand out. A classic twist-lock Bowen bag is set to be your new everyday favorite.
The pieces are just what you would expect from the brand: playful, luxurious, and a little over-the-top. It’s the design aesthetic Blackwood has become revered for in the industry and what fans have come to look forward to with each new release. As far as which styles make the cut? That’s really up to his 452,000 followers on Instagram. “It’s really about trial and error. I do a lot of teasers because your customers are literally the ones that are going to be buying and wearing the bags. It’s really the best way to expand your think tank, and I can always get a feel for the reaction right away,” he says.
See Brandon Blackwood's fall 2021 collection here. Select styles will be available October 28, at 8 p.m. ET, online at brandonblackwood.com.
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