Parsons Class Spotlight: Accessory Design

When I tell people I attend Parsons, one of the most common questions right after is, “What kind of classes do you guys take?” Strangely enough, people envision an episode of Project Runway with Tim Gunn. But before clothes can even be created, the ideas and concepts must come first! Alika Hall, transplant by way of Honolulu, Hawaii and rising Fashion Design junior, talked to me about one of his favorite classes last semester, Accessory Design. I initially knew I wanted to ask him about the class when I saw him flaunting this awesome bag that couldn’t believe he made! So I wanted to know more…


Lauren Davis: The bag you created last semester was awesome, tell me about what class that was for.
Alika Hall: The class was Accessory Design, an elective I took first semester of my sophomore year. I decided to take it because I am very interested in shoe design and I thought this class would be fun—and it definitely was.

LD: What kinds of projects did you have and what was a typical class like?
AH: Like with most studio classes, we had 3 projects for the semester. Some projects included designing an accessories collection that was luxurious and used high-end materials; another was based around trends, which included a market report. During the actual class we did a lot of critiquing. We also had a lot of time to work on our designs and talk to the professor about our progress and receive feedback as well.

Accessories collection designed by Alika

LD: When you say design, what do you mean exactly?
AH: I mean we did not actually create any of these pieces; the class was more so about concepts and sketches. However, for our final project we were assigned to actually create one of the pieces we designed.

LD: I’m already well aware you chose to make a bag. How did you select your final design and what was that process like?
AH: At the beginning of the semester our teacher suggested that we make a bag, because it is challenging and very detail orientated. So, I decided that I would make a bag based on something I had designed from my first project. I was really inspired by spiders, especially tarantulas. So I wanted this bag to be both fury and shiny. I also wanted it to be functional and something that could be used daily as a messenger bag and include pockets for a Metro Card and even a laptop. It probably took me a total of 36 hours to actually construct the bag.

Alika’s detailed flat sketches for his spider inspired handbag.

LD: Sounds amazing, make me one please! What kind of feedback did you get about the bag?
AH: Mostly good reviews. I did have a little bit of technical issues with the lining and some other things that I need to fix; but my professor liked it overall. I carried it during winter break when I went back home to Hawaii and it was pretty durable as well.

Alika taking a break from working to pose with the almost finished product!

LD: It definitely seems like you learned a lot during this class, what skills did you learn that you think will be beneficial to you for this upcoming school year?
AH: This class definitely taught me a lot technically, and I really learned how to work three-dimensionally, in terms of volumes and giving things shape. I learned about hardware, and all the other things that come into play when constructing a bag. Since I did something so detailed orientated I definitely think it will come in handy for all my projects next semester!

Huge thanks to Alika for sharing about his class experiences! 

About Lauren

Hey all! I am currently a junior at Parsons in the Integrated Design fashion program. You can usually find me creating or making things, I love a great D.I.Y. Other favorite activities of mine include thrifting, consuming frozen yogurt, dancing and discovering new music!


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