Sunday, January 20th
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“I fell into bag design quite by accident. I was a fashion photographer who was bag obsessed and designed my first bag for myself”
A born and bred New Yorker, Monica Botkier, first became obsessed with the fashion world around the age of nine. She started out by sketching outfits, but, like many children, as she grew up her focuses shifted. She went from wanting to be a designer to becoming a fashion photographer. As soon as she broke into the profession she was working on photo shoots with magazines like Teen Vogue, Mademoiselle, Fitness, and Seventeen. Botkier also created advertising campaigns for apparel lines like ‘Triple-Soul’. In April of 2003, after searching for her ‘ideal’ handbag and coming up empty handed, she remembered those days when she sketched her own outfits and all of a sudden her iconic bag, “Trigger” was born. Botkier designed a chic yet sexy handbag to match her ‘downtown’ lifestyle; using bold metal hardware and building in numerous versatile compartments. As she traveled from photo shoot to photo shoot, models and editors alike went crazy for her bag and she soon caught herself taking small orders. In no time at all she was designing an entire collection and by July of the same year, her handbags were being sold in Barney’s New York. Her creations became an instant hit around the world and celebrities like Jessica Alba, Lindsay Lohan, Heidi Klum and Kate Bosworth are among her countless devoted fans.
After five successful years of building her brand and unveiling a collection of approximately 40 different silhouettes each season, Monica Botkier was ready to expand. Sticking with her philosophy of creating the ideal, she launched a line of footwear in the spring of 2008. The new line, inspired by her handbags and her beloved city, included seductive heels, unique, edgy ballerina flats and sandals. Botkier created a comfortable yet fabulous shoe wanted by women of all ages. A few months later, in July of 2008, she partnered with Target, for their Limited Edition Accessories Collection, to design a line of handbags. Taking her new venture seriously, Botkier sat down and designed new looks for clutches, wristlets, and hobos in black, white, fuchsia and luxe metallics. Then in December Botkier opened a pop up store to much success and plans to someday open a stand alone store somewhere downtown. Luckily her footwear and handbag lines are a continued success at high end stores like Harvey Nichols, Fred Segal, Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman; the store in which Botkier told MyCloset.com she would choose if given an ultimatum to only pick one place to shop.
Monica Botkier still takes pictures and shoots her handbag and footwear advertising campaigns. In July of 2007, Monica Botkier was accepted as a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). In 2009, Botkier teamed with actress Michelle Trachtenberg to design a handbag, the ‘Michelle Satchel’. Pronounces her last name BOT-KEY-AIR