"It's important to know as much about the technical as it is the creative."
-Frank La Mendola
Frank LaMendola is a handbag designer that we were lucky enough to work with. If you're looking for a sexy new bag—look no further!
For those that don’t know you, tell us a little bit about Frank La Mendola!
For the past 20+ years I have been designing handbags and small leather goods for manufactures who sell to department and specialty stores
I had formal training as a fashion illustrator with advanced courses in fashion design and pattern making. I have an endless passion and energy towards my work, and I have cultivated my talents and skill level in the area of product development and global sourcing.
I enjoy collaborating with other creative people and enjoy continuing to learn from others!
What are you currently working on or towards?
I am developing and building my collection of Italian handbags. In addition, I am working as a design consultant for various bag companies as a Creative Director.
What's your advice to aspiring designers?
1. Get a fashion education.
I think it's important to know as much about the technical side of design as it is the creative. I also think that understanding the market(s) and designing according to your chosen market is important.
2. Write a business plan.
Whether it's 6-months or 5 years, have a business plan is critical! Just know that it can and will evolve. There are many free resources out there that can help.
3. Get a mentor or a business model.
You can learn so much from others who do what you want to do! You can also learn what hasn't worked for them.
What's one thing you learned from working with CSM?
I learned about the importance of how we present ourselves online as creative professionals. The message(s) we send out need to be consistent—regardless of the social media platform.
What’s the best thing that’s happened to you from social media?
Actually, I'm nowhere near where I'd would like to be just yet. I would say that my strongest success is my YouTube channel (over 20K views). I think this may have to do with the visual aspect of my work.
Tony Howell is a digital strategist dedicated to helping you design your future—creating offline success from your online presence.