June 4, 2014

Trunk show to feature Wichita native’s C.A.B. handbag line

Totes, clutches, pouches and shoulder bags – Carly Beck loves them all.

Totes, clutches, pouches and shoulder bags – Carly Beck loves them all.

The Wichita native, who is based in New York City, is hosting a trunk show for her leather handbag line, C.A.B., next week.

The trunk show will be June 12-14 at Nouveau, 8107 E. 21st St. in Bradley Fair.

“The whole concept of the company is creating limited editions each month as opposed to seasons,” Beck said. “Fashion is moving so fast that seasons don’t really exist anymore. People want to buy now, and they’re looking for something special.”

C.A.B. bags are manufactured in New York and Los Angeles. The leather is from Europe and South America, according to Beck’s website.

It was important to create a product made in the U.S., Beck said.

“You lose touch with whatever you’re creating if you outsource it to a different country,” she said. “You’re just playing a different game. Now I can create exactly what I want to create but on a smaller scale. … I’m just living the dream.”

A graduate of Southeast High School, Beck went to the University of New Mexico to study political science and Spanish.

After working in Washington, D.C., for a few years, she decided to study fashion and went back to school – this time at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.

For six years, Beck worked in sales at Diane von Furstenberg in New York and was later the brand director at Steven Alan.

Later, she and a friend created Sedgwick Studio – named after Sedgwick County – and about a year ago she spun off and created C.A.B.

C.A.B. is sold online and in up to 20 stores throughout the country, mainly boutiques, at different times of the year, Beck said. The bags range from $65 to $415.

Beck plans to soon create men’s bags in addition to the current line of about 13 women’s styles that change every month.

“Accessories are fun,” Beck said. “Bags can change your entire outfit, like a pair of shoes, but they wear better than pair of shoes and can be collectible.”

Her advice for others who want to enter the fashion world is to take one thing at a time.

“Focus in on one product category, like handbags. Don‘t try to conquer the whole world all at once. Just grow organically and never lose sight of what you’re doing.”

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