Accessories designer and Ally Capellino founder Alison Lloyd returns to her roots and adds unisex clothing to her acclaimed accessories brand
Since the turn of the millennium, Alison Lloyd’s accessories label Ally Capellino has consistently created product that’s focused on style as opposed to fashion. Her line is contemporary and attempts to cater for all types of bags that men and women could possibly need on a daily basis – from rucksacks and travel bags, to satchels and coin purses.
With a background in womenswear design, Lloyd was looking for a way back into clothes. The answer came through cycling: a method of transport that runs in unison with Ally Capellino, the brand, and Alison Lloyd, the person. In celebration of the pushbike, Ally Capellino has created ‘Supernova’ – a capsule collection heralding Lloyd’s return as a clothing designer.
Made from ultra-light technical fabrics, the waterproof jackets and bags are targeted for the commuter, or really anyone with a sense of style and appreciation for well-made products. Here, we speak to Lloyd about the return to clothing design, working with technical materials and channelling her inner tomboy.
How did you first move from designing womenswear to making bags and accessories for men and women?
My partner and I split up and with it went the business. When I started again I fell into accessories, as they were a bit easier to manage on a smaller scale. They didn’t have to fit different sizes either, and I really enjoyed the challenge of starting a new business.
I applied a clothing approach to the bags at first, but the soft feel was quite different. I didn’t know anything about leather, so I had to learn that on the job.
Which part of designing Ally Capellino products do you enjoy most?
I love the research and finding the materials and leathers that work off each other. In clothing I love the tailoring and pattern cutting. Finally, I really enjoy the teamwork involved in any presentation, be it a fashion show or a shoot.
We know you’re a fan of cycling, but what drove you to design a whole collection dedicated to it?
We’ve been working on functional clothing and tech bags for a while now. Plus cycling is really popular in the company and with our customers, so some slightly glamorous and whimsical pieces were a joy to add to the Ally Capellino family.
The ‘Supernova’ collection incorporates technical fabrics, reflective materials and aluminium film. What was it like working with fabrics that you usually don’t handle?
I’ve always responded to materials and when I originally did clothing there were always technical and contrasting materials. I am quite a magpie I guess and this stuff was irresistible. I wouldn’t say they were that unusual for me; I’ve always liked a sporty edge as well as the influences of uniforms.
Can we expect more ‘technical’ and unisex Ally Capellino products in future?
Oh yes, if we can use technologically advanced fabrics then that’s great. It’s nice to get some very modern looking materials mixed up with the more triad stuff as well. I don’t see a problem with unisex in this area – our womens’ looks are best when approached in a somewhat tomboy way anyway. But there are differences in size, so it does need individual attention.
Ally Capellino is a British designer of accessories and bags for men and women