Meet Hayley, Alf's Senior Designer, toddler mum, artist, and the face of our Winter collection.
Not only did Hayley and her two year old son model for our new collection, she also helped design them!
Can you describe the process of creating Alf bags, from initial concept to final product?
Working closely with Sophie and our Production Coordinator Lucy, we create new styles based on gaps in our current range, trends and best selling Alf styles.
I sketch all designs out first on paper and then move to the computer where I CAD the design up and finalise all details (like hardware, strap ends, stitch details). I then create a detailed spec in Illustrator with front/ side/ back/ base views that include annotations, measurements and reference images.
Once we receive the sample, Sophie, Lucy and myself review these as a team and then have our team in the office wear-test them (it helps almost all our team are parents). The team then provide us feedback on functionality before we send final comments back to our supplier. We can see up to three samples before we place an order.
How did you gather the inspiration for the new colourways in the Winter collection?
Our inspiration often comes from colours we love, and we think our Alf community will love. Black is our best selling colour, so we introduced Fig as a new take on our classic neutral - and we are all obsessed with it. Khaki adds a bit of colour to our collection, but we made sure it was still a classic, and easy to pair with other colours in majority of women’s wardrobes.
What do you consider when designing a baby bag to make it both stylish and functional?
As both a designer and a mum, my main aim is to create aesthetically pleasing, beautiful pieces that are highly functional. It helps that we have a lot of parents I the office with kids of all different ages, so wear-testing and feedback is a very important part of my design process. I then aim to pair this with a sophisticated aesthetic. I like the idea of creating bags that look somewhat minimalist and classic at first glance, but upon closer inspection you discover they have all this secret functionality.
Does your adorable son (featured in our photoshoot) share your love of drawing and art?
He actually has just started getting into drawing, colouring and painting which has made me so happy inside! For the first few years he was more into building things with blocks and LEGO and I thought he was following more in his dad's footsteps (who is an Engineer).
What advice would you give to new mums who are struggling to find the perfect baby bag for their needs?
I feel like everyone has to start somewhere to work out what they really value in a bag and how much they actually want to carry. Personally I usually tend to opt for the larger styles (like the Luca Backpack which is my daily go-to) as I carry a lot (including a giant Frank Green water bottle, yep I’m that girl) so bigger bags work for me as I can have multiple secret stash spots that I can separate my stuff from kid stuff.
What Alf bag are you currently using, and what is your all-time favourite?
I love the Luca Backpack (and my husband likes it too, which is definitely a bonus). I've taken Luca on day trips to Rotto, multiple plane trips and grandparent sleepovers. I also love the Vegan Zoe backpack and wear this when I don’t need to carry as much, and also when I’m going to work as it fits my laptop, giant drink bottle, pencil case, notebook. Another staple is the Everything Bag which I use for swimming lessons and beach trips it can fit literally everything and probably the kitchen sink too.