Focusing On: Mad By Design

I have been waiting years and years to come across a design company that doesn’t create what sells, but creates the embodiment of design. Mad By Design‘s aesthetic and ingenius designs have completely won me over for that very reason.

They’re the kind of company that, when Cosmo says that boho is chic for fall, or winter’s craving is studded doctor bags – they probably snicker. They probably imagine all of the Forever 21, Anchor Blue, H&M and Target designers that will quickly scramble to their sewing machines with a handful of cheap canvas and a box of grommets and shake their heads in pity. Silly, silly sheep.

Mad By Design is a Chicago-based handbag and jewelry company that does things differently using bamboo, natural shell & horn, pure silk taffeta and countless other materials to create new shapes in the world of accessories. I love the shapes of their designs, and the textures they create.

I especially love their chic, almost retro shell/horn line.

Mad By Design Breathless

The sheen and the details are so spectacular… Can you imagine the compliments you’d get from this bag? Dreamy! It’s a fairly small bag (for me) at 8.5″ x 6″ x 3″ , so I’d probably use it as a replacement for a clutch at a cocktail party. Picture this with a beautiful gray or teal dress… Genius!

Black Snake Hard Clutch
Mad By Design Black Snake Hard Clutch

Veterans and loyal readers will recognize this hard clutch immediately. I love this – so unique, but reminiscent of the 1930’s. Plus, the snakeskin will be extra hot for fall/winter, so it’s perfect timing to get my hard clutch on. (Ooh, that sounded almost naughty, didn’t it?)

Large Calla Croc Tote
Mad By Design Large Calla Croc Tote

Ha! You thought they only made tiny things, didn’t you? Well, this is the beautiful crocodile (faux, of course) tote, as well as, might I add, an excellent way to incorporate a little leopard print into your wardrobe without being ultra-tacky. This bag also comes in burgundy and a rich, dark brown (called “mink”).

Tall Ebony and Ivory
Mad By Design Tall Ebony and Ivory
$62 $54.99

This is gorgeous, no? It’s eco-friendly bamboo that’s been woven flat to create this beautiful pattern and weave. This is a large bag, too, so don’t worry about what lipstick to toss in, bring your entire makeup bag! And maybe one of Mad By Design‘s cool wallets…

For the avant garde…

Red Lotus
Mad By Design Red Lotus

This is the taffeta I was talking about earlier, folded delicately, origami-style, to create this beautiful flower effect. Best of all, the folding design is on both sides, so you don’t have to keep checking to see if the correct side is facing out.

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What, you don’t do that? Pshh…Whatever

Champagne Peacock Evening Bag
Mad By Design Champagne Peacock Evening Bag

I love peacocks! Next to squirrels, they’re my favorite animal, which makes this bag almost the best bag ever. It looks very small, but it’s actually 10″ across! Another great option for an evening bag.

These are one-of-a-kind finds, and the prices are ridiculous for the amount of artisan-like detail work that’s been done. I’m simply mad for them all.

Good pun, n’est pas?


  • Kayla Meow

    OMG, what GREAT prices! You’d think such a unique look and company would have much higher prices! Wow!!!! I think I’m in love!!!

  • Sal

    What a great collection … and amazingly affordable. Thanks for showing us their wares!

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