Pressing rivets and cutting leather is just a typical afternoon in the studio for Toronto accessories designer Hilary Cluett.
Handbags adorned with sheepskin, spikes, leather tassels, two-sided rivets and more can be seen in and around Downtown Toronto. For Cluett’s bags, the possibilities are endless.
Part of her inspiration comes from Kensington Market, where she creates and finds all of her materials.
“I love that you can walk around and there are so many different kinds of people to see during the day. There is so much creativity,” she said. “I use a few different local suppliers to get materials for my bags. You can find amazing leather and metal accessories around there. You start to get to know people.”
Cluett has a background in experimenting with challenging and rare mediums. “I studied Material Art and Design in Toronto for three years,” she said. “I got to work on projects like making alloys with molten silver, casting bronze and laser engraving and pattern stamping on leather.”
She uses her intuition and experience to create her bags, testing prototypes before putting the designs up for sale.
She has readymade pieces for purchase at Hart & Hive at 353 College Street. She also works with her clients to create custom eye-catching designs through her website thehcfu.com.
By Liz Bevan
What hood are you in?
I work in a studio in Kensington Market.
What do you do?
Accessories are generally what I design and use various metals and leather as
my primary materials.
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working to expand my repertoire and experimenting in new forms and materials.
Where can we find your work?
I have pieces available for sale at Hart & Hive on College Street.