Meg Musick-Makely is a returning artist at this year’s One of a Kind Show and Sale® Chicago who creates custom handmade accessories using only unique and exotic leathers from around the world. The real centerpieces of Musick’s line are the custom leatherwork pieces that utilize luxurious leather and exotic skins to create one-of-a-kind shoes, handbags, belts and accessories. With her showroom based in Highland Park on Chicago’s North Shore, Makely has been designing accessories for 15 years.
I had the opportunity to speak with Meg earlier this week about the creative process behind her designs and what makes the One of a Kind Show so special.
Is this your first time at the One of a Kind Show?
Last year I was in the Etsy pavilion because I was an emerging artist. I was in one of their smaller spaces and had some pieces in the fashion show. I did really well and so this year I decided to bite the bullet and go for a bigger space. I’m really hoping it’s going to be a good show because it was a wonderful show for me last year.
As a designer, what would you say makes the One of a Kind Chicago Show different from other shows out there?
For me it’s an exciting show because it’s a show that focuses on hand made artisan pieces. And they’re saying that there are over 600 artists exhibiting there, so there’s a large crowd and it’s a really fun holiday show. I definitely start working in the summer for this show.
I love all your work, but the silver python chain strap bag is my favorite. How long does it take you to make something like this? Can you tell us about the process?
Thank you! That chain is really great because it’s lightweight and lays really flat. Making the bags is a three-part process. There’s the body of the bag, the strapping, and then how it connects to the bag. So it can take me anywhere from 3 – 8 hours to make a bag. Rather than sketching what I’m envisioning before I start making something, I like to just figure it out along the way. I’m very inspired by materials, so I lay out all the different things that I like to work with and have a general size and shape that I like to create and I just kind of work from there. I might start out with something in my head but it usually ends up completely different than what I’m thinking.
What are you planning on bringing with you to showcase this year?
I’m bringing my current collection and teasers for my spring collection.
Can you share a little bit about what your spring collection is going to entail?
I do a lot of exotics like crocodiles, alligator, stingrays and python. So with this spring collection, I’m introducing some Amazonian fish skins. They’re calling it aquatic leather. So I’ll be working on some stuff with that. And then there are also some new treatments I’m doing with the skin, so some will be hand painted, or two-toned or distressed.
Where can we find you at the show?
I’ll be at booth 7-9095 in the Fashion District near the Gourmet Gallery!
If you don’t have a chance to visit Meg at the show this weekend, you can always stop by Fortunate Discoveries, a multi-artist/designer retail store located at 1022 w. Armitage in Lincoln Park to see her designs in person.
The One of a Kind Show and Sale® Chicago starts tomorrow at The Merchandise Mart and goes through the weekend:
Thursday, December 4 11am-8pm
Friday, December 5 11am-8pm
Saturday, December 6 10am-7pm
Sunday, December 7 10am-5pm
And be sure to check out some of the fashion shows while you’re there too:
Friday, 1pm and 6pm