Danielle Gumina - Grip Handbags

Finalist of the The Best Fujifilm Instax Mini 70 Camera Bag

United States

2017 Finalist Danielle Gumina Grip Handbags


What inspired your sketch?
With a Masters degree in Media Production from Pepperdine University, I've always embodied a love and admiration for the film industry. I particularly have a passion for photography. I do a lot of photography and film work behind the scenes for my business Grip Handbags. This category - creating The Best camera bag for Fujifilm - literally combines the two things I love most: handbags and cameras. I own and operate a Canon camera, but I was recently was gifted a blue Instax mini 70 camera and now I am obsessed with it! The mini reminds me of the cameras I used to have as a child. As a child of the 90s, I would carry tons of polaroids with me in my favorite fanny pack - now, I'm back at it again with my Instax!! (and hopefully with the new Instax 3 in 1 camera bag)!

Why did you select this look for your design?
I like to work with leather and suede. They're great and durable materials that last a lifetime. However, with my recent SS17 collection, I've been experimenting with sustainable materials, cotton canvas and neoprene.

What is your design background?
Yes, I currently design my own handbags for Grip Handbags. I've purposely left out my signature cut-out from my camera bag sketch submission for Instax because I didn't want it to steal away from what Instax is all about. For this sketch, I really worked hard to translate a fun, stylish, and light-weight camera bag that complimented the Fujifilm / Instax brand. I used its Instagram page as a major inspiration! My little tagline I created for this sketch is: A camera bag that's perfectly designed for your adventures. The bag is all about the adventurous soul, the wanderlust. Keeping in mind the brand's demographic, I made sure that my design is also suitable for males and females! If Fujifilm Instax would like to combine my brand/ signature cut-out with their camera bags, then yes I'm game! But for now, I thought I'd keep my brand separate. For this category, it's all about the Instax camera!

Do you currently design your own handbags? If so, would your Instax design fit into the collection?
When I came up with the idea for my handbag business three years ago, I had no fashion design background whatsoever. All these years I would keep finding myself drawn to the industry somehow, particularly for it's creativity. I definitely embody the role of Creative Director. Since winning 'best student made handbag' at the 9th annual independent handbag designer awards back in 2015, I've taken the initiative to boost my skills in fashion design in order to become more credible in the field and more knowledgeable. It was important for me to understand the language and the technicality so that I could better communicate with design teams and manufacturers. It definitely was a worthy investment! I was encouraged by Emily to get my education in fashion and I did. I took an online course to get certified in Fashion Industry Essentials from Parsons, The New School X Teen Vogue. I am now currently continuing with my sewing classes at Karen's School of Fashion. I've been enrolled there since last year and it has taught me so much!

What materials do you like to work with?
I selected this look for my sketch design because it's fun, unique, functional, and stylish. I wanted to make the most of this single design, so I created something that is beautiful and versatile. When producing it, it can be manufactured using any material. I envision a gorgeous suede combined with leather for a durable and fashionable camera bag that can be used in many ways for many different occasions. I absolutely dread those traditional camera bags; they're so boring! I wanted to make sure my design for Instax fit hand in hand with the vibrant mood of the brand, its youthfulness, and its playfulness. I noticed that the Instax cameras come in lots of bright colors, so I thought why not offer camera bags in bright colors too and give customers the option to play around with color!? The Instax brand is personal, all about capturing personal moments and sharing those moments instantly. This is the perfect time to create a camera bag that is equally personal as those photographic moments.

Why did you want to design this Instax camera bag?
Gender neutral design and the adventurous soul inspired my sketch for the Instax camera bag. I envision customers buying this camera bag to store their instax cameras, or even just to have a great versatile bag! The customers are travelers and cultured people, so I wanted to create a bag that looks great on anyone no matter where they are!

See other finalists from the 2017 handbag awards