Monday, November 13, 2017
Phomaz: Music, Fashion, Style
Interview with creator of Phomaz, Beth Swanson
November 9, 2017
When people think of the Midwest usually farms, cheese, football, and beer come to mind. Rarely does it cross one’s mind the unique artistic talents that are born and raised in the land of brats and beer. The truth is so much of the talent we see grace the red carpet and entertain us daily, is indeed from the Midwest. Fashion is not only found in Milan, New York, Tokyo, or Paris, but Chicago is just one of the cities in the Midwest that has multiple fashion design programs with unique talent. Not only formally trained designers are creating but passionate innovative minds that believe the Midwest has a unique flair and perspective to be seen. Chicago based designer of Phomaz, Beth Swanson, offers a fresh disposition to fashion while combining music with today’s styles.
Beth congratulations on all your recent successes!
You have such unique hand bags. How did you start in design?
I started designing bags at 42, fall 2014, after losing my parents. I needed to find my happy. The idea
came from a fusion of music meets fashion. Two things I’ve always loved. The foam on the bags is
the same you’d find on a recording studio wall.
It’s a very unique concept. What gave you the inspiration for such a unique look?
My inspiration for almost everything I do is my parents. My mom loved her handbags!
I love how you are able to keep the memory of your parents alive with your passion, it makes your
brand even more personal.
Did you go to school for design or do you have a different background?
My background has always been in marketing and advertising. I consult with local businesses on digital marketing, which is why my business is online.
Your handbags have a really unique look. What are materials currently used in your designs?
They are made of acoustic foam, vegan leather, or carbon fiber.
Your bags have made quite the impression since you released them upon the world. Have they
been in major fashion shows or publications?
They debuted at Paris fashion week while simultaneously going down the runway at Boston Fashion
Week. They have appeared in several magazines including 3 issues of British Vogue, including Vogue
100, the publication’s biggest issue in history!
That’s amazing! Congratulations on that monumental debut and achievement!
Since your bags have such a unique edge, who do you think this bag would suit the best?
The brand is really for anyone. They pair well with street wear to couture. I have to agree with you on that statement. The first night I had my bag it escorted me to the opera. The next day I threw some over the over the knee boots on and hit the streets of Chicago. It worked beautifully for both occasions.
You’re a Chicago designer and you choose to have your handbags manufactured in Chicago as
well. Why keep your business completely in the Midwest when most designers opt for the
overseas manufactures to save a lot of money?
Made in Chicago is very important to me, as supporting local means a lot. I enjoy the process and
being able to be involved from design to production.
I think it’s great you are choosing to keep it local and stay so hands on with your brand.
Do you have any advice for designers that are still working on brand notoriety or wondering if
being a Midwest designer can be fruitful?
My advice to future designers is just go for it, protect yourself where you can (these bags were
granted a design patent), and have fun with the ride.
If you’re interested in knowing more about Beth’s handbag line, Phomaz, you can visit her website, phomaz.com, Facebook, Instagram, and twitter. If you find a bag you want to make your own, enter RR at the checkout and you will receive 25% off! I hope you enjoy your handbag as much as I am enjoying mine.