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Meet Cate


Alesya Bags’ longtime stylist and Charleston Fashion Week Founder Ayoka Lucas has taken her talents to New York City.  It was time for her to move to the fashion mecca.  I’m expecting big things from Ms. Lucas and can’t wait to see her new work.

While being thrilled for Ayoka, that left me a stylist short.  Lamenting this problem with my friend and colleague Shauna Mackenzie she perked up and declared, “There’s only one stylist I know for you.  Brooke Williams.”

155[Brooke Williams Via]

When I first met with Brooke I poured my fashion heart out to her.  I needed her help to create a specific look for this Alesya Bags persona.  It needed to be so obvious that you could pick her out walking down the street or into a room.

She was not every woman.  To me that’s not believable because no one is every woman.  We are all specific, fantastic women in our own right.  We have our own strengths, desires and quirks.  So would this woman.

Here’s how I explained her to Brooke:

  • Successful and sought after, working at a large consulting company
  • Known as a superstar due for a big promotion
  • Travels weekly to glamorous (London) and not-so-glamorous (Bentonville, AR) cities alike
  • She has a great deal of time in airports, hotels and taxis
  • Often has meetings where she is the only woman in the room and all the men are dressed in suits
  • Works out to be a better corporate athlete
  • Loves to read both for pleasure and research
  • Shops with a goal in mind – not to just go to the mall
  • Is often asked for her recommendations on the latest products, travel accommodations, boutiques, etc.
  • Lives in Washington DC, is 30 and married with no kids yet
  • Has a car but rarely drives herself anywhere
  • Spends her weekends trying new restaurants with friends
  • Will drink wine, relishes a stiff drink

Brooke Williams Joie Des Femmes

After some debate, Brooke and I decided to name her Cate.  Using this profile as a tool we wanted to be able to refer to her in a real way – Would Cate wear this jacket?  Does this hemline seem Cate approved?  Cate would never wear that shade of chartreuse.

After living with her, Brooke sees Cate this way, “‘Power…and how her power manifests through traditionally dichotomous characteristics.  She’s feminine but fierce.  She’s direct but diplomatic.  She’s playing on a male dominated stage, but rather than disguise her femininity she expresses it through strong elements of design and dress. If she were to walk in the room, every woman would want to be her.  Or dress like her, at the very least.”


One we had her personality in place, Brooke created a document detailing everything from Cate’s everyday jewelry – her ever present heirloom signet ring  – to how her closet looks.  “In it, you’ll find no fluff, no trends, no disposable fashion. Designer labels mix with budget buys, still the look stays the same. Nothing – regardless of price – winds up crumpled on the floor, or hastily folded and thrown on a shelf,” says Brooke.

Brooke outlined a wardrobe including the following pillars:

  • Head-to-Toe Monochromatic: The non-suit suit, wearing one color from head to toe packs a strong visual punch.
  • Color Palette: Decidedly neutral, strong and elegant – including white, black, navy, beige/blush.
  • Feminine Details:  For her, feminine style translates to a certain elegance and timelessness versus looking soft or romantic.  She balances the strong lines of her wardrobe with feminine details, including: blazers/jackets that expose her wrists, asymmetrical or highly- designed necklines, ruching, waist-defining belts, delicate accessories she wears with regularity (specifically a signet ring), and classic heels.
  • Ode to Menswear:  She never layers with cardigans – structure trumps soft. Regardless of season, she always wears a jacket to any work-related event – she never enters the room with bare shoulders.
  • Fit is Everything: Clothing skims the body – it does not cling, it does not camouflage.

Gray DC

After completing Cate’s profile Brook confessed, “There’s a part of me that wants to be Cate.  She’s got such a strong sense of self (and style, of course) that I find so inspiring.  She really embodies the rebrand of Alesya Bags.”  And I felt the same way.

Ready to see more?  Both Brooke and I will be pinning on the Cate of Alesya Bags board.  This board will continue to fill up as we getting closer to launch.  Let us know if you see Cate in your magazine or in the airport.  We know she’ll be headed your way soon.

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7 Responses to “Meet Cate”

  1. […] Today, we invite you to meet Cate. […]

  2. Well, I, of course, love a lady named Cate.

  3. Sarah says:

    So excited for this revamp! I practically am Cate- just swap out DC for Philly and age 30 for 32 and you’ve summed me up (consultant, travels a lot, married without kids, always carrying my kindle). I have an original Alesya bag in the turquoise color which I love, but I am always switching out of it to a neutral camel colored bag for business meetings and days when I commute by train to NYC. I cannot wait to see what you have planned!

    And congrats on finding yourself along your journey.

  4. Jennifer says:

    I LOVE the denim dress in this post…but I don’t see it on your Pinterest page…can you tell me where it came from? and…I LOVE CATE!

  5. […] was able to stay focused long enough to ask her to help me create a special piece for Cate.  Just thinking about it delights me to no end.  With Christina’s expertise and creative […]

  6. […] Cate?  The fictional – but very real to us – Alesya Bags client.  Meet Cate here and see […]

  7. […] prop team is terribly detailed with their selections.  They have this stationary for  Alesya Bags client Cate and had a friend write it as they believed Cate would.  I […]

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