Category Archives: Handbags

New Colors Coming Soon . . . !


The Boston Mini in Electric Blue makes a great lipstick holder…

How are you guys? This week has been so busy that I forgot to post on the blog yesterday! I’ve been working hard to fill orders, which is always exciting. But the kiddies have been sick off and on so there has been a lot of logistical juggling. I’m so thankful that I am able to work from home and that my parents and mother-in-law are local and as involved with my kids lives as they are. It really does help to have a trustworthy “village” within which to raise children. But I digress. Did you see the new electric blue color we are introducing this month? It’s a patent leather texture that I really love. The shine adds extra pop to the bright color. I’ll be adding them to the shop early next week. Oh, and be on the lookout for the Helene mailer in a beautiful Cherry Red. It’s made from the same textured patent leather. Perfect for Valentine’s Day. :)

Enjoy the rest of your week! It’s already Thursday!

Haight Fringe Clutch now available at Taylor Jay Collection . . .


As of this month, select pieces of Ayanna Listenbee Collection, including the Haight Fringe Crossbody Clutch, are now available at Taylor Jay Collection. Taylor Jay Collection is located at 3843 MacArthur Blvd, in the Laurel District of Oakland, CA. Check them out if you happen to be in the area! Taylor has her own eponymous collection of beautiful jersey separates that you will definitely want to adopt into your wardrobe as well!

It’s Wednesday! Only 2 more days until the weekend!!


Note: pom sold separately. Pom’s will be available on the website next month. :)

Ayanna Listenbee Collection @ All That and More Boutique . . .

Ayanna Listenbee Collection can now be found @ All That & More Boutique . . .

Ayanna Listenbee Collection can now be found @ All That & More Boutique . . .

Last week was pretty amazing for me. I accomplished two major milestones. I am learning everyday to celebrate the small stuff right along with the so called big stuff. Honestly, I think it’s all big when you accomplish something that was hard, or that you didn’t know you could do. My first milestone was that I started working out again. It’s been way too long and I was ready. Ready to feel stronger, healthier and better about this body God has blessed me with. Last Friday made a full 2 weeks of working out. It may seem small, but it’s huge to me. Especially since I have never been athletic or even liked to play sports. (Don’t ask me how I ended up on the girls basketball team in high school. It only lasted a few weeks, until one of my team mates went up for a jump shot, landed on my toe and broke it . . . she actually broke two of them)  But I digress . . . the point is I completed two weeks of gym workouts and I am pumped!! Im excited about it and somehow it is working for me, so I feel good about it, and mentioning it here gives me some accountability as well. ;)

Candance Simmons + I  . . .

Candance Simmons, owner of ALL THAT & MORE boutique + I  with some bags from my collection . . .

The second major accomplishment, which I am really excited to share with you, was partnering with the first retail account to carry my handbag collection! As of last week, SoCal locals can now purchase pieces from my collection at ALL THAT & MORE BOUTIQUE in Culver City. I’m super excited about this partnership because it is the answer to hard work and prayer on so many levels. It’s amazing to see my bags in a store setting, and to witness customers oogling and inquiring about them. It’s also good to be able to get feedback from customers. But I think what I am most happy about is meeting Candance Simmons, the owner of All That & More. Aside from the fact that her boutique carries some really amazing clothing and accessories, Candance is an angel in disguise. She has blessed me with so much valuable information from a mentor standpoint, that being a featured designer in her boutique is like icing on the cake!

Renaissance Convertible Clutches + The St. Francis Clutch getting ready to hit the floor . . .

Renaissance Convertible Clutches + The St. Francis Clutch getting ready to hit the floor . . .

If you are local or have the opportunity, please visit AT&M and check out some of the beautiful clothing and accessories offered. I know you will not be disappointed! #shopsmall + Support Indie Boutiques!!

10754 W. Jefferson Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90230



We Like Options . . . | The Renaissance Crossbody Convertible Clutch

Rennaisance clutch | Ayanna Listenbee Collection

Renaissance Cross-body Convertible Clutch | Ayanna Listenbee Collection

This photo evokes feelings of cooler weather and layered dressing for me. I am really looking forward to being able to wear more clothes! Or at least having the option to! I love having options, don’t you? One of the things I love about the Renaissance clutch is that it gives you options. This amazing little bag can be worn 3 different ways:

using the strap at full length as seen in the photo above

sans strap

with a short strap

Rennaissance Clutch | Ayanna Listenbee Collection
I strive to add versatility to my designs and convertible straps is one of the ways I love to incorporate options. Click the Shop! button above or visit AYANNALISTENBEE.COM to learn more!

Have a great Monday!!


For the Love of Buttermilk . . . .

St. Francis Clutch | Ayanna Listenbee

Two of our bestsellers, make their debut in Buttermilk. This is the St. Francis clutch.

Introducing the "Eros Day Bag," available in Buttermilk embossed lambskin.

Introducing the “Eros Day Bag,” available in Buttermilk embossed lambskin.

Visit the shop to place your order!

Have a great week!

#designfail | That Time I Made a REALLY Ugly Bag . . .

That Time I Made a Really Ugly Bag | THE LOOKBOOK PHILOSOPHY I recently cleaned out my black hole of a closet and discovered one of the ugliest handbags in the history of all bagdom.

And I made it.

For all intents and purposes, we’ll call her Gertrude. It’s only right to give her a proper name. After all, I designed her, created her patterns, sourced her materials, hardware and sewed her for the final project in my accessories design class. Luckily, I got an A in the class, and somehow, an A on the project Gertrude,  but when it was all said + done, I was not feeling the end result  “Old Gert.”

That Time I Made a Really Ugly Bag | THE LOOKBOOK PHILOSOPHY

Here’s Gert up close and personal. That detailed stitching you see on the leather pieces did NOT come out as I envisioned. Believe it or not, I was NOT going for the Rodeo Cowboy effect, but apparently . . . . #nuffsaid

That Time I Made a Really Ugly Bag | THE LOOKBOOK PHILOSOPHY

This is Gert’s backside. She’s kinda wide. I wanted her to be able to carry tons of stuff, and she can. She is a workhorse, Ill give her that . . .

That Time I Made a Really Ugly Bag | THE LOOKBOOK PHILOSOPHY

Gert is full of surprises! She is actually reversible!

That Time I Made a Really Ugly Bag | THE LOOKBOOK PHILOSOPHY

At one point I even convinced myself that Gert’s inside was her better (looking) side. And that, in actuality, this was my design plan all along . . . hah!

That Time I Made a Really Ugly Bag | THE LOOKBOOK PHILOSOPHY

I thought the frayed denim edges would give her, well . . . a little edge . . instead it just made her look like she should be sold with a pair of cowboy boots . . .

That’s how I felt. I mean Gert looked great in the original sketch. On paper she was more like a “Rebecca,” or a “Jocelyn.” At the time I selected her leather and denim, I thought she’d look cool. I wanted her to be daring + useful, so I decided to make her reversible. I even decided to keep some of the denim edges frayed as a testament to her coolness. I envisioned her a real downtown-urban-cool-girl-tote. But by the time I was finished . . . and frankly, even before I finished, I could tell the physical manifestation of Gert left a lot to be desired.

My downtown-urban-cool-girl-tote looked more like
an old-back-woods-rodeo-satchel with a zipper.

Yet and still, if I wanted to pass the class, I had to turn “Old Gert” in. Truthfully, by the time I finished sewing, glueing and hammering all her pieces together (which happened to be 4:30 am the morning the project was due) I was glad to be done with it her. At that point, I had gone through two sewing machines and had ended up at my ex next door neighbor’s house, practically spending the night on her floor, so I could use her sewing machine to finish the project. My machine broke and basically died during a crucial point in the project, so I borrowed my Mom’s. Well, then her machine broke and I was left with no machine and only a few hours left to complete the project. So I called my friend Jessica who now lived about 40 miles away. She was gracious enough to let me come over and sew away to my heart’s content. She even helped me when Gertie’s leather and denim became too thick for the machine. Thank God for Jessica. She basically saved my life in that moment. At certain points I had to hand sew Gertie’s denim and leather together with a really thick needle and thread. Naturally, during this process, my thimble came up missing, so at 4am, I’m sitting on Jessica’s dining room floor with a wad of paper towels taped around my sore thumb while gingerly trying to pierce a stack of denim, leather + facing approximately 1 1/2″ thick. True leather craftsmen have all kinds of shavers, clamps and hammers for this type of situation, but little old undergrad moi, only had a couple of binder clips, my sewing needle and a roll of paper towels at my disposal. Nevertheless, I completed the project, and was greatly rewarded for my efforts by passing the class with flying colors.

She's ready for her close up . . . just don't get too close . . .

She’s ready for her close up . . . just don’t get too close . . .

So last week when I came across the ugliest bag in the world,  I mean Gertrude, cringing in the far back corner of my closet I had to stop and chuckle to myself. Yes, she was still ugly. But she was still standing strong! No rips, tears or ungluing had taken place in the 8+ years since she was conceived. And during most of this time, she had taken up residence in my closet . . .

Now, you may think that’s a safe place for a bag to reside. And maybe most closets are.
But not mine.

Any item of clothing residing in my closet is liable to take a serious beating. I’ve briefly discussed the horrors of the inner workings of my closet before. At any given moment a shoe, boot or belt could decide it’s “had enough of all this fighting for space” and pounce. I speak from experience. There’s been many a time I’ve opened my closet and been met with a boot to the head. (that’s the trouble with storing way too many shoes on a shelf above your head in a shallow, crowded closet) . . . it’s an “Enter at Your Own Risk” type of situation. Yet, despite her surroundings, Gertrude managed to survive in tact.

I’m not so sure about her dignity though.

There was that time I found her huddled amongst my favorite hi tops . . . (perhaps for the sake of protection) and pulled her out in an act of “reconsideration of her ugliness,” or to put it nicely, I thought I would give her a second chance. Maybe she wasn’t as ugly as I’d thought she was. Surely she could pay her way by acting as a large beach tote? I mean she was huge, and could hold a lot of stuff. That was probably her only redeeming quality . . . and her only outing. I think she enjoyed the beach. She still has a few sand grains in her pockets to prove it. Probably snuck them back home as proof to the other bags that she was good enough to hit the beach, and I guess she was right! She went, and they didn’t!

That Time I Made a Really Ugly Bag | THE LOOKBOOK PHILOSOPHY

I thought about throwing “Old Gert” away, but only for a second. She has a special place in my heart. She is the product of hours upon hours of labor, possibly a tear or two, most definitely a right hand full of sore fingers + a mind full of lessons learned. Birthing her taught me what it takes to actually make a large leather bag. She showed me the painstaking error of my ways when I rushed and thought I could wing it without the proper tools. She got me where I am today. So although Gertrude may not be the prettiest bag on the shelf, she definitely has earned her place on the shelf.

Do you have any #designfail’s hiding in your closet? ☺

Thank You for the Love . . . Seriously.

Thank_You _for_the_Love_thelookbookphilosophy.com_900 This post should probably be filed under Thankful Thursdays, but seeing as today is a beautiful, rainy Friday ☁☂☁, and my current mental state is reflecting full-on, hardcore thankfulness , I had to post it today, right NOW! I just wanted to send a thank you out to everyone who’s orders I am diligently working on filling right now. The orders are pouring in like a much needed California rain storm, and I am so thankful for each and every one of you!! Your response to the new collection, and the orders you have placed have been such a blessing and have allowed me to work even harder and more passionately at this business that I love so much! I am so thankful that you see the vision and are along for the ride with me as I continue to grow my business by offering new styles of handbags and accessories. I am filled with so much happiness right now! Sitting here at my desk today, looking out at the rain, I am thanking God for you guys. You make me want to continue to create more and more beautiful handbags that you will love. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU . . . you inspire me!!!


Holiday Pre-Order Pricing Ends Tonight @ Midnight!


Hey guys, happy Sunday! Wanted to let you know that the holiday collection pre-order discount ends tonight @ midnight. After that prices will go up. So click here to get in on the pre-order pricing . . . of course, you can always order after midnight, but I don’t have to tell you how good it feels to get a deal on something you love! ♥



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