Course Description

RISD CE course: Handbag Collection Product Development: From Idea to Market

Linda Pritcher, designer, Italian Leather Travel Totes, 2015. Photo by Cassandra Birocco

What goes into making a great handbag design? Even better, what turns a set of bags into a compelling, marketable collection with a refreshing point of view and the potential to make a profitable and sustainable business? In this course we'll cover each aspect in the product-to-market cycle of handbag development. Beginning with a vision and target market, you'll learn the basics of materials, components, construction methods, sourcing options, and pricing, and get advice on how to create partner relationships and how to communicate with sample makers and producers. We’ll also cover topics like quality control, production issues, the pleasures and perils of importing, and market options (custom-made, online, wholesale and/or retail). You’ll bring your own collection ideas, which we'll develop and discuss in class, and walk through the process from ideation to market, evaluating creative concepts in harmony with production and market necessities. Get a first-hand look at the important aspects of creating a viable handbag collection and the practical foundation necessary to bring it to market.


Students must be an adult age 18 or older to participate.


Applies Towards the Following Certificates

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Online, Asynchronous
Nov 01, 2021 to Dec 13, 2021
Contact Hours
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
Tuition non-credit $425.00 Click here to get more information
Drop Request Deadline
Nov 22, 2021
Transfer Request Deadline
Oct 25, 2021
Withdrawal Request Deadline
Nov 01, 2021 to Dec 13, 2021
Necessary Supplies
  • Sketchbook 9 x12 or similar size
  • Notebook any size for taking notes
  • Drawing pencils or black pen like Sharpie, Pentel or Flair
  • Markers - appx. 6 colors to be determined for mid course and final presentation 
  • 20" x 30" foam core board for final project
  • Rubber cement for final project
  • Fabric tape measure
  • Swatches of materials you would like to use in your collection, to be determined during the course.

Textbook (highly recommended but not required):

  •    Bag Design: A Handbook for Accessory Designers (The author is Fashionary, available through Amazon or at Fashionary.org.)
Some of your course supplies are available at the RISD store. CE students receive a 10% discount. Use code: RISDCE21FA at checkout.
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