Today’s Mos Eisley Marketplace article features Star Wars fan and geek accessory designer Kristin Sirota, of BenaeQuee Creations. Kristin has a great range of Star Wars handbags and accessories available on Etsy, using both licensed fabrics and unique fabric designs she has created herself.
I’ve known Kristin for many years, through the Star Wars costuming community – and even though we live in different countries, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting her several times at conventions in the US (I also used her fantastic Padme’ Amidala ‘Snowbunny’ cape tutorial when making my own costume in 2007).
Kristin uses her excellent costuming skills to create a range of amazing Star Wars bags and accessories, including handbags, wallets, scarves, and makeup bags. Prices range from US$5.50 to US$150.00 each – check out the full range at her Etsy store, and continue reading for an interview with Kristin, including a coupon code for her store!
I recently had the incredible opportunity to ask Kristin a few question about her geek fashion label BenaeQuee Creations, her favourite Star Wars fashion items, and her design inspirations. Kristin has a great Star Wars wardrobe, including items from Black Milk Clothing, Loungefly, Love And Madness – and quite a few custom items she’s made for herself. Read on for the full interview – and photos of her amazing bags and geek fashion style.
How long have you been creating Star Wars bags and accessories?
I’ve been making small accessories since 2012, when I started with a purse I made from my own pattern and fabric design. I’m inspired by high fashion mixed with fandom. I also value functionality, so everything I make is sturdy and usually comes with multiple pockets. I’m constantly trying new things, and always update my page and shop when I do.
What inspired you to start designing and creating Star Wars accessories?
I wanted a geeky purse, but nothing that screamed out NERD. It had to blend with my love of style and fandom. Working in the fashion district of NYC at the time, I wanted something that would get people to do a double take. So I created a repeat pattern of the SW logo and symbols, and made a purse pattern from scratch. At the time, there were not many things for women to choose from, we had to make do with men’s items, crafted to look like it was made for us. I’m a purse-a-holic (and shoe nut), so it was essential that I had a fun purse to express my fandom.
What are some of your favourite Star Wars fashion items in your wardrobe or wishlist (can be something you’ve made/plan to make)?
My Her Universe SW symbols infinity scarf, I wear that thing everywhere. It also looked great with the bag I had designed already. Another would be my Black Milk AT-AT body con dress. I usually pair it with a black crop top and a blazer for a sophisticated SW look. I ALWAYS get compliments on that dress, people love it. While I love toting around my own bags, I also LOVE my Loungefly BB-8 bag, its great when my phone makes BB-8 sounds for alerts, while it is in that bag lol. Something I would LOVE to have, a pair of the Irregular Choice bronze and lightsaber lace up heels. I feel like I could wear those with almost everything.
Do you have any particular favourite Star Wars fashion brands (licensed or fan made)?
Lets see, Loungefly is a must, I mean come on, PURSES! I have only 4 of their bags, but I LOVE each of them and wish I could carry them all at once. The large Vader Dome purse is my all time favorite travel piece. It is airport friendly, and SO cool looking. I had a TSA agent stop me to actually look at the bag and asked where she could buy one lol. Her Universe has some fun accessories that I like (scarves). Jewelry, by various people. I just got the Opening Crawl wrap bracelet in Black and Gold and it goes SO well with my own Opening Crawl bag that I designed.
Do you have a personal favourite design from your own range of Star Wars themed accessories?
My brown Star Wars print barrel purse, the “Light Speedy”. I use that most of the time and always have to hand out a few business cards a day because of it. I also can’t live without my sleep mask at night. The hubby likes to play on his phone at night and the bright screen keeps me up. My eye mask helps SO much. I have a ton of fun prints in those too, all sorts of fandoms. I use the SW Comic Book print (licensed fabric) myself, my husband prefers the Daleks.
Your range includes licensed and custom designed print fabrics – what sort of fabrics do you typically use for your Star Wars bags and accessories?
All of my bags use a cotton fabric, or a linen/cotton canvas (for my “Light Speedy” bag). I prefer cotton, as it is sturdy and easy to use. You can also get a lot more varieties in prints with it. Some of my bags are also accented with a glitter vinyl canvas, for a little splash of bling, that won’t get all over. All my bags are interfaced and use sturdy stabilizers for support and structure. No body likes a floppy bag that loses it’s shape right away.
Can customers commission you for custom bags?
Absolutely! I have done this a few times. General wait time is 4-6 weeks at the moment. So order in advance. If a client has a cotton fabric in their own stash that they want made into and item, they can send it to me to be used. I also suggest that they pick out coordinating zippers/hardware at a local store (I also provide exact details on sizes needed). I’m available for consultations on fabric choices too.
Which is the best way for fans to get in touch with you regarding purchasing an item?
Through my FB Page (www.facebook.com/benaequeecostumer) or my Etsy (www.benaequee.etsy.com). They can also follow both my page and shop to be updated with new things that are coming, shows I’m vending at, or special promotions and coupon codes! As a matter of fact, your readers can use coupon code KESSELRUNWAY for a 10% discount (on orders over $10) until September 1st! This is not a code that will appear on my FB page, it is only for Kessel Runway readers.
Many thanks to Kristin for her time in answering my questions. I’m just in love with her Star Wars handbags – especially the ones with glitter vinyl accents! Kristin combines great style and attention to detail with classic Star Wars patterns to create amazing handbags that belong in every fan’s wardrobe.
Photos supplied by and belong to BenaeQuee Creations.