There’s lots of passion…but some drama, too.READ MORE
Growing up, Beka Forney of Louise Goods had dreams of a literary career. “I had really ridiculous aspirations of going to England and winding up at Cambridge,” she says. But after finishing high school, she realized she was destined for a more hands-on career. “I’m too ADD for writing. I can’t sit still for long periods of time.”
Raised in a devoutly Christian household, Beka grew up with a very practical outlook on apparel: Clothes were made to wear. And that’s it. She never once considered design school, but after speaking with a friend at Parsons, Beka had an Aha! moment, wrote her parents a dramatic email (who hasn’t?), and decided to move to New York to attend FIT.
During her admissions meeting, though, her interviewer pointed out one critical barrier to her acceptance: She couldn’t draw. She was advised to take a class and re-apply. “I was super devastated,” she says—especially since she had already canceled her enrollment at the University of Pittsburgh. “Six weeks later, my parents and I were sitting around the kitchen table talking about car insurance, and my acceptance letter came in the mail.”
Compared to all that, launching her line of leather goods Louise Goods post-FIT came easily. “I wanted to be able to design something that everyone could wear, and that’s just not possible with a dress or a shirt,” she says. The result? A collection of messengers, wallets, and laptop bags (some made from cacao sacks sourced from Mast Brothers Chocolate, even) that are much like the designer herself: down-to-earth, practical, and supremely polished. —olivia seely
BEHIND THE SCENES
Meet the whole hard-working gang.
Got It Made Behind the Bag: Beka Forney Makes Her Edition
Working with leather is some serious business.