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Guerilla Soul

by Amanda Dawson

Sarah Djarnie, who began to design at the early age of 11, has created a funky and creative line of clutches and bags. A graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology, Djarnie created Guerilla Soul in 1999. The line consists of handmade bags, clutches with exotic and funky leather trims, a lot of which are made from jeans. She also creates screen-printed change purses and tee shirts. “Guerilla Soul is about making impact, I wanted to create and bring attention to denim but with a twist,” says Djarnie. Her creations are definitely for people who consider themselves an individual, eccentric, and unique.

Sarah Djarnie dishes about her current collection:

How and why did Guerilla Soul start and who started it?
I was an associate designer at Mudd Jeans (Girls Division) and the head designers would go to Europe twice a year. They would come back from Europe with beautiful denim samples for inspiration. Usually at the end of the year they would either send the samples to the company's warehouse or give them to employees, the samples were amazing but never my size so I decided hey why not make these jeans into funky clutches and voila it worked!

Explain the meaning behind the name "Guerilla Soul".
The name Guerilla Soul is about making impact, I wanted to create and bring attention to denim but with a twist. People have always made denim jeans into bags, but what I wanted to create was a product that stood out and spoke for itself.

What were your inspirations for your current fall collection?
For fall I am reintroducing the Ralph Clutch it has been a customer favorite ever since it was featured in the Essence, May 2008 issue. I will be using more leathers, exotic skins and funky satchels with dark denim washes.

Who do you envision wearing this collection?
Good question! At the end of the day anyone who can appreciate style with individuality and craftsmanship...Ms. Rihanna and Keri Hilson.

Who is your ideal customer?
My ideal customer is the woman or man who understands my product and feels good about wearing a Guerilla Soul bag or clutch.

Do you agree that the economic times call for minimalist designs?
Certainly the economy affects the industry, but as designers we should we should still make the effort to creating and also think about smart business strategies. For example Wal-mart is doing exceptionally well during these hard economic times and high-end luxury fashion really isn't that great so you have to as business learn to adjust with the times. I try not to reduce the price of my high-ticketed bags or clutches; I just create other items that I can price a bit lower.

Give us three words that best describe the brand.
Beautiful, Imaginative and Quality

What are the biggest trends of 2009?
Oh, boy, I never follow trends but I would say color, prints especially African prints are big technique and details, it is all about details.

Give us some words of advice for someone trying to do what you do.
Yes...go to fashion school understand technique and how to execute design. A lot of the best designers went various fashion schools but I think it is important; it helps you hone your skills. Learn from the past. I loved the FIT museum when I attended the school I had access to look at pieces from Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli. Elsa Schiaparelli was my inspiration.

Where can your collection be purchased and what is the price point?
If you live in Brooklyn, NY you can purchase my handbags and earrings at The Little Red Boutique 374 Lewis Ave, Brooklyn - - Phone: (718) 443-1170.

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