My name is Abigail Panet, and I’m a handbag and accessories designer from Tel Aviv, Israel. I founded Lady Bird Design in 2010.
I graduated from university with a degree in physiology, but after I finished my studies, I decided that I wanted to go in a different direction. I was always drawn to the world of fashion and design; after some thought, I realized that I wanted to learn about leatherwork from the masters. With that in mind, I moved to Italy to study at Istituto Europeo di Design. There I learned the ins and outs of making shoes and bags, and I fell in love with the process.
After graduation, I worked as an apprentice in a family-run handbag factory in Rome; there, I experienced the complex art of making and modeling handbags. When I returned to Israel, I researched traditional manufacturing methods and opened my own studio. My first collection was small, but I was able to get it stocked in several boutiques in Tel Aviv. The bags sold out really fast, and I started developing more designs. Soon I opened my own shop in the center of the city; to this day, my studio is located in the same space.
I believe that less is more, and I let this guide both my design process and my life. I aim to create accessories that are both simple and unique, while also practical for everyday use. Each item in my line has its own character and is tailored to fit the modern woman’s needs and style.
I design and develop each and every bag in my collection. I’m mostly inspired by amorphous shapes, nature or the concrete urban jungle. I usually pick materials that come in natural colors and textures, like distressed or stonewashed leathers or scratched metal buckles and blackened zippers. Once I’ve settled on a design, my bags are manufactured in a small, local factory. There isn’t a stage in the manufacturing process I’m not involved in.
Selling on Etsy allowed me to reach customers all over the world who appreciate what I do and inspire me every day. My customers are almost always grateful, tolerant, moving and funny, and my interactions with sellers have been amazing, too. Without Etsy, it would have been much more challenging to get my work out there. I am proud to say that even though I haven’t been to Japan or Australia yet, my bags have been! In the future, I want to discover new people, new adventures, and new skills.
All photographs by Tom Marshak.