Tagged: Madison

Inside Maggie Modena: Dog Backpacks Q&A Part II

You may have caught my post last Friday sharing the exciting news that handbag designer Maggie of Maggie Modena is expanding her line into fashionable and functional backpacks for dogs. Her Kickstarter Campaign is so close to being fully funded, but she still needs a few more donations to reach her goal by December 10th.


So, in case you need a little more incentive to donate to this stylish and adorable project, I’ve got some feedback straight from the source. Maggie’s dog backpacks are already being enjoyed by pups around the world! Here’s what some Pups Who Pack have to say about their Maggie Modena bags!

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NAME: Walter Cronkite
BREED: French bulldog
AGE: 8
LOCATION: Brooklyn, NY
INSTAGRAM: @TheDailyWalter

AOC BLOG GIRL: What’s your favorite thing to carry in your Maggie Modena pack?

WALTER: My cheddar… as in, actual cheese! I also like to store an extra ball or two in there for impromptu meet-ups with my dawgs.

TINKER & TANK: So far, our favorite thing to carry are treats! Our humans also use it to pack our food when we have sleepovers at Grandma’s.

BUBBA: Treats!

OBI: My mom loves how it’s so handy to put her phone and keys inside! When we go for a run, she always hated carrying that stuff in her hand. So now I carry it so easily in my pack!

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NAME: Tinker & Tank
BREED: French Bulldogs
AGES: 2 Years (Tinker, pictured) and 6 Months (Tank)
LOCATION: San Francisco, CA
INSTAGRAM: @TinksandTank

AOC BLOG GIRL: As someone who has used the backpack, what’s your favorite part about it?

WALTER: That Mom lets me pack it myself, therefore ensuring I get extra cheddar. Oh, and the leash attachment and adjustable straps (I make ’em longer for my barrel chest.)

TINKER & TANK: There’s so many things to love about it, but our favorite is the fact that it’s also a harness. It’s so convenient to not have to worry about putting on two separate items to go on walks! And it fits great!

BUBBA: I never forget anything anymore.

OBI: I love that it’s not only super cute but also actually functional!

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NAME: Bubba
AGE: 3
LOCATION: Scotland
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/Bubbatheblackpug

AOC BLOG GIRL: What’s your favorite place to adventure wearing your backpack?

WALTER: Me and the NYFC (New York Frenchie Crew) got our regular spot at Washington Square Park. I’ll also be taking it with me to Florida for the holidays! Perfect place for my sunscreen.

TINKER & TANK: The streets of San Francisco! We go to dog parks with it, downtown San Francisco, to the beach, and I’m sure there will be many more to add to the list in the near future.

BUBBA: Forest walks, particularly long ones!

OBI: I love to romp in the city with my pack. I feel like a fashion forward urban pup.

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NAME: Obi Wan Kenobi
BREED: French bulldog
AGE: 1 year 9 months
INSTAGRAM: @Obi_TheFrenchiePup
OWNER: Blogger Ali Stone of Those White Walls

Whether you’re a dog lover, a fashion fanatic, a fellow designer, an artistic soul, or someone with a passion to support the entrepreneurial spirit, please take this challenge: donate at least $1 to the Maggie Modena Dog Pack Kickstarter CampaignEvery dollar counts, and the more backers, the better!

If you’re still not sure if you’re ready to contribute, be sure to check out my Q&A with Maggie herself to learn more about the creative process that went into designing these accessories for (wo)man’s best friend.

Inside Maggie Modena: Dog Backpacks Q&A Part I

Yes, you read the title correctly: dog backpacks.

Handbag designer Maggie of Maggie Modena is expanding her line into fashionable and functional accessories for (wo)man’s best friend.

PomPom the Pomeranian

PomPom the Pomeranian

Maggie isn’t just a designer, she’s a multifaceted artist who uses a variety of mediums. The brand was born out of her DJ alter ego, Maggie Modena. Like many creatives, Maggie has always been a little shy and introverted, and the persona of Maggie Modena reminds her to be bolder on a daily basis. She incorporates this same spirit into each of her creations, inspiring those women (or dogs) who wear them to live boldly.

Rhea Dock

Rhea the Pug

I was fortunate to connect with Maggie during my time in Madison, WI, and I’m thrilled to support her latest project, a Kickstarter Campaign for her new line of backpacks for dogs. We sat down over Google+ Hangouts so that I could learn more about the creative process that went into this exciting (and freaking adorable) product.

Walking in front Capitol

Credit: Emily Julka

AOC BLOG GIRL: Describe the creative process that went into conceptualizing the Maggie Modena dog packs.

MAGGIE: Well, about 6 months ago, I decided to make backpacks for my dogs as a break from “serious” fashion. I then realized that I could add a clip on the back, and it would be the same as a harness, only now you can bring items along on your walk. I tested out the sample and brought my dogs, Rhea and Toad, around the capitol square and got a lot of fun reactions. I knew I needed to pursue it after that, at the very least because it made the work crowd smile. I then adjusted the prototype 3-4 times until I felt that its function was what I wanted it to be and that it fit a range of sizes of dogs. It’s kind of mind blowing how much work a small dog bag is!

Design Process

Credit: Emily Julka

AOC BLOG GIRL: What’s the design process that goes into creating the mixed-media textiles for the packs?

MAGGIE: I usually start by gathering a range of inspirational pictures (mostly ones that I’ve taken but some from magazines, online, etc.) and textures from all over the place. From there, I gather them all into one space, determine what the overarching theme seems to be, and pick a story. I then do a couple drawings and paintings that fit within the theme. Next, I scan them into the computer, manipulate and layer them in Photoshop, and make them into a repeat. I usually print several rounds of swatches until I think that the collection looks cohesive yet different enough and that I have at least one “neutral,” one “beautiful,” and one “bold/loud” print. Typically, I have 3 prints per season, but for the dog packs, I have 4!


AOC BLOG GIRL: What’s one signature quality about Maggie Modena handbags and dog packs? 

MAGGIE: The unique textiles are definitely the most special quality. Each textile is exclusive to the brand and won’t be seen anywhere else. I try and make them wearable yet fun.

Whether you’re a dog lover, a fashion fanatic, a fellow designer, an artistic soul, or someone with a passion to support the entrepreneurial spirit, please take this challenge: donate at least $1 to the Maggie Modena Dog Pack Kickstarter Campaign. Every dollar counts, and the more backers, the better!

Plus, if you’re ready and able to donate $5 or more, there are awesome gift incentives at each donation level, including a limited quantity of early bird dog packs and human packs that will be shipping in time for the holiday season.

COMING NEXT: Exclusive Interviews with Pups who Pack!

Modena Pups Who Pack9

If you’re still not sure if you’re ready to contribute, don’t take my word for it, don’t take Maggie’s word for it – wait to hear what some Insta-famous Pups who Pack have to say about their Maggie Modena Dog Packs in Part II of this post! Stay tuned!

Celebrating Iona

The term “fashion community” has a lot of different meanings – the elite who frequent Fashion Weeks around the globe, the teams who compose the world’s top fashion publications, or the bloggers who document their style stories. Then there are individuals who simply have an innate affinity for fashion. They may not have a career in fashion or a natural outlet to connect with others like them who inherently attach meaning to articles of clothing or who are in intimate relationships with their wardrobes. For these individuals, “fashion community” is difficult to find.

Iona was one of those rare places from which a truly fervent “fashion community” evolved. Here, all breeds of fashion fanatics gathered not only to shop a meticulously curated selection of wares but also to connect. Shopping at Iona was an experience. You had the pleasure of both indulging in unique, beautiful, high-quality fashion and engaging in meaningful conversation about fashion (and life).

Iona 2015

At Iona, you stepped out of the dressing room not just to model a look but to discuss fabric content, color trends, or the backstory of a designer. Ultimately, these out-of-the-dressing-room conversations culminated in a photo. A simple photo in front of a plain white wall. The combination of it all – the clothing, the dialogue, the knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of what you were wearing – could give any girl the confidence to transform into a model if only just for the instant the shutter clicked.

That feeling of solidarity is what a “fashion community” can give you.

So today I’m celebrating Iona and the sense of community it provided for me and countless others. In particular, I’m celebrating Pamela Wilson, the creator of Iona whose fierce passion for fashion, creativity, quality, and aesthetic became the driving force of the “fashion community” that evolved there.


For those who live in the Madison area, Iona is open for business today and tomorrow.


Ferragamo Pumps

When I get married, my Ferragamo pumps will be my “something blue.” No, I’m not here to start “the dress” debate again – these shoes are in fact cream and gold, not blue and black. However, scribbled in blue Sharpie on the sole of each shoe is the number 150 (my “something blue”).


I purchased these Ferragamo pumps for $150 in Madison, Wisconsin at Bop* about a year ago. Bop is the brick and mortar store that gave birth to the online retail giant Shopbop. Countless articles of clothing used in Shopbop photo shoots or returned to Shopbop for flaws and defects eventually made their way to Bop and went into the deeply discounted damages bin. As if this treasure trove weren’t enough, Bop held a legendary sale twice annually with items up to 90% off, the Maxwell Street Sale.

The morning of my first Maxwell I arrived early, but there was already a line of about twenty girls on the sidewalk in front of the store. If you’ve ever been to Madison in the winter (below zero temperatures, high winds, and mounds of snow), you understand the dedication required to stand outside for more than ten minutes. When the doors finally opened, a select number of patrons were let in and the frenzy began. I’m all for a good deal, but normally retail chaos is not my scene. However, on this particular February morning, I was reeling off the energy and enjoyed the ride.

It goes without saying these Ferragamo pumps were by far my biggest steal of the day given that they retail at a whopping $525. Yes, some may shutter at the fact these shoes have the purchase price plastered across the soles in bright blue, but I embrace my victory and my future “something blue.”


*Sadly, at the end of 2014, Bop closed its doors. While Shopbop will continue to live on in the World Wide Web, Bop’s departure from the local retail market marked the end of an era for the women of Madison, Wisconsin. R.I.P. BOP.

Month of Movement

October is the Month of Movement on ARTicles of Clothing blog.

To kick things off, I’ve got an exciting announcement: we’re moving to New York City!

Just over three years ago, my man and I left our college town of Athens, GA and moved to Madison, WI. Now, our journey continues to NYC.

Moving to NYC Graphic

Moving from the Southeast to the Midwest has taught me so much about the different cultures within the United States. Exploring a new place through its fashion community has been particularly eyeopening. In case you missed it, you can read a more in depth account of my Midwestern fashion journey in this post.

I can’t wait to share a new perspective of yet another region, and I’m thrilled for the opportunities this move will provide for my career as a freelance writer and stylist and for AOC blog.

Please continue to follow along on this journey with us through AOC blog and social media!