Alexandria Alli was 10-years-old when she first discovered her passion for fashion. While playing apprentice to her designer mom, the pre-teen knew she wanted a future in the competitive industry. Years later when her family moved from Nigeria to Atlanta, Georgia, she found her entry as a model. And it was this time in front of the cameras that served as an impetus for her now celebrated accessory line.
“Through modeling I fell in love with the glamour of the industry, but realized that most women could not afford the luxurious accessories that I modeled in magazines,” Alli shares. F&W Style Handbags was intentionally created to change that.
This week it was announced that the 38-year-old would have her handbag line in TJ Maxx and Marshalls. The 12-piece collection includes a tote bag, crossbody, and her signature “Bella” bag, bringing affordable luxury to the major retailer. “That has always been a mission for our brand, to provide well-crafted, colorful, luxurious bags at an affordable price point,” Alli tells EBONY. “This collaboration gives us more access to be able to do that. I believe that all women deserve to feel special every time they carry their bag.”
The F&W Style x TJ Maxx and Marshalls collection interestingly started with an Instagram DM. “The TJX buyer loved our brand so much and thought we would be a good fit for TJ Maxx and Marshalls,” Alli shares. “We then got to work on colors and designs that would work for both our brands.”
Because Alli is originally from Nigeria, she says living in color is in her blood. “I love bringing that part of my culture with me to anything that I do.” She also believes that the multitude of color offerings helps women to feel like they have a unique piece which is at the core of her designs.
Having a line in a national retailer is no easy feat, and it’s a dream Alli has held on to in the 11 years since kickstarting the brand. A-list celebrities including Gabrielle Union and Tiffany Haddish have sported her designs, but the designer says it is a “surreal” feeling knowing that women all over the United States will have access to her handbags in stores. “It’s proof that with hard work, consistency, and faith you can do anything,” says Alli.