Kent Stetson makes more than handbags – he makes wearable art. His most recognizable works are the clutches made from digital prints of his artwork and photography, screened onto canvas and embellished with everything from plastic bacon (really) to toy cars. “Spirit, bravery, intelligence, curiosity, humor and capacity for achievement are the human traits for which I try to design,” Kent says. “I like to think that the range for possibilities is constantly expanding for me. I like to wake up every day and think, what am I going to make today?”
The New Hampshire native, who now calls Providence home, has been designing bags under his eponymous label for a decade. His January runway show kicks off his tenth anniversary collection. “It is going to reference some of the things that have resonated for me along the way,” Kent says. “Ultimately, this runway show is my way of thanking the people who have helped me to get to the point where I can do exactly what I was born to do.” In true artistic form, Kent promises some surprises: “The goal of this show is to dismantle any distinctions between fashion shows and performance theater. The designs are not ‘merchandise,’ the audience is not ‘the consumer’ - rather, we are going to share an experience.” Kent Stetson will be presenting at 9pm on Tuesday, January 29, at the Providence Biltmore.