In her Sunshine Coast studio, surrounded by hinterland, designer Felicity Cooney handcrafts shoes and bags from pebbled kangaroo leather. Cooney graduated with honours from one of the most prestigious art and design schools in the world: Parsons School of Design in New York City.
Cooney enrolled in Parsons as a 20 year old and learned “the great American attitude” of taking risks; a mindset she says helped launch her made-to-order accessories brand in Australia earlier this year.
Her spring collection uses a digital laser-cutter to create designs that include elegant Grecian sandals, colourful-crisscross slides and a fishnet-like tote bag. Cooney then finishes pieces by hand, adding delicate details, such as painted daises and tiny cutout star shapes.
The range is almost exclusively made from native kangaroo leather for its suppleness and strength. A by-product of Queensland’s government-regulated culling program, it’s also “much more sustainable than regular calf leather,” Cooney says.
Felicity Cooney’s spring collection is available now.