While living in New Oreleans in the early 70’s, Wendy was credited with having been the first designer (for Foster Fashions) to bring the oversized canvas tote with messages printed on them into the public eye, starting a huge trend. It was later adopted by the Bloomingdales Department Store chain known as the Big Bag, as the store’s shopping bag. Warner Brothers Records even packaged one of Al Jarreau’s early albums in one of Wendy’s canvas bag designs.
Hired as the head designer for Georgie’s Bag in Los Angeles, Wendy’s talent for starting trends continued with her whimsical, see-through plastic handbag designs with all sorts of crazy trims. She even floated fake goldfish in an outside liquid pocket. They became all the rage in Europe and Japan before catching on at home.
In the 80’s, Wendy was inspired to create her own version of what seemed to be around everybody’s waists at the time…the beltbag. As an activist in the environmental movement, she learned about a company, Aqua Leathers, who was tanning normally tossed out fish skins, into leathers. Her line, Hooked On You was born. Using actual stingray skin, she created a stingray bag and penguin bag with hematite eyes. King fish skin was used for a fish-shaped bag. She later expanded the line to include geometric shapes as well.