From wrapping up the ninth and final season of everyone’s favourite legal drama Suits to trying her hand at design, it’s been a big year for Sarah Rafferty. The actress, who plays Donna, the fiery secretary-turned-executive (and love interest to head lawyer Harvey Specter), is saying goodbye to the show after nearly a decade.
However, fans of her character’s confidently feminine style won’t be disappointed.
Rafferty has teamed up with Marc Cain to create the True Bag, now available in stores across Canada. It’s her second collaboration with the brand and first as a co-designer, a challenge she was well-prepared for.
“I learned so much about fashion in these nine years on Suits,” says Rafferty. “It’s been like this amazing grad school experience about wearable art.” And she’s not wrong—costume designer Jolie Andreatta has dressed her character in designers like Gucci, Lanvin, Valentino and Nina Ricci, to name a few.
The calf leather bag comes in three shades (black, tan and aubergine) and can be worn as a shoulder bag or handbag. To celebrate the collaboration, Marc Cain is also making a donation to Plan International, a charity that works to advance children’s rights and equality for girls around the world, and one that Rafferty has worked with for several years.
We caught up with Rafferty between filming to talk about style on Suits, the perfect bag and future (potential) design projects.
What inspired the design of the bag?
“I found that I was needing a lot of cross-body bags in my life because I needed to be more hands-free. But, I also wanted to easily transition from day to night because I don’t love changing my bag out all the time. I wanted a bag that was very chic but totally functional at the same time—it’s big enough to hold enough of your stuff during the day and then for the evening, you can tuck away that cross body strap and wear it as a handbag. It’s both form and function for me.”
What is your favourite way to style the bag?
“I would consider the wine colour as being my neutral because it really does mix in with everything. It looks great with navy, black or white. Consider a colour that you haven’t worn or that you don’t have already and find a way to use it.
How did Donna’s style on Suits evolve to reflect her character growth?
“We leaned into Donna’s femininity, in terms of her clothing choices. She was always wearing a very feminine silhouette. Right out of the gates in season one, she was in dresses, and that came out of the fact that she wasn’t trying to compete in a man’s world. She didn’t see the world as a man’s world. She wasn’t a lawyer, she wasn’t trying to prove anything in that way—she was a woman and always led with that aspect of her. As she’s evolved, we’ve even made her silhouette even more feminine because that is her super power, that is her strength. We’ve approached the tailoring, the specificity and the exactness of the tailoring seen in the men’s suits, but it’s in these beautiful dresses that really celebrate the female form. They’re her cape, her superhero outfit.”
Is there anything you want to try designing next?
“I think a lot about how we feel as women when we’re in our clothes, and whether we feel strong, empowered, feminine—fashion can reflect that. The choices that we make are deeply personal and reflect those pieces of our identities. I would love to create a capsule collection of easy pieces that work together, so you can travel but still get to have easy access to all those different sides of yourself that you may want to express.”