Stephanie Wood Funky Navajo Pete Bonas inspired guitar strap


One fabulous guitarist Pete Bonas (who played with the Jim Capaldi band for many years)  gave me the inspiration for this guitar. strap. It’s strong and sturdy yet completely wild,a bit like Pete.

So guitarist Pete Bonas says to me ‘Make it Navajo-ish., bright colours, primary colours and make it funky.’ What better brief could I have!… Navajo..ish and Funky!  I couldn’t wait to begin….


I’d made my brother a buckskin waistcoat with circles and triangles adorning it back in the early Traffic days; that was my interpretation of ‘Red Indian’. Not particularly bright but a bit faded in it’s look. I made it with patterns of circles and triangles and it was certainly a western influence. it went well with his cowboy boots he used to wear. One pair he sprayed green! This waistcoat design kept whirling through my mind when Pete gave me the brief.

First I had a quick look at classic designs and then thought to myself  ‘I need to keep this simple.’ Bold bright colours needed plain surface leather as a background with no texture, and my good friend had supplied me with the perfect bright skins from a recent trip to France. Time to get them out from my store. I approached this project with the best of colour palates before me. Striking simplicity of hues teamed with the same approach to making it.

I am on a Navajo roll! I like the idea of bringing the bright colours together with multiple more neutral backgrounds of natural browns and ochres… and textures that are a bit different too so its a feast on the eyes and the fingers too. I selected three different but complimentary brownish hues that go from dark to lighter and then overlay the brights to bring out each colour.

Along the Navajo Trail

I used to watch endless wild west films in my youth and these images kept popping up when I was creating this strap. The other thing I keep in mind is stage presence … “will it catch the lights?”, “will it photo well?” and “will it go well with most guitars”! I hope this Navajo-inspired strap ticks all boxes for Pete. He has inspired me.
Be warned though… I haven’t done with this  theme yet. My lifetime fascination with cowboys and indians and anything leathery they were dressed in is haunting me right now.

My ‘Mantra’ of ‘ KEEP IT SIMPLE paid off. Clean lines of the design with simple stitching. The raw edges seemed to be exactly what was needed. Perfect but not ‘posh’ – built for the musician who can play a guitar and ride a horse… at the same time!

All in all, I had the strap made in a couple of days, such was my enthusiasm… sorta a non-stop work ethic was going on or more like… ‘this is so exciting I don’t want to finish it, any too soon’ day!

Happily Pete was delighted!

  • The back of this guitar strap is made of brown hide leather
  • The leather is very strudy, yet very soft and supple against your shoulder and back
  • The top of the guitar strap is made from a dark brown crocco print leather with pieces of bright red, blue, yellow and vivid orange aniline dyed leather pieces
  • Dimension:  2.5”wide and 47”long
  • Can be adjusted to make the final length any size between 41” to 50”
Stephanie Wood

Stephanie Wood

Stephanie Wood is unique – a cocktail of simplicity, style and quality with a dash of raw electric creativity.

Her designs are as unique as Steph and are the very extensions of her character. All her products are timeless pieces made from high quality leathers and hides, carefully chosen for their colours. Meticulously finished and detailed..

From her busy studio in the heart of Worcestershire, each handmade guitar strap is created with care, knowledge, craftsmanship using carefully selected materials.

You can’t buy experience, but you can own it.


Stephanie Wood grew up in a fantasy home with battlements and forests in the middle of The Black Country. This creative environment spurned her creative soul to take up a Fashion degree course at Birmingham Art College.

Whilst studying tailoring Stephanie became identified by national newspapers as one of the few women in England to design and make clothes for men. The Birmingham music scene was emerging and Stephanie found herself in the middle of the vortex of a transforming culture.

“It was a time when there was new music, new fashions, new ideas and a new culture – when all the rules were being broken – rock festivals had started, so had psychedelic dreams, there was Swinging London, Mods, Jimi Hendrix and my brother Chris Woodwho became one of the co-founder’s of Traffic along with Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi and Dave Mason.

Fashion was exploding with Twiggy, Mary Quant, Jean Shrimpton, Biba, Granny Takes a Trip, Mr Freedom. Even movies started changing – Blow Up, Mulberry Bush, Alfie,- every medium was being reinvented and liberated.”

Then, and now, Steph has a passion for all things British, and so started designing very beautiful men’s clothes using Harris Tweed, Vyella, and Liberty fabrics in her collections – an influence of the English gentleman mixed with the extremes of the music. Steph designed and made clothes for The Tremeloes, Spencer Davis Group and Pete Townshend of The Who


At this time, even though still studying at college, Steph was supplying Mary Quant shops in London“Men can look stylish and still be in rock ‘n’roll – just look at the style of Jess Roden, Robert Palmer, Bryan Ferry…”


A turning point in Steph’s fashion path came when she studied fashion adornments – such as covered leather buttons, belts,  purses… “As soon as I started working with leather, that was it. There was no turning back, it became the perfect medium for me. I even started designing leather jewellery.”


After a short stint with couture house Belville Sassoon, Steph also became more familiar with using beads and different metallic and glass ornaments in her designs.

She continued studying with a Master of Arts degree in Fashion & Embroidery, and it was at this point her burning desire for creating handbags started – mixing and matching different materials, textures and patterns – a fire which still lives within her today. “Those were the days when I had the fashion freedom to do whatever I wanted. There was an inventing intensity in the air – it just fired you up.”


From creating some handbags using Liberty’s fabrics, the London store started selling Steph’s clutch bags, before other prominent London fashion shops also started selling her crafted pieces – including Browns of South Moulton Street and Chic of Hampstead.

After features  about Stephanie and her work appearing in British Vogue together with her annual exhibitions, Stephanie’s handbag collections started being noticed by the American fashion industry.

Mrs Bloomingdale attending a New York cocktail party one night, couldn’t help noticing  an eye-catching handbag on someone else’s wrist. The next day Steph fielded a call from Mr Bloomingdale, and the rest is history. Soon Steph’s collections were being seen in Saks of Fifth Avenue, Henri Bendels of New York, Neiman Marcus as well as being distributed to prestigious boutiques in Los Angeles and Miami.  Despite her success in the States, Steph has started refocused her annual fashion shows and collections back towards her creative roots, towards London and England  -and concentrates on supplying shops in the UK, which she still does today. However, her new foray into making personal work available online now means she can, at last, sell directly to the discerning individual.


“It’s time to jump off the commercial bandwagon and stop manufacturing, to return to creating works of art that are for individual people.”



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