Sacai’s Debut Bags Will Be a Hit Because They’re Hybrids Like Designer Chitose Abe’s Clothes

Sacai’s Chitose Abe has a cultish fan base for her hybridized clothes, a store in the Minamiaoyama neighborhood of Tokyo, copycats at every level of the market from high to low, and even an “A to Z” book about her and her brand, published by Rizzoli last year. She’s a raging success. The one thing Abe was missing was an It bag. That’s a fairly conspicuous omission for a label launched in 1999, especially considering many fashion companies make their fortunes from accessories. Of course, the fact that she hasn’t launched a handbag collection until now is testament to Abe’s many talents as a ready-to-wear designer. It’s also served to feed her customers’ appetites for one.

The longtime-in-the-making range made its debut on her Spring 2017 runway in Paris, accessorizing a collection inspired by the world’s most iconic dressers—Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, et al. Like her clothes, the new handbags are hybrids, or two-in-ones. A hidden flap turns a Bean-ish tote into a satchel, and a coin purse is married to a duffel with three take-your-pick straps. There are six styles in all, available in leather, suede, crocodile, and mink. “I tried to create bags that were functional and could fit with many lifestyles while creating something that I knew I would want to carry myself,” Abe told Vogue.com. You could say the designer’s hybrid concept was born for bags; the utility factor makes them not just a chic investment, but also smart.

Abe enlisted Katie Hillier of Hillier Bartley and Marc by Marc Jacobs fame to work on the collection. “I had been thinking about introducing a bag collection for a while now, as I thought it would broaden the Sacai collection,” Abe said. “I felt it was the right time because I finally had a concrete image on my mind about how I wanted the bags to look and I happened to meet Katie Hillier around this time. I felt like Katie and I would make a good team.” The Spring bags arrive at Bergdorf’s this month, and Abe is in town to celebrate with a lunch.

Watch a video filmed by Craig McDean starring Lexi Boling, Binx Walton, and Kiki Willems, and the new collection here.

 

 

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