Chord collection for Bao Bao bag by Issey Miyake

September 25th, 2016 by retail design blog

The articulated Bao Bao bag – a perennial favourite among architects and designers – has been updated with an assortment of new piece shapes, including arrows, circles and lighting bolts. The Chord collection by the Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake‘s Bao Bao brand is the first to depart from the classic tessellating triangular structure used since the design debuted in 2000.

As well as the original triangles, the bags features various interlocking geometric shapes, including the lighting bolts and arrows. But circles sit inside an otherwise empty square within the pattern. The PVC panels mounted onto the fabric mesh underlayer of the bag cause it to take on different shapes as it is used.

“The series features not only brand’s iconic triangular pieces, but also round, square, arrows and lightening bolt details, which have never before been used in the brand’s collections,” explained the brand. The collection will launch in November, with bags available in a matt monochrome black or white finish, as well as with multicoloured prints based on motifs associated with rock music. Like the original Bao Bao Issey Miyake bags, the handles will be adjustable.

“Print details such as volume dials and lines of music bring out the brand’s playful rock spirit,” added Bao Bao Issey Miyake. “‘L’ and ‘R’ signs are featured on the handle adjusters just like a pair of headphones.” The original Bao Bao Issey Miyake accessories collection launched in 2000. The design was a continuation of the Miyake’s experiments with fabric and construction, with the idea that the more rigid triangles would create “shapes made by chance” when the bags were moved or placed on surfaces.

Bao Bao has since become one of his most enduring designs, with new shapes, sizes and fabric variations released each year. There are now dedicated Bao Bao Issey Miyake stores across Japan and China. “Bao Bao Issey Miyake is a line of bags and pouches with the theme of ‘shapes made by chance’,” said the brand. “It features a flexible functionality perfect for busy modern lifestyles.” “It has established a unique array of products through its pursuit of shapes born out of simple pieces and diverse materials.”

Issey Miyake, 78, is well-known for his experimental approach to fashion and fabric. His 1999 APOC – or A Piece of Cloth – collection is widely viewed as one of the most important developments in clothing design since the 1800s. It involved entire garments created from a single piece of fabric with no cutting or sewing.

APOC was preceded by Pleats in 1989, a range of clothing made entirely from pleated fabric that would be lightweight and easy to wear as well as store. Like Bao Bao Issey Miyake, Pleats evolved into its own brand called Pleats Please, with stores around the world. Both are part of Issey Miyake Inc.

The Issey Miyake brand has continued the fabric experiments of its founder and figurehead, with recent examples including a collection of pleated garments created by baking the the textiles in an oven. Miyake was recently the subject of a major retrospective exhibition in Tokyo covering 45 years of his work.

Design: Issey Miyake

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