The Latest Collection from NYC Brand Kara Explores The Multi-Purpose Potential of Classic Bags
It’s no news that more and more fashion brands are looking beyond the rules and regulations of the four big fashion week in order to share their work with the world. By working at their own pace, emerging brands avoid becoming just a snowflake in a storm and instead create communities of people dedicated to discovering every one of their steps. One of those is Kara, a New York-based accessories label founded by Sarah Law in 2013.
Taking name from the Japanese word “karaoke” and its original meaning of “empty orchestra”, Kara create tools for self-expression of individuality under the mantra of “the world is your orchestra.” Law’s bags are simple and essential, but always come with a signature code that will make you instantly recognise its origin without a large logo in sight. Describing her brand as a “celebration of people and communities that relate to having mixed identities,” she credits her personal sentiment of simultaneously embracing her dual background as half-Chinese and half-American Caucasian.
One of her original hits was the classic black leather backpack that took the world by storm thanks to its minimal rectangular silhouette, only embellished with a sturdy zip running across. The piece was sold through retailers worldwide, making it one of those mid-2010s staples every fashion student saved up their student loan money for. As part of the more recent incarnation of Kara, Law found new inspiration in the form of a thick chain which began embellishing wallets, totes and camera bags as a functional autograph.
Following her own tempo of dropping collections and steadily introducing new ideas into the mix, Law is releasing her latest outing today through her own e-tail platform. “In a simple way, while designing I started looking more closely at the line between a bag and a garment. I find it interesting, that how we label something impacts how we see it,” she explains. Consisting of four pieces, the capsule celebrates the notion of multifunctions classic shapes can have when considered from different angles. For example, the black leather bucket hat turns into a handbag thanks to the cut-out handles in the brim. Without seeming like a gimmick, the pieces embrace familiar forms and their contrasting meanings in the every day. Similarly, the crystal mesh bike wallet transforms from a cross-body and into a 1990s essential jean chain. The drop also includes several other pieces made in the sparkly crystal mesh fabric, approaching versatility from a unique standpoint, forming a grey area are between the formal and the everyday.
There’s nothing singular about Kara’s pieces. As the world moves on, Law’s ideas grow into new directions that go beyond the understand of what a bag is meant to do for its wearer. But what does the perfect one look like? “Something versatile. Something that can be styled really differently and worn to a lot of places.”
The latest drop from Kara is available via their own e-tailer platform. Photographs by Sean Davidson.
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