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Interview: Chitose Abe of Sacai

Kaila Imada chats to the famous Japanese designer about her first handbag collection, That Bag
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Kaila Imada

Chitose Abe is a true wonder woman of fashion, both the creative director and founder of her own brand, Sacai. The company has been around since 1998 and has successfully grown into a world-renowned fashion label. Abe owns 100 percent of her business, providing her complete freedom and creative control. For 2016, she introduced her very first line of handbags into Sacai’s range of products. The result is a series of six versatile creations – sure to become the new must-have bags on the arms of so many fashionistas.

Regarding the inspiration for her collection, Abe tells us: “Not only for the handbags but also for this season’s ready-to-wear collection, we applied Sacai’s hybrid aesthetic of ‘all-in-one’ looks.” Each bag is a playful mix on textures and colours while exploring functionality through adjustable bag straps and thoughtful details like pockets inside each bag. “It’s always important for us to think about the functionality. It’s not an art piece. It may look like one but it’s not. It has to be wearable,” she says.

Although she’s a Japanese designer through and through – one who’s worked with the likes of Comme des Garçon’s Rei Kawakubo and Junya Watanabe – incorporating Japanese elements into her designs is not a necessity. “I don’t think about adding any Japanese elements. However, I think our work ethic is very Japanese – we are serious about making our products in a disciplined way,” she states.

As Abe continues to create lust-worthy collections every season, as well as coveted collaborations with other brands such as Nike, what can fans expect in 2017? “We are expecting some very new things in a short while – we’ll let you know!” she announces mysteriously. Whatever they are, we can’t wait to find out.

Sacai Shop 2B, 18 On Lan St, Central, 2285 9080;

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