December 14, 2020
Some stories take a long time to unfold. You could say that this one started over 15 years ago when a fire-hose first caught my eye. Or you could say it started around 2 years ago, when the V&A decided to host an exhibition 'Bags: Inside Out'.
In early 2019 we met the Victoria and Albert Museum exhibitions curator, Lucia Savi, when she came to see our workshop in Kent. We had an amazing conversation about the history of carrying things, the genesis of the 'bag', and how we are not, by a long shot, the first bag makers whose work challenges the status quo; the exhibition includes an anti-slavery reticule bag from 1825!
The entire process has been an absolute delight. The museum purchased our classic, decommissioned red fire-hose Weekend Bag. It is now a part of their permanent collection. A team from the V&A came to the Mill to also make a film for the exhibition which features us and one of our design heroes and past collaborators, Bill Amberg. We were asked to contribute our ship-lapped zero waste hose, our rescued parachute silk, and our circular leather system; both of these are featured in a 'how-its-made', experiential space within the exhibition.
Image courtesy of the V&A, fire-hose right, parachute silk left!
The pandemic severely stalled the launch and has unfortunately meant that a mass weaving event, designed to inspire young people to embrace the circular economy, has been shelved for now. However, the exhibition is finally live and we are so happy that it will be in situ throughout 2021.
The Elvis & Kresse Weekend Bag is a statement about reuse, revalue, creativity, and giving. It fills us with so much hope that a piece like this, which delivers and inspires a more equitable future for the planet and its people, fits right in at the world's leading art and design museum.
Image courtesy of the V&A: Can you spot our Weekend Bag?
On the 19th of March, 2021, we are also participating in a panel, hopefully at the V&A, about the future of bag design. You can learn more or sign up here.
Our Weekend Bag is now officially and forever, iconic!!!