Some people see bags as little more than functional objects: containers for other objects you might need after you leave your home. But our bags are some of the most visible items we own, and because of that we make a statement with them whether we want to or not. We take them with us virtually everywhere, wearing them just about every day, and the type of bag we choose can really say a lot about us. And since bags are utilitarian by nature, why not have some fun with their appearance?
Kiev, Ukraine-based designer Konstantin Kofta of Kofta Studio makes some of the wildest and most attention-getting bags you’ll ever see, but they don’t sacrifice any function for their interesting looks. Made primarily of leather or rubber, Kofta’s creations take on unexpected shapes, sometimes looking like bizarre extensions of their wearers’ bodies. To wear them, you probably have to be okay with a certain amount of gawking from strangers.
The studio’s most recent offering is its fall/winter collection, “ABC,” which consists of nine sculptural geometric bags that are simple in shape but never boring.
“[The] relationship of man and space, the synthesis of technical and creative, making the form is absolute by bringing [it] to geometrical perfection. Forms cleared from any symbolism and metaphoricity or repeatability, monochrome, neutral surfaces, industrial materials, and methods of manufacture. ABC seeks to convey the simplified essence and form of objects, cutting off secondary images and shells. The symbolism prevails based on three main figures, [as well as] colors, dots, and lines.”
Some of Kofta’s designs may seem dark and strange, almost gothic — like the ones resembling anatomical human backs, matte black gas masks, and screaming faces. Others are industrial and architectural, like the barrel, canister, brick walls, and tires.
2017’s “Fear” collection includes some of these darker pieces. Kofta adds that: “fear has its own beauty, elegance, and sensuality. It is one intricate phenomenon. Only living beings may experience fear. The dead [are] nonchalant. It becomes the absolute silence, immortal and eternal, clear from the doom of an imminent ‘I.’ It is important to stop grasping things by their names. Contemplate the feeling and let it reveal itself.”
But Kofta doesn’t only work in stark black. Some of his collections are downright bright and playful, like a series shaped like fruits and vegetables, or the beautiful jewel tones of bags resembling beetles and other natural specimens.
Of the fruit-shaped “Mellow” collection, released for spring/summer 2019, Kofta writes “A fruit to be considered as a product, a final point, destination, and result of any long-term process, effort, contact; the path from birth through blossom towards art.”
Founded in 2010, Kofta Studio is the recipient of numerous art and fashion awards, including the Red Dot 2018 Award and an A’Design Award in 2016. You can see their entire archive at KoftaStudio.com.
“We want to allow the viewer to gain [a] different perspective on familiar things through synergizing our artwork. Our bags serve as a canvas for expressing our creative intentions through properties that they did not initially possess, endowing them with ability to bring aesthetic pleasure while maintaining functionality.”