Zips are normally a small part of a garment or fashion accessory, but zipper is manufactured and sold in continuous lengths up to 200m. The question was whether a long length of zipper could be used as the main component of pieces of clothing, objects or accessories.
Following extensive experimentation making objects, dresses and accessories from long pieces of zipper, the project developed into a handbag. Zip Bag is based around a single long length of zipper that when unzipped, doubles the size of the bag – transforming what was previously a polite leather handbag into a larger day-bag and revealing an unexpected spiral of colour. The design required structural engineering and is made to unusually high tolerances, to ensure the bag works effectively.
Zip Bag was developed in collaboration with Longchamp, the French family company that has been manufacturing luxury leather goods since 1948 and whose range includes Le Pliage, a classic folding bag collection. Zip Bag went into production in 2003 and was launched at London’s Design Museum, becoming a bestseller for Longchamp.
The relationship with Longchamp has continued, most significantly with their flagship store, La Maison Unique, which opened in SoHo, New York in 2006.
Project Leader: Marion Gillet
Team: Zeinab El Mikatti, Ingrid Hu, Stuart Wood