As part of its celebrations for International Women’s Day, accessories brand Kipling reached out to well-known female creatives to reimagine the brand’s iconic Art Tote Bag. One of those chosen was emerging knit designer from Hong Kong, Grace.
Grace was discovered by Kipling due to her work with the Redress organisation, an environmental charity that focuses on upcycling textile waste into useable products as part of creating a circular economy.
“I was excited at the prospect of working with the Kipling team, I was exposed to some VF brands during my Redress cycle and was impressed with their sustainability efforts and ethos,” says Grace.
According to the brand, Grace’s work explores the “beautiful landscapes of Hong Kong”, and through her unique use of colour and patterns in her webbing and quilting practices she has created an Art Tote that is really different. Grace’s bag features “a removable front pocket that transforms into a crossbody bag, an internal laptop sleeve and a false bottom that lifts up to become a divider for the spacious compartment”.
“At the time of designing I had just finished the second drop from my knitwear brand Love From Blue, and a clear aesthetic was becoming apparent. I took these patterns and applied them to the visuals of the bag. I also wanted the bag to be multifunctional which is how the detachable pouch bag came about,” Grace explains.
Grace’s brand is all about creating contemporary knitwear with “purpose, care, and consciousness”, says Grace. “We are a small team based in Hong Kong that’s poised to do big things.”
Focusing on the yarn, Grace’s designs pieces based on what is available rather than making yet more textile waste.
“Designs are based on the yarn we have obtained and not the other way around,” says Grace. “This ensures nothing is forced or compromised during the creative process; once we are inspired by the colour and texture of our source material, we make the perfect piece to complement it.”
“We are committed to setting a new standard for sustainability by shaking things up and slowing them down. Our non-traditional pre-order model, sourcing of unused yarn and small production run ensures your garment is limited edition – your very own piece of modern art, intended to be worn and loved for life,” says Grace.
“The [fashion] industry has an undeniable influence on the climate crisis,” says Grace. “There are more and more emerging solutions thanks to technology, but progress on scaling and utilising them is slow. There is a balance between profit and change that a lot of companies don’t seem willing to compromise on.”
Proud to be a female creative
“It isn’t something I have consciously considered before,” says Grace about being identified as a ‘female creative’, “[But] I am a proud female creative and wouldn’t have it any other way.”
“The next generation of female creatives really have the power to think differently, to design with the new available technologies into a circular system and that’s exciting, embrace it!”
For more information about Kipling, go to www.kipling.com.sg. To find a Kipling store, go to www.kipling.com.sg/kipling-stores. To shop Love From Blue, go to lovefromblue.com/collections/all-products, and follow the brand on Instagram at @lovefromblue_
Discover more inspiring Asian creatives in our People section.