Label to know: Khaore, the ethical bag brand creating wearable art
As beautiful as they are thoughtful
Kolkata-born Raiheth Rawla and Guangzhou-raised Wei Hung Chen met in New York City, while they were pursuing their BFA in Fashion Design at Parsons School Of Design — The New School. A shared desire to look at simple objects in one’s everyday surroundings in a new light, led the two 25-year-olds to launch their joint venture, Khaore, in September 2017. Its premier collection, Roadside, was inspired by items found on the streets such as traffic cones, jute baskets and stacked pots. A capsule collection, titled Bais, followed. It experimented with jute, which is widely used to create sacks and totes across India and China. With a new line dropping in December, and ongoing efforts to create a usable bag out of leaves, this is one duo to watch.
ELLE: Why did you launch Khaore?
Raiheth Rawla: We were inspired by the possibility that product design could be combined with art. The bags reflect the shape and functionality of each object, and we consider these aspects while creating pieces that challenge the conventional notion of a bag. We worked with graphic designer Natasha Jen and her team at design consultancy Pentagram to create the logo. They reinterpreted Caslon, a classic serif typeface, giving it angled curves and radical cuts that echo the forms seen in the handbag designs.
ELLE: Take us through the basic process of creating these bags.
Wei Hung Chen: We begin by gathering objects related to the theme we’re working on, or compiling images of them, and then narrow down to the item most people resonate with.
RR: All the bags are made by our talented artisans across New York, India and Italy. While in New York, Wei and I work together on the design process, and create shapes and prototypes before moving forward to further develop them with our factories, until they are up to our standards.
ELLE: How would you define success for the brand?
WHC: Being able to create products that have a lasting impact in one’s lifetime. If our designs and the way that we work can challenge the idea of what bags are and what they can become, I would be delighted.