In a world full of glamourous “It Bags” covered in the latest hardware trends, a patchwork of prints and kaleidoscopic colours, it is easy to forget how truly beautiful the notion of simplicity can be. New York-based handbag label CHIYOME’s aesthetic may be minimalistic but their values and workmanship are loud and proud.

Designed and manufactured in New York City, all of the materials for each of CHIYOME’s handbags are locally sourced from minority-owned business. This not only strengthens the sense of community among its peers but helps reduce CHIYOME’s carbon footprint. In addition to their distinct efforts to maintain ethical standards, there is a social aspect to CHIYOME’s vision as well; they are currently in the early stages of developing a work program for survivors of human trafficking in NYC. Through this, they hope to inspire more socially conscious business conduct within the fashion industry.

When it comes to CHIYOME’s design concept, curiosity is key. Many of the bags are merely answers to simple question. In the case of their Spring/Summer collection, HOVER, it is “what is the relationship between hard and soft?”. The answer translates into a stunning harmony between dissonant materials, finding a balance with every seam.

Fusing high quality materials such as leather and marble with lower (and often utilitarian) end ones such as rubber and vinyl, not to mention personal touches such as their hand painted edges are all the things that make CHIYOME unique. But perhaps best of all is how their sharp lines, soft colour palettes and smart, versatile proportions add a sense of effortlessness to every outfit.

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Story by Dayana Cadet | KA MAGAZINE  / CITYGUIDE