Thinking about the Future

Think Bag applied project provides food for thought on the future of bag design

Thinking about the Future

Think Bag applied project provides food for thought on the future of bag design

“The bag, or rather its contents, is a self-portrait of its owner,” art critic Marco Meneguzzo writes in the book “In the Bag”. The bag is the only accessory we do not wear; instead, it orbits us like a satellite, acting as an extension and representation of our very selves.

For this year’s edition of Think Bag, an applied project with Leather & Luxury Magazine and Loipell, students embraced the brief to develop an iconic bag. The resulting bags were experimental and deeply personal, with the winning project exploring the common human emotion of anxiety.

Undergraduate Accessories Design students teamed up with Undergraduate Fashion Marketing Management students to tackle the project brief. They had to design and market a bag using materials and craftsmanship supplied by the project’s partner companies, with a maximum production cost of €300 and a retail price of approximately €500.

The project culminated in a presentation at the end of May 2024 before a jury composed of Andrea Bonotto, Product and Collection Development Director at Tod’s Leather Division; Giorgia Cantarini, Senior Fashion & Digital Editor at L’Officiel; Andrea Calistri, CEO of Sapaf Atelier 1954; Vanessa Lucarini, Product Manager and Developer at Loipell; Bianca Mantovani of Ritz srl; Enrica Mirandi, Modelist Coordinator at Givenchy and Polimoda alumna; Annagreta Panconesi, Creative Director at LuisaViaRoma; Nicola Scarpini; Veronica Silicani, Freelance Accessories Designer; and Silvia Tolaro, Fashion Design Department Supervisor at Polimoda.

After the final presentations, the jury announced Chiara Cherici (Design) and Gadkari Riya (Fashion Marketing Management) as winners for their brand “CHICCHI”, after Chiara’s childhood nickname, their bag drew inspiration from the designer’s interest in and experience with anxiety.

My goal is for every piece to become a conversation starter, a way for individuals to share their stories and feel less isolated in their experiences. I hope that by wearing CHICCHI, customers can find comfort and empowerment, embracing their uniqueness and the vibrant colors of their own lives, even amid the shades of anxiety.
Chiara Cherici
Undergraduate Fashion Accessories Design student

Chiara began by researching prisons, leading to the cage-like woven design of the bag; she then incorporated classic leather colors with more vibrant ones. Gadkari Riya focused on the bag’s overall branding, market research, merchandising strategies, campaign concept, and social media promotion. Their project was completed with a full photoshoot to promote the bag across various social media channels.

The winning student duo’s bag and brand will be promoted by MGA and MIPEL/Lineapelle in Leather & Luxury Magazine and across various communications channels. The bags will be produced by Loipell and sold in Italian retail outlets, with profits from sales going to charity.

Other notable projects included:

  • Mailo Mela: Michele Feretti and Sofia Nicole Rivera developed a brand and a bag focused on practicality, shape, form and elegance.
  • Daros: Natalie Da Ros and Fanni Boris took inspiration from Florence’s historic Museo Stibbert. Their project emphasized the Made in Italy ethos and the reinterpretation of history, featuring a bag made of white leather inspired by the Gothic-Renaissance ‘Hennin’ headdresses.
  • Aploma: Lyuci Yosifan and Isabella Sandoval aimed to create an art object rather than just a bag, utilizing unusual materials such as a metal handle shaped like a flower.
  • Gonza: Gianni Gonzales and Loreto Letamendia Barreiros designed a bag inspired by geometrical shapes that could be worn over the shoulder or carried by hand by removing the strap.
Thanks to the Think Bag project, I have understood the importance of having a clear product in mind and being able to communicate it to the companies you collaborate with. The precise study of each element of the bag ensures that the final product is at its best. I think all this has enriched me as a designer, so that in the future I can be as consistent as possible in what I design.
Natalie Da Ros
Undergraduate Fashion Accessories Design student
Think Bag's participating students

The diverse projects presented at Think Bag highlight the multifaceted future of accessories design. Gen Z designers are not a homogenous group; they simultaneously share and reject various hopes and visions for the future of accessories design. Some turn to the past for inspiration, while others focus on material, shape, and form to ensure high quality and practicality. The creativity and diversity demonstrated in this year’s Think Bag project are sure to inspire thoughtful consideration in anticipation of next year’s edition.