Fashion

The LOFF Crush: Khaore, upcoming New York-based accessories label

Our “Crush” series is making a comeback, as we see things in a new light after a brief hiatus. First up, we have upcoming New York-based accessories label, Khaore as our focal profile.
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The Pillow bag by Khaore

L’Officiel Malaysia is set to pin down the new crop of rising stars in the fashion and creative realm, with Khaore (@khaore.studio) being a solid contender for our first comeback of the "Crush" series, which saw the likes of model EZ, designer Yoon Ahn of Ambush and more highlighted previously.

Being the accessories prize winner of the prestigious 2019 ANDAM (the National Associate for the Development of the Fashion Arts) in Paris helps set a strong basis to their young business, especially with the hands-on mentoring from Hermès they earned through the prize.

Keep reading to learn more about how the pair behind the brand redefines what a bag should look like in this day and age.

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Who are the designers?

Wei Hung Chen and Raiheth Rawla forged a friendship during their time at Parsons, but it was when they entered the work field did things started to click – gradually brewing their collective interests on the side.

Handbags as a medium came somewhat naturally, with both talents cite initial inspirations from everyday items on the city streets like traffic cones, jute baskets, and stacked pots. It became apparent that their fascinations were lenient towards sculptural forms and malleable objects.

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The Kutchra Bag

What does the brand focus on?

With formal training as womenswear designers, they were less inclined to experiment within the conventional frameworks of what a bag is. “Not everyone is looking for a beautiful, conventional bag”, Chen iterates.

They are not in it to please, or perhaps their interpretation of pleasing is more unorthodox. With creations like “pillow” and “corner guard”, each carrier echoes the distinct features of these everyday objects but deciphered into delectable pieces of wearable art. Through rigorous rounds of development, each piece is made with the dual intent to be carried and looking equally charming as a stationary décor.

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The Corner Guard bag

Why is Khaore a one to watch?

Besides from their continuous effort in pushing the boundaries, regarding the silhouette of a bag, Chen and Rawla are also meticulously invested in finding new methods to engage with materials.

Being conscious of the ecological footprint accumulated as an entity and to engage in the evergrowing dialogue of sustainability, the brand looks into materials like jute vegetable fibre that is biodegradable. Leveraging on Rawla’s family connections in Kolkata, India, who has been working with the material for decades, as well as partnering with skilful artisans in New York, they tap into the potential of jute, whereby shifting our preconceived perception of something ordinary into a luxury staple.

What’s next, you may ask? There are some big projects ahead for Khaore as the year unfolds. What we can guarantee is that the brand would constantly arouse, us the viewer, and challenge the notion of what things can or cannot be.

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Jute fabric in the jute milll after weaving being piled up for the next process.
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The Athaarah bag made in the Natural Jute material

Khaore’s range is available on khaore.com, with selected styles also available through Net-a-Porter.

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