Taking something really basic and turning it into one of the most covetable objects you can imagine: There’s a particular obsession with this pursuit going on at the moment. When it’s as good as this latest union, courtesy of Marisa Jiwi Seok of the cult-cool jewelry line Jiwinaia and her update of Eastpak’s simple canvas bags, the result is brilliant. Her goal: “Change Eastpak’s classic bags into portable jewels.” Done.
“This is my first time designing bags, and it came at the perfect time since I want to make more accessories in the near future!” says the Milanese-Korean designer who studied at Central Saint Martins. Needless to say, she’s a citizen of the globe, her worldly richness translating to a mini-collection of astutely eclectic accessories. How eclectic, you wonder? Three recognizable Eastpak bags—a fanny pack and two rectangular pouches—velvet add-ons, Swarovski crystals, faux-fur handles, even a pair of silver-plated chopsticks fashioned into handles and topped with 20-sided dice, an irreverent reference to Seok’s penchant for Dungeons & Dragons. “I always wanted to make a jewelry collection inspired by Korean mother-of-pearl souvenirs, like the little compact mirrors,” Seok explains of the elements. “I wanted to mix my Korean roots into these bags.”
She’s done more than that. Seok has made Eastpak cool again, which is no easy feat. Each piece is handmade in Italy, which is where she grew up and available for $275 to $629 on Farfetch.com for a limited time.