As part of the World Design Capital 2014 purpose to ‘Live Design, Transform Life’, the Missibaba team launched the BOOMBOX project. Chloe Townsend and Lizel Strydom invited 7 creatives to each design a custom Missibaba bag. They were given unprinted leather panels and asked to come up with a design to decorate the iconic large weekender style Missibaba bag. The results were auctioned off at a one-night-only exhibition last week to raise funds for SHIFT, an organisation dedicated to empowering youth and rural communities through the transfer of practical skills for social, environmental and economic wellbeing. Committed to collaborative practices, SHIFT applies their experience of human-centred design to ensure that voices are heard and needs met through their work.
Meet the designers and see the bags:
Artist Cameron Platter created his BOOMBOX bag using a collage of leather offcuts from the Missibaba studio.
#0uttheboombox by Kirsten Goss
The design for this bag is a play on the PAC-MAN arcade games that inspired Kirsten’s last collection titled #ARCADE. She used just about every variety of unusual semiprecious gemstone under the sun in a conceptual PAC-MAN style game format.
Jersey Tour by Meneer + Mevrou
The BOOMBOX bag by design duo Reep and Anna, aka Meneer + Mevrou, was inspired by a combination of their recent book binding projects and knitting ventures. Titled Jersey Tour, this piece is made from embossed tan leather with a grey linen inside, finished with a signature Missibaba stripe detail on the inside pocket.
Dot Boombox by John Murray
Artist John Murray’s work focusses on fragments, colour and textures. Initially he thought of painting onto the leather of the BOOMBOX bag, but then he saw the colourful heaps of leather offcuts in the Missibaba workshop and decided to use them to create Dot Boombox.
Learning the Ropes by Michael Taylor
Being a big fan of all things nautical, artist Michael Taylor used the sailor’s knot as a starting point for his BOOMBOX design. Large, loosely drawn, hoops and stripes are the main elements and the sides of the bag feature a series of curved shapes. Learning the Ropes is made from a combination of nylon fabric, suede and dyed leather.
Ode to Cecily by Aisha Redpath Treppo
Made by weaving and stitching in vibrant waxed thread and leather cord, Ode to Cecily represents taking one small, sometimes bigger step at a time in life, just putting one foot in front of the other and allowing oneself to trust the bigger picture.
Menswear designer Stiaan Louw has worked with Missibaba on a few projects since launching the menswear collection in 2008. For the BOOMBOX project he wanted to revisit their first collaborative collection, so he laser engraved a print that artist Daley Muller designed onto nude leather. The print and collection it came from was inspired by modern tribalism in a digital age and mimics the circuitry found in an old-school computer.
The Great Migration by Ida Elsje
Jewellery designer Ida Elsje’s BOOMBOX bag, titled The Great Migration, depicts a herd of hand-cut brass galloping animals which has been ‘paper dolled’ into the leather.
The Mbala BOOMBOX by Missibaba
Chloe and Lizel were so excited about this project that they decided to design a BOOMBOX bag too. Representing the diversity of South Africa, they created The Mbala BOOMBOX (mbala meaning colours in Xhosa), which is made up of hand-woven leather panels in different width leather strips and a multitude of rainbow colours. The bag is trimmed in black/navy veg tan leather, which ages incredibly beautifully. A simple black graphic diamond lining was selected so as not to detract from the glory of the outer shell.