Who hasn't repurposed when it comes to fashion? By "repurposing," I mean something as simple as turning a pair of tattered jeans into shorts or by hacking the collar off a men's t-shirt to transform it into a feminine, off-the-shoulder top. Designer Joseph Altuzarra's debut handbag collection features bullwhips. Something of utility served as a source of inspo for high fashion!
Remember when Rihanna fashioned a Hermes scarf into a bikini top, which was the ultimate in repurposing? Fashion recycling has infinite possibilities. You look good and you reduce waste. It really is an easy and passive way to be eco-conscious.
This case is a little different, as the idea and nature of a real thing was repurposed. These aren't previously used bullwhips.
Fashionista got the scoop from the designer about his first range of bags. Altuzarra was researching the braiding process and actually located a man in New Mexico that makes bullriding ropes. He learned a lot about this particular business, since the creation of the whip relates to the size and age of the bull, as well as the size of the bull rider's hand.
Bullwhips are utilitarian pieces. They are not known as luxe items. But, as Fashionista reports, Altuzarra's bags are about as prestige as it gets, with price tags that start at $2,200 and end at a whopping $28,000.
That's not a typo.
Look at those beauties! The detailing in the straps is something else. But knowing all of the work that went into it, including the rope idea, elevates them to works of art, really.
According to Fashionista, the bottom of the bull rope attaches to the bag and forms an acorn shape. That's how the bags got the name "Ghianda," since that translates to "acorn" in Italian.
Altuzarra, who had a "masstige" collection at Target last year, is offering the bags in hobo and saddle shapes. They look very American in their style. He wanted to add a French element to the decidedly American bullwhips of the bags. That element is the bottom of a lighter, which is engraved with his name and incorporated into the bag. So. Many. Layers!
If anything, I've learned that making bullwhips and ropes is an art, as well. A lot of thought and consideration goes into creating them, whether they are reproduced for handbags or not.
You can shop for the Altuzarra bags at Barneys, provided you are cool with amassing some credit card debt in order to own a handbag work of art! To each her own.
Images: Altuzarra Studio/Instagram (3)