I’d like to introduce TDO readers to the newest handbag designer that I have my eye on: Katherine Kwei, whose refined, luxurious bags seamlessly blend Chinese tradition and modernity. Many of Katherine’s designs are inspired by Chinese knots, an art which she learned as a girl from her grandmother. In my childhood, my mom, in a show of Amy Chua tiger-mom behavior, forced me to go to weekly Saturday Chinese school and signed me up for Chinese knot class as an after-school cultural activity. As I learned from creating many lopsided, flimsy knots, Chinese knot-making is an intricate process, with many of the most beautiful knots requiring upwards of 50+ steps.
A better student than I ever was, Katherine Kwei has perfected the art, and incorporated many of the shapes into her own designs, preeminently the Chinese eternity knot. Using her former training at LVMH and as an intern for Zac Posen’s accessory line, she’s created a line of exceptionally unique everyday and special-occasion clutches that speak of custom touches. The Clea clutch (top right) is one of my favorites, a delicately-crafted clutch in an elegant box style, that reminds me of a professionally-wrapped present with its fastidious ribbon detailing. It looks like the type of clutch that would catch Blair Waldorf’s fancy.
Blair Waldorf’s counterpart, Serena VanderWoodsen, carried a modified version of the Donna sling bag (top left) on a Season 1 episode of Gossip Girl. The metallic fringe adds a touch of bohemian glam, and I love using it as my downtown party bag, with soft buttery leather, easy to close magnetic snap, and perfect size (just enough to hold a small wallet, phone, and makeup touchup. Check out Katherine’s new Spring promotional video here, a short, dreamy schoogirl-style video vignette featuring her classic Lulu bag and some of our favorite bloggers including Sara Zucker and Bianca of Small Girl PR.