With an ideology to reinterpret objects around ourselves and make sublime of what is considered commonplace is magical and eye-catching. This is what Khaore believes in. This accessories label wants to redefine the way one looks at its pieces—the handbags. They conceive of the ubiquitous handbags as ‘art with utility.’
The idea of Khaore took birth in the minds of two young graduates, Raiheth Rawla and Wei Hung Chen, who studied at Parsons, the New School of Design at New York City. The young minds within their graduation years found their calling. They knew their interest is in exploring the accessories segment and give them almost a sculptural feel.
In addition, what was unimaginable was the name they found themselves. We could not help but ask them how they christened such a unique name for their brand. “The name Khaore, I believe, is a perky take on my mother’s maiden name, Kaur. We loved the sound of it, however wanted to make the visual seemingly ambiguous so, we played with different letters and sound combinations,” reveals Raiheth.
So, what exactly is “responsible” about the brand? What they have taken on their stride is not just sculpting unique handbag pieces but making items that are green and eco-friendly. This responsible brand is all set to launch a biodegradable leaf bag. “Raiheth and Wei are working on this bag along with a florist and biochemical engineer to provide the consumers with the leaf bag. It would be made out of a banana leaf, that lasts them for about a period of 10 years, before it disintegrates completely.”
With plenty of questions popping up in mind, at first, we questioned ourselves: Will the biodegradable bag make us realise the value of this possession? Or is it time for us to put up a thought on their novel idea.
Initially, while the founders were busy looking for raw material possibilities to make a bag, they themselves got intrigued as they came upon the idea of creating a biodegradable bag. As we put forward questions, they also made sure to clear the air. “If we could create a biodegradable bag out of a leaf and extending its lifespan to last 10 years, what would be its impact on the user experience and expectations of the bag? Would it still hold the same meaning as a regular bag, or would the fragile nature and ticking timeline make the user reassess the way in which they valued, treated and used the bag, further putting into perspective the objects that compromise their daily lives and the importance of their presence,” questions Raiheth.
Based out of NYC what makes Raiheth true to her brand ethos is the way she puts a name to her collection and how she structures the pieces. The names that she gives her collection and pieces are a direct reference to the object or concept that inspired the bag. Her recent collection was named Roadside which was in relation to her life spent in New York and India (where she grew up). For this collection, her bags were inspired by the objects as seen, for example, garbage bags, traffic cones, stacked boxes, and jute baskets. For the structure of their bags, they constantly keep in touch with their ideas, they make sure their ideas are discussed over coffee to allow them the liberty of re-imagining them. It is followed by experimentation which ends up in developing eccentric shapes and contours of handbags.
Raiheth tells us, her surroundings in both India and New York have inspired her creations up until now. The hustle and bustle in India and New York may not be the same but they do give her futuristic sustainable ideas to make hay while the sun shines. “This constant stimulation and saturation of people is something that I also found in New York, and makes me feel at home. The city is always buzzing, always on the move, and sometimes, the weirdest things will happen and you just have to go along with it. A year spent in either is like 10 years spent anywhere else,” she says.
For Raiheth, imagination is overflowing from all around the corner as Khaore’s new collection is getting on for its launch later this year. Yet, we are grappling with, “What is it that you carry?” Does the trompe l’oeil look mean the beginning of the end of the traditional bag? Well, time and the accompanying take on Khaore’s quirky ideas will tell.