This isn’t the first time we’ve seen aerospace technology turn up in fashion--remember Tom Sachs’ space suit overnight bag?--but it’s certainly the first handbag we’ve seen that also works as a prop in your Joseph Kittinger fantasies.
The Chute is a collapsible tote bag designed by Michael Pappas, a design student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Made of lightweight parachute material, the bag is designed to fold in on itself like a parachute--in reverse. When it’s in use, the Chute supports its contents with a series of carbon fiber tubes that line its base. When it’s not, you pull on an aluminum handle hanging from the shoulder strap, and a silnylon ripcord woven into the base collapses the bag into a neat rectangle.
Carbon fiber tubes? Silnylon ripcord? What’s all this going to cost me, you ask? Well, the Chute ain’t cheap: It goes for $83 at The Future Perfect. On the other hand, that’s less than the cost of a single skydiving jump. And you don’t have to sign a release, either.
The Chute was introduced this spring at the Milan Furniture Fair, where Pappas and 15 of his peers were part of an exhibit called Whatnot. The concept behind the show was to provide a little antidote to the astronomically expensive objects typically shown at the fair. Instead, everything at Whatnot was for sale at fairly low costs. The idea, explain curators Helen Maria Nugent and Jim TerMeer, was to provide “a bit of necessary joy, irrational desire, and simple satisfaction for everyday life.” The Chute, which implodes with a satisfying whoosh, definitely fits the bill.