Albert Chu isn’t your typical handbag designer: He cut his teeth as an architect, studying at Harvard before working at hotshot firms Johnston Marklee and Ateliers Jean Nouvel. And that gives him a unique, highly functional viewpoint for Otaat, a new series of bags that he sews himself.
Each of the four bags is a little quirky, but those quirks serve clearly defined purposes. For example, the Oak Bag is the quintessential architect’s bag: Chu came up with the idea because of the typical hassle of pulling out large presentation binders from classic L.L. Bean tote bags. Instead, Oak is like a log carrier, which lets you wrap contents simply and smoothly:
The Bagby was invented after Chu heard from his sister about her trying to carry her baby while shopping. So the bag’s shape, dimensions and carriage are inspired by the phenomenon of having only one arm free–but needing an easily accessible and readily organizable carrying case:
The Fo Bag is simple–it’s essentially a modified drawstring bag with ripstop nylon flaps that hold contents in place:
And lastly, there’s the Tu Bag. “I was driving between the Bay Area and LA and was thinking about the “endless” bag, where a bag could “telescope” and fold away,” Chu tells us. The result is a “bivalve” design that can be carried as a whole or a half: