MEDEA // THE REINVENTION OF BAGS - CRASH Magazine
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MEDEA // THE REINVENTION OF BAGS

By Crash redaction

Founded by sisters Camilla and Giulia Venturini, MEDEA takes it’s name from the 1969 film by Pasolini, and the multiple personae of the Greek Goddess: meaning elegant, beguiling and sensuous. In what began as an idea to reimagine traditional shopping bags, the twins took a structured leather shopper as a sort of blank canvas for color and artistic collaboration. They united their aesthetic worlds between New York and Milan and have since offered a vibrant selection of monochrome leather bags alongside limited editions featuring the work of renowned artists and photographers from around the world.

The radical brand has infused the fashion scene with provocative, powerful and functional collaborations since its launch in 2018 which was marked by an unforgettable pairing with New York photographer Nan Goldin, one of the 20th century’s most intimate image makers, Goldin’s first started taking photographs as a teenager in Boston in the 1960s, then in New York in the 1970s, developing a practice of making vivid portraits of those in her community. Often the bodies she documents are those repressed by hetero-normative society, living on its borders. Created during moments of intimacy, her candid images serve to memorialize a subculture, at the very moments of its radical destabilization by forces within and beyond art’s purview— the HIV epedemic, the Opioid crisis. The collection of limited edition bags featured “Trixie on a Ladder,” 1969 and “Jimmy Paulette and Taboo in the bathroom,” 1991. The bags printed with Goldin’s confidante and muses were a celebration of those who exceed bounds. Goldin’s herself shot the campaign imagery in Paris.

Not shying away from politically charged areas, other partnerships have included Judith Berstein, one of the 20th Century’s unsung heroes. An American artist, Bernstein first started making politically motivated art in the 1970’s, utilizing charcoal to scale up words and images onto paper. With broad energetic strokes she obliterates the outline of her drawings, atomizing the subject matter into its most elemental, bodily representations. Affiliated with anti-war art movement, often Bernstein’s inscriptions vibrate, reverberating off the page. These drawings serve to captivate your senses and redirect them to the corporeal. Bernstein first created them during wartime crisis in the 1960’s and its aftermath then again in the 1990s, precisely during a moment when questions of humanity and empathy were being challenged. The collaboration featured her Horizontal, 1973 as well as Voice, 1995 and a newly commissioned text work, Medea fin 2019.

The brand has also officially supported human rights group Mediterranea, a reality platform of civil society that arrived in the Mediterranean after the authorities stopped saving lives of the countless refugees crossing the dangerous waters in seek of asylum in Europe, from war, hunger and persecution in their homelands. The core promoter of Mediterranea launched a ship flying the Italian flag, equipped to carry out a monitoring and possible rescue service, the MEDEA bag, was made available to the ships crew, and 100% of the revenue was donated to Mediterranea in support of its activities.

A perhaps more functional design collaboration, saw the pair partner up with with Peter Do. It was a harmonious union born out of the brands’ mutual pursuit for purposeful design. MEDEA’s signature leather shopper is straightforward and structurally precise, paralleling Peter Do’s sharp tailoring and architectural construction each bag was designed to sought after a unique purpose. MEDEA does nothing without purpose, as is evident in its dynamic but concise collections.

Further projects with London based designer Kiko Kostadinov, photographer Roe Ethridge and make-up super mogul and artistic director Issamaya French, have firmly planted MEDEA on the map as a seriously switched on small label. Sticking out amongst their generation of designers by continuously seeking culturally significant partnerships, MEDEA is one to watch.

The SS22 collection is not surprisingly peppered with striking colorways, the kind of which have already made a name for the brand, think gold, lime punch, pink, star white and mecca orange tand fresh sizes and shapes that breathe new life into already iconic styles, such as ‘the collapsed bag’, the ‘Cydonia’ – a baguette shaped bag named after a region on Planet Mars, and a brand new round shape bucket bag.

Discover the images from the SS22 collection, shot by photographer Lukas Wassmann below.

 

PHOTOGRAPHY: LUKAS WASSMAN @totalworld 

PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANT: SIMON HABEGGER

STYLING: DANNY REED 

STYLING ASSISTANT: HOLLIE WILLIAMSON

HAIR AND MAKEUP: GINERVA CALIE

PRODUCTION: STUDIO SINCE 

TALENTS: SOFIA GINERVA GIANNI 

SELVA BARNI 

GHALI 

MARGHERITA TONDELLI 

MILOVAN FARRONATO 

TIMOTHY @persona 

MARIAM @persona

ZHU H @persona 

 

 

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