My wife's obsession for Louis Vuitton is unparalleled, and as a loving, obedient husband, I have no choice but to fulfill her lust for the monogram every once and a while. But since the financial crunch has cast an uncertain twilight on the consumer-trodden world (I just love using that excuse these days!), it simply means I can't afford to give her a new bag every time Marc Jacobs releases a new line every season.
So it is with this bleak financial incapacity that has pushed my creative juices and my shrinking wallet into crisscrossing boundaries...
If you can't buy your wife a Louis Vuitton bag... then make one!
Or better yet, make a couple. Then sell it as an exclusive line of bags and make money out of it!
So the idea of making my own bags for my wife and for women (and men) like her came into being. I thought of designing the bag in itself in the shape of a pocket, so it conjures accessibility, practicality and well, just for the fact that I like that shape. And since eco bags are all the rage these days, it couldn't have fit more perfectly! Don's seamstress does the basic stitching while my Khmer staff does the silkscreen printing and detailing.
The first bag I made was the "can't afford Louis Vuitton" and it was all sold out in the shop in a matter of days. I had to make a 2nd series, this time on black stretch denim. "The devil also wears Vuitton" is a new batch.
This bag was inspired by my designer friend Elizabeth Kiester who moved from New York as a fashion icon to Siem Reap and opened her own shop. The NY side is on the other side of the SR side- so you can actually have two bag designs!
This is inspired by my friend Don who has been bugging me to give him a Balenciaga motorcycle bag for Christmas, but with a retail price of $1,730 (78,000pesos), I think it'll still be a while before I could afford to give it to him... so this is perhaps the next best thing!
Inspired by car bumper stickers...
This book-inspired statement has also been getting good mileage from buyers...
The Obama bag has also been a big riot in the shop the moment I placed it on the rack! One freaky buyer exclaimed: "Oh my God, I've got to have that in my life!"
Although I have never bought my wife a pair of Louboutins (or Blahniks), I thought that this would be cool... some bags like this have different treatments like beadworks, embroidery, tassels and what-nots.
My wife told me that when I get rich enough as an artist (as rich as Damien Hirst or Murakami), she'd like to quit her job and become a trophy wife!
So I told her also that if she gets rich enough as a marketing consultant for a global firm, I told her that I also would love to stop working, close my shop and be a trophy husband!
Each bag which comes in a limited edition of 3 or 6 pieces per design retails exclusively at The One Gallery by the Alley for $25 (1,250 pesos) each.