You’re A Babe: Emm Kuo

Confession: I’ve been in a dark place with my Birkins. Lately it feels like everyone and their dog’s dog has one, and I’m over it. I needed them out of my life until further notice, but the thought of just putting them in storage for the next 10 years felt unceremonious and made me depressed, so I decided to throw a funeral for them instead. Metaphorical funerals are the best way to celebrate dead fashion trends, relationships, etc.

In a word, it was majorly fucking major. I hired Beyoncé’s set designer to build a special platform/funeral pyre thingy in my dad’s back yard, complete with pyrotechnic capabilities. I invited all my closest friends/personal shoppers. Each guest brought a Birkin to place on the pyre. I wore a really amazing black Carven dress, said a brief eulogy and shared a poem, and then I pushed a button and all the handbags went up in flames. Just kidding. They only appeared to go up in flames. The pyrotechnics were designed so the flames were just around the edges. No Birkins were actually harmed during the funeral. Well, except for one. Sorry Lisa! But looks really artistic, trust. 

So now that the funeral’s over and all my Birkins are in storage, there’s a hole in my closet where they all used to live. And that’s where Emm Kuo comes into the picture. She’s a new-ish designer I discovered who makes the most incredible bags and evening clutches. Literally every celebrity on literally every red carpet is literally carrying an Emm Kuo clutch right now. Google it if you don’t believe me. And the handbags she makes are basically what would happen if a Céline bag fucked an Alexander Wang bag and gave birth to a metallic python baby bag. So sick. After discovering her designs, I needed to know more, and I feel like you psychos do too, so I decided to conduct a little interview…

BW: I stalked your Instagram and saw that you designed an embroidered, python pastel bag for Spring ’14. And then I died and went to heaven and came back to Earth and now I need to have your entire spring collection. Where can I get it?

EK: Our SS14 collection is at Condor in NYC, and W Hotels throughout, but the best place to see the full collection is on our site

What’s your favorite handbag you’ve ever designed?

The Calle Bahia crossbody. It’s the perfect size for everyday, nights out, and traveling. And it comes in colors like Hologram Metallic snakeskin for some added fun or black, nude and white for a more casual look.

What’s the chicest thing you’ve seen this week?

I’m actually in India for a wedding this week and an Indian wedding is the party of all parties! Its been five days filled with non stop celebrating, dancing, libations, MULTIPLE outfit changes throughout the day and lots of body adornments, jewelry, henna, the more diamonds and carats the better! Exhausting but very fab and totally OTT.

What’s the chicest thing you’ve ever seen?

Karl Lagerfield in St Tropez in full “Karl attire” and 2 gorgeous young men trailing behind him with his suitcases.

What’s a chic thing you haven’t seen yet, but you’re dying to see?

The House of Chanel Archives. I would absolutely die and have gone to fashion heaven.

Favorite city?

So hard to choose! Its like asking to only pick one shoe forever! I love Paris for when I need some culture and romance, NYC for shopping, outing and abouting and general excitement and Hawaii when I need some warm weather and some serious chill out time.

Who/what are your inspirations for Spring/Summer?

Brigitte Bardot in St. Tropez in the 1970s. I love that whole gypset, luxury/bohemian feel.

How do you de-stress?

Massages and a glass of champagne. In fact I just finished having a traditional Auryvedic Indian massage now and feel like I am floating and am now ready for my champagne!

You sent me a bag that ended up replacing my go-to work Birkin, simply for its ability to be huge and chic and hold all my iPads and Macbook Airs. But also got me thinking that you should totally make luggage. Would you ever?

Yes! Since I’m always traveling, Im still on the hunt for that perfect suitcase and carryon that is chic and durable. Also one that stands out in the sea of morbid black suitcases at baggage check. I always pick up the wrong one!

Name three things you’re obsessed with right now:

1. Candles by Fornasetti. I bring one wherever I travel. 

2. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. It’s the “Catcher in the Rye” for today’s generation.

3. VSCO Cam App. Since discovering this treasure, I’ve stopped using Instagram filters. They make the best photo settings and can make any boring pic look enticing and sumptuous, especially selfies.

What’s your mantra?

Live for today, but remember there is tomorrow!

If you had to choose one word to describe Emm Kuo handbags, what would it be?


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