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Bags out of the box

Taiwanese designers Chay Su and Rika Lin create a line of totes that look just like drawings

JumpFromPaper's bags trick your eyes and skew your views. Look at one from afar and this quirky and colourful bag, as the name implies, looks like it's jumped straight out from the pages of a comic book. Its funky and funny outline exterior is crafted to resemble a two-dimensional, hand-drawn, cartoon-like illustration but a closer look reveals that it's actually perfectly functional and ideal for toting your stuff around.

This line of whimsical bags was born from the wild and wacky ideas of Taipei-based female designers Chay Su and Rika Lin. Both are fond of comic books and animations and believe "humour" is a must design element.

Their first collection was launched in 2010 and it quickly became a big hit in Taiwan and Japan. Now the bags are also available in other countries including Hong Kong, Singapore, China and Malaysia as well as in the US and UK. There is no authorised dealer in Thailand though, but its online store gets over the problem and Bangkok trend-setters like actress Khemanit "Pancake" Jamikorn and actor Patipan "Mos" Patavikarn have been spotted carrying the bags and have shared photos of them on Instagram.

"We love cartoons, comic books, animations and comedy manga such as 'Super Radical Gag Family' and others with a vivid story line. In addition, we enjoy splashing around in the out-of-boundaries virtual world. Our aim is to bring joy and enjoyment into JumpFromPaper designs, which blur the border between comic funky and tough reality," says Rika in an online interview.

Before setting up JumpFromPaper, Chay worked as a product designer who mainly used recycled papers to produce desks and beds while Rika was a home interior designer, focusing on kitchen space and facility design. Both comic geeks, they decided it would be great if two-dimensional illustrations could be turned into a real bag.

Why bags rather than another product?

"Bags give us more room than clothes or other products to use our imagination and whimsical ideas and make it relatively easy for us to inject humour and fun elements via various designs into daily life for users. No matter what you wear, carrying our playful bag will definitely make you stand out in the crowd," says Chay.

The first collection is mainly made from polyester but the bags are gradually being developed to synthesise with various materials such as TC or polyester cotton, PU leather and flannel.

So far, the duo have launched 12 items in three series - the charmer, the explorer and the roamer - featuring handbags, shoulder bags and messenger bags with a slim appearance.

The "Play Hooky" bag, for instance, is less than an inch deep when collapsed but its size can be tripled thanks to a zip that runs along the outside.

They plan to develop new products twice a year and the latest new arrivals will be launched at the end of this month in Japan.

"We would like to extend our possibilities and keep exploring different visual designs. We would like to embark more ideas for users' daily lives such as tote, purses and wallets. The collection that we are launching soon is a special project that honours our idols - and no, we are not saying who that is. There will lots of stories to tell though, so stay tuned!," says Chay.

Do they have a plan to expand the business in Thailand?

"We received many enquiries and yes, we are keen to develop business in Thailand. Indeed, we are, for the next six months, focusing on the market there. We want to make sure that JumpFromPaper is exposed in the right stores with the right target audience and image. So we are more than open to any opportunities and to people who love original designs just as we do," says Rika.

TRICKS AND TREATS

>> Visit the official online store at www.JumpFromPaper.com.


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