I was really looking forward to being in my hometown, Seoul, once I finished my sourcing trip to China, partially due to the image below. I was given this image on my birthday last year by one of my friends, Jin, who curated for the Simone Handbag Museum in Seoul.
Once she came back to London, she strongly recommended that I visit the Simone Handbag Museum, saying ‘Nica, you should definitely see some of this museum’s displays! There are lots of amazing historical handbags that will inspire you!’
The Simone Handbag Museum is located in Garosu-Gil, Gangnam district which is one of the most fashion-forward neighborhoods in Seoul – yes, this is the area that you might have heard about in Psy’s song.J This street is occupied with a number of unique independent designer shops and stylish cafes.
Even when I first came across the “Simone Handbag Museum” space in Garosu-gil, I was so amazed with it’s committed and timeless showcase – the building is shaped like a giant handbag!
I was eager to start my inspirational journey through this museum, which has a collection of over 300 historical handbags from the 15th century to recent decades. The 3rd floor was filled with sparkling handbags made from the 1910s to the present. It was fascinating to see exceptional designs throughout the decades, including iconic contemporary handbag styles like the Hermes Kelly and the original Louis Vuitton cosmetic case made for Wallis Simpson.
“I'm thinking balls are to men what purses are to women.
It's just a little bag, but we feel naked in public without it. [Carrie]”
- Sex and the City
I was especially impressed by the fourth floor which displayed exquisitely made historical handbags from the 16th century to the early 20th century. The most interesting pieces on this floor for me were the bags from the Victorian era, which showed an extraordinary level of craftsmanship.
Inner view of fourth floor
The bags on this floor were over 300 years old and still looked beautiful and even contemporarily sophisticated at some points. Yes, styles come and go!
I absolutley loved seeing those beautiful bags and getting inspiration for my next designs. I hope you also enjoyed this glimpse of my hometown and one of its must-see attractions…
Love Nica Kim