Nendo and Longchamp collab on purses that double as storage boxes

Think Container Store, but make it fashion.

Eat your heart out, Marie Kondo. People no longer need to forsake their apartment-drowning purse collections in exchange for a collection of minimal boxes to hold their keepsakes. No, now we can have our expensive handbags and environments that spark joy, too! That’s because a new collection of Le Pliage bags–produced by the prolific Japanese design firm Nendo for the French leather goods brand Longchamp–are designed to be both bags and storage solutions, in one.

[Image: courtesy Nendo]

Le Pliage bags have always been inspired by Japanese origami, with simplistic folding cloth geometries–bound by minimal leather flaps–that make them easy flatten to stow away. Nendo’s three bags for the line each expand their functionality into home storage in unique ways.

[Photo: Akihiro Yoshida/courtesy Nendo]

The first model is a cube bag, which derives its fuzzy dice shape from a removable insole that you can pull out when it’s not in use. When you’re out, it’s a normal-looking bag on your arm, one which you can fold up either like a small clutch or a more pill-shaped purse. But at home, thanks to that cube insert, you can have a relatively normal-looking storage box on your counter as well.

[Photos: Akihiro Yoshida/courtesy Nendo]

The second model is inspired by a Japanese wrapping cloth. Folded up, it’s a bag. Unfolded, it’s a 2D circle. That means it’s not just a little flat, it’s entirely flat–allowing you to roll it up or store it easily under a bed. Finally, the third model is inspired by a cone or triangle. The top of the bag is a small piece of leather. The bottom is cloth. The philosophy is that you can have a tiny bag when you want it, and a slightly larger one when you want that. On its top, the leather loop is designed to hang easily in a closet.

All in all, it’s hard to say that any of the pieces are exactly practical. While they make their own storage easy, no one is going to buy 20 different cube purses to pack their Blu-rays or child’s toys inside, only to frantically dump the contents to the floor when they’re going out to dinner. That said, these are highly intentional, brilliantly designed products. Like much of Nendo’s work, they are borderline humorous creations that seem to celebrate design for design’s sake–while calling out the absurdity of the promise that a product could be perfect altogether.


About the author

Mark Wilson is a senior writer at Fast Company who has written about design, technology, and culture for almost 15 years. His work has appeared at Gizmodo, Kotaku, PopMech, PopSci, Esquire, American Photo and Lucky Peach