One-of-a-kind handbags at Art Basel Miami
For any designer, a botched job at the factory means untold headaches: a waste of precious materials, say, or a total revision of a store’s (even more precious) order. Handbag designer Katherine Fleming (left), however, spun one such screw-up into an art-tastic triumph: after 20 of her python clutches got the wrong dye job, Fleming—a Miami native and former accessories director for Tory Burch—teamed up with curators at Art Basel Miami and offered the clutches to contemporary artists to play with. The results by sixteen artists will be up for auction starting November 30 at the designer’s pop-up shop in the famous Moore building in Miami’s Design District. “We told the artists that they don’t have to function as bags anymore, they can just be art—they can can rip it up or do whatever. We wanted them to have total control,” says Fleming, whose own (non-mussed) pieces have been snapped up in the last year by Jessica Seinfeld, M.I.A., Diane Krueger, and Rihanna.
Rendering of bag by Megan Marrin
Proceeds from the sales of the artists’ creations (the reserve for bidding starts at $2,000) will go to the Bas Fisher Invitational, a non-profit founded by artists Naomi Fisher and Hernan Bas to support local artists in Miami (Fisher herself has modified a clutch with hand-ground pigment paint; another artist, Megan Marrin, created a shadow box around the clutch with discarded porcelain doll parts). Meanwhile, Fleming is busy plotting another collaboration for her April wedding: two of her best friends from Parsons, Jack McCullough and Lazaro Hernandez, are taking care of the dress.
Katherine Fleming clutches