DESIGNER 101

Chloé 101:
The Aby Bags

By Taylor M. Sep 21, 2020

Chloe 101 Aby Locks

Since its start in 1953, the Chloé brand’s value set established

by founder Gaby Aghon has remained relatively unchanged. Nowadays, Natacha Ramsay is the designer tasked with upholding Aghon’s intentions – with her own twist, of course. We’ve witnessed the personal flare of Chloé’s former female head designers, including Phoebe Philo who launched their handbag category, and Stella McCartney, who added a touch of tomboyish charm.

Nostalgia is clearly Chloé’s cup of tea, and Ramsay aims to prove her own ability to bring vintage inspiration to the forefront with the Aby Lock handbag.

 

History of the Chloé Aby Collection

Chloé has supplied the fashion industry with two key concepts: Prêt-à-Porter (coined by the label’s founders) and the “it” bag. Under Phoebe Philo, the Paddington bag caused a frenzy that had never been seen in handbags before, as they needed to be reserved before they were even manufactured due to the insane demand. The Paddington’s soft, rugged leather paired with a shiny, chunky padlock hardware closure went down in history as a classic. Today, Ramsay has renewed the lock concept, naming it “Aby” and centering the new handbag shape around the iconic nineties hardware itself.

 

Chloe Paddington Bag 101

Kate Bosworth carrying the Paddington Bag
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Branding-Meets-Boho

The Aby Lock borrows the Paddington’s closure from Philo’s design, but with an enlarged branded element not seen at Chloé until the arrival of Ramsay. It features a centric brand logo in gold plated hardware. Usually, the brand is more subtle with its name, lightly etching it into the leather or suede in a modest manner, or implementing delicate engravings. Chloé has never been a logo-driven brand, so Ramsay’s increase in logo sizing brings a new perspective to the label and plays into current streetwear trends. The handbag is definitely a go-to if you are looking to sport the French-girl name, and the implementation of stronger branding no doubt stems from Ramsay’s previous positions at Louis Vuitton and Balenciaga. In the past, wholesome brands have taken risks by investing heavily into branded products, and it has only met success when executed properly – it seems that Ramsay’s time at the brand is beginning to be defined by her careful blending of ‘logomania’ into the ebb and flow of Chloé.

 

Kate Bosworth wearing the Aby Lock Bag

Aby Lock Variations

The Aby Lock comes in an array of sizes and colors. Ramsay incorporates the lock hardware into the form of an actual lock, as well as the overall shape of the bags. The small Aby Lock bag is a blown-up version of the padlock, complete with Chloé logo and key-on-chain. The hinge mechanism is represented by a gold top handle. The bottom of the small Aby Lock is a piece of rounded metal with an etched keyhole. The bag comes with a long chain strap for crossbody or long shoulder wear. 

 

As far as colors and materials go, the small Aby Lock allows for creativity. Choose from a selection of mixed materials such as python effect calfskin and shiny calfskin, lizard-embossed calfskin and goatskin, or smooth calfskin, lizard-embossed calfskin, and goatskin all in one! The colorways include Chloé’s signature deep earth tones, such as deep terracotta, with hints of brown and blush. For a vibrant twist, the bag is also offered in black and white embossed croc effect with electric yellow hardware.

 

The Aby Lock bag itself comes in only a small size, but the Aby name has been extended to a softer bag created from the same inspiration, the Aby Day bag, as well as a shoulder bag and a tote. The Day bag comes in an array of colorways and features a more subtle lock, very similar to the original Paddington, but on a boxier shape. Plus, it comes in various materials like grained and shiny calfskin as well as croc embossed calfskin and beige canvas. For sizing, it comes in small and medium. The shoulder bag comes in similar colorways (the Abys all share a classic Chloé palette, with some bold seasonal exceptions that walked the runway for SS 2020). Aby has also made her way into a tote, and wallets, coming on a chain, in a long size, and in a mini.

Chloe Aby Bag 101

Aby Lock Bag

Chloe Aby Bag 101

Aby Day Bag

Chloe Aby Bag 101

Aby Trifold Wallet

Chloe Aby Bag 101

Aby Shoulder Bag

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