Create Your New Aidentity

Akris Defile SS65 2015

Fashion in 2016 is all about experiences. Runway shows tout being the most ‘instagrammed’ or having their hashtag posted the most during a fashion week cycle. One renowned international fashion house is taking advantage of the desire for experiences and handing over the design reins to their customers.

In September 2016, Akris unveiled their “Create Your Aidentity” campaign that takes a “playful approach on highlighting the uniqueness of the Swiss fashion house’s signature accessory.” That signature accessory is Akris’s number one selling handbag and first bag designed by Creative Director Albert Kriemler, the Ai. For over 30 years, Kriemler has led Akris’s design team and won numerous awards for his family’s fashion house, including the Swiss Design Award in 2008. Taking inspiration heavily from art and architecture for his collections, the Ai bag was conceived no differently. Its shape is derived from the letter A, and it “demonstrates the architectural air” for which Akris is fundamentally known. And with this new campaign, clients now have the chance to customize that famous bag and express their own “Aidentity.”

I went through the design process experience and customized my own Ai bag on the Akris website, akris.ch. The first step: choose the size of the Ai bag (although this choice can be altered at any time during the process). The three sizes, Little Ai Messenger, Small Ai Messenger and Medium Ai Messenger, all come with a detachable shoulder strap and can be worn as a rectangular shopper, pure trapezoid tote, or signature Messenger. Next step: choose the color of Cervo calf leather for the front and back of the individual Ai. The website features over 30,000 color combinations with hues such as a sunshine yellow called “Candle,” a deep, deep green named “Bottle,” and a “Stucco Metallic” that has an understated and chic shine—a fun challenge to pick a favorite. Ultimately, I went with Bottle green as my front, Pale Rose on the back panel and Camel-colored straps. Along with the same 15 colors of Cervo calf leather that can be chosen for the body, there are two unique python options for the top handle as well. Finally, choosing the metal for the hardware (Silver, Bronze or Graphite) and the optional three-letter embroidery on the inside provided me ample ability to let my personality and taste shine through.

If you’d rather visualize your “Aidentity” in real life, you can visit one of Akris’s boutiques and get a hands-on idea of what your individualized bag will look like. Visit akris.ch to design your own bag and to see a map of boutiques located around the world.