Names of famous singers make great inspirations for designer bags. There’s the Selena, Birkin, Del Rey just to name a few. But in a crowded rock-and-roll hall of fame for “celebrity” bags, the Gucci Zumi collection which debuts this season (from $3,000) knocks it out of the park with its unexpectedness.
After all, Zumi Rosow, the New York-born and LA-based saxophonist of garage punk outfit Black Lips and saw-playing member of Crush, and accidental muse of the house’s new Gucci Zumi bag, is not quite what you’d label a conservative. That distinction gets wider especially when you consider how the namesake bag collection comprises boxy and classic and elegant totes and miniature-sized sling wallets.
But Rosow is the ultimate inspo for Gucci. In an interview with Vogue.com, she described herself as “part Bastet, the Egyptian cat goddess, part bat, vampire, Zarina, a leather daddy, Joan of Arc, the Wild Child…”. That unusual categorisation explains Rosow’s penchant for kohl-lined cat’s eye makeup or the fact that she has never fixed her broken tooth since 2015, and why she favours a rugged Eastern bloc-style mullet. You either find her weird or think of this cool cat as your ultimate #girlcrush. And Gucci’s Alessandro Michele obviously digs the latter.
True to Michele’s irreverent style, the interpretation of Rosow’s unique sense of style resulted in three kinds of bag lines for the Gucci Zumi. There is a tote with a double lift lock closure very much like a gent’s briefcase. Then there is a sling wallet style that comes with a detachable chain strap and an adjustable leather top handle. And lastly, there is another tote that’s inspired by an early ’60s archive design that comes with double sliding shoulder chain straps.
What ties every piece in this collection is the hardware on the bag. It combines two of the house’s most iconic motifs — the horsebit and the interlocking Gs — into one new hybrid design. And just for yin-yang effect, one side of this new hardware is rendered in gold and another in silver. Because just like Rosow, there’s more than one side to a picture.