Multiple iterations of Bao Bao Issey Miyake’s uniquely recognisable accessories – known for their triangular structure and futuristic aesthetic – have been offered by the innovative Japanese brand since 2000, when the line was first launched under Pleats Please Issey Miyake (in 2010, it became its own standalone brand). 

The latest addition to the Bao Bao Issey Miyake family provides perhaps its most technologically advanced approach to the design concept yet. Titled ‘Dazzle’, the new series of tote bags are composed from puzzle piece-like ‘units’ that are slotted together to create theoretically endless combinations (the original aim of Bao Bao Issey Miyake was to create accessories with ‘infinite versatile shapes’). 

High-precision design: ‘Dazzle’ by Bao Bao Issey Miyake

Injection-moulding machines in a factory, used to make the pieces for Dazzle bags by Bao Bao Issey Miyake
The injection-moulding machines where each of the translucent ‘units’ are made

These translucent polypropylene units, each identical in shape, are created using a high-precision injection moulding technique (Bao Bao Issey Miyake notes that such is the level of the machinery used, micron-level adjustments can be made to the geometric designs). The pieces are tested together in various forms, ensuring ‘optimum strength and mobility’; indeed, despite a seemingly structured exterior, the bag has a feeling of lightness and remains slouchy in shape like its fabric counterparts. 

‘The unique scalability of the material allows each bag to create infinite shapes, to be flexible, and to be functional as an enduring accessory,’ says the brand of the ‘radical’ design, which it describes as ‘aesthetically contemporary, crafted to suit the ever-diversifying and ever-changing trends of today’.

Injection-moulded pieces that will be used to make Dazzle bags
The various pieces wait to be made into ‘Dazzle’ bags

Bao Bao Issey Miyake sees the future of the ‘Dazzle’ series as one whereby singular pieces can be replaced after damage or wear – instead of replacing the entire bag – while also being customisable (this service was only available in Japan for a limited period during April and May, where unique colour combinations could be pre-ordered and custom-created by the brand).

For now, the ‘Dazzle’ series receives its European premiere in London’s Selfridges, available now both in the department store’s accessories hall and online. Colours, each translucent in appearance, span shades of cool grey, pale blue and orange. §

A display of Dazzle bags in various colours
A selection of finished Bao Bao Issey Miyake ‘Dazzle’ bags