I'm a sucker for a good old trompe l'oeil. It's a description/phrase that I probably overly rely on when I feel like obnoxiously throwing in a superfluous bit of French just to spice things up. I haven't OD'ed on the phrase yet and have recently found myself a veritable trick of the eye in accessories brand JumpFromPaper. Based in Taipei in Taiwan, JumpFromPaper was started in 2010 by designer duo Chay Su and Rika Lin, who both graduated from uni in graphic design. They approached their 2D drawings of bags with a whimsical "Why not" mentality and began to develop their ideas into 3D bags by working extensively with local factories until finally they came up with a small run of four styles.
It's tricky to explain the physical USP of the JumpFromPaper bag without seeing it for yourself. Basically they've drawn out a 3D representation of a bag with cartoonish black outlines but when you look at the physical bag itself, the "3D" looking surface, complete with the appearance of the curved dimensions of the side of the bag, are actually completely flat. It's quite literally an illusion that jumps from paper to a physical bag and is physically then padded out with zippered black canvas at the side and back to make a functional bag.
"It was very difficult to get the physical construction right! It is because the construction of JumpFromPaper is totally different from that of all the other bags the factories have made. We spent so much time even making the factory understand the side and the front were actually on the same surface! Also we made a lot of efforts trying to find out the best way to present the black graphic outline and the angle, which is the soul of JumpFromPaper. Our goal is to make people confused at first sight, then soon catch our ideas and laugh out loud. We LOVE it when people couldn’t tell it is real or not!"
Which is exactly what I did when I opened up the JumpFromPaper package, laughing a little at the pranked up surface but then slowly becoming fascinated by its physical construction. It's a bag that does indeed defy conventional bag construction. The volume of the Swing Swing bag style I'm wearing here is smaller than what the 3D surface suggests but still manages to fit in everything you need for day to day use. Where JumpFromPaper have sacrified normal designer bag materials such as leather, they pack a hell of a punch on the design front and happen to be quite affordable with prices ranging from USD60-110 (they have a global online shop as well as various regional sites depending on where you live)
"Our collections are always inspired by those mis-spending time on cartoons and comics in childhood! Our team are all heavy internet users and love collecting things. We've been collection funny and weird pictures and quotes and have a huge wall in our HQ for it all. For us, anything with a sense of humour could be inspiration."
Now JumpFromPaper have built up to the level where they've sold 40,000 bags last year, with numerous stockists all around the world. The line is split into two collections, the Original line, which consists of more functional totes, bowling bags and satchels for both guys and girls and a more fashion focused Themed line. Their latest collection entitled "Time Machine", inspired by an imaginary jazz party held in a pothouse, takes a more feminine stance, with cross shoulder striped bags and polka dot and bow enhanced handbags. In the future they're going to be trying out new materials to see how their 3D/2D/3D illusions could develop as well as getting their voice heard on an international level. JumpFromPaper seem to be yet another example of Taipei's emerging/emerged fashion scene that are keen to do things their own way, guided not by "Western" set precedents but by trying to forge their own aesthetic.
"In a way, young Taiwanese people are sort of getting tired of mainstream fashion. People are now eager for something new, something they've never seen before. With this vibe, young desingers have more courage and motivation to build up their own brands. JumpFromPaper was born in the most laid-back city in Asia - Taipei - and the chilled-out life is probably one of the attributes. lots of people come here for its relaxed vibe. There is always something happening here. New designers, new brands, new concept stores - people are encouraged to do something in this dynamic city."
Time Machine collection...
New colourways of their Original collection...
Forthcoming A/W 13 Traveller collection...