There have been several moments when I absolutely hated the fact I was part of social media, some including personal and others including very non-personal moments, but the moment when I realise how great that virtual galaxy really helps and means to me are much more long-lasting. One of those appeared recently, while a past school-mate shared a photo of the project she started. To be honest, I always knew she was into design and fashion (hence her chic school styles), but has never really realised she was into creating fashion. How clueless I were...
I get quite frustrated when I try to explain how this project went on (which is definitely not a good thing for an aspiring writer), just because it is an exhibition within a platform within a project within an association. Quite boring, and very Croatian.
So, basically Croatian Designer's Association (HDD) has launched a platform named Design Tourism back in 2012, to encourage the most lucrative sector in Croatia (hello, sea!) and team up interesting design ideas to freshen things up a bit. Interestingly, this year's inspiration came from the fact that Sun and sea are the most dominant touristic factors, so they asked product designers to come up with a 'work in progress' project that is either a creative and solution for an existing problem or a new product on its own, inspired by the Sun.
So, inspired by the (over)exposure to the sun and all its effects, Luka Šola, a Vienna-based Fine Arts student (and that high-school colleague of mine), teamed up with a fellow Viennese-Croat Matea Ban into a duo named SoBa to develop a both visually stunning and useful product of the future. Probably every person that has been going to the seaside remembers the fridge-bags that were a must-have on its way to the beach - to have a fresh bottle of water or a cooled out apple/watermelon/insert a fruit, or maybe just so the chocolate doesn't melt. Everyone must have experienced the moment when your lip-balm melted because it was exposed to the sun. Well, those kind of situations transcribed themselves into a truly original idea of elevating that vanished piece of 'accessory' and creating a true fashion statement.
With a vibe of a Chanel-backpack and those hand-woven Etsy bracelets, yet with a true utility factor in mind, they created Coolness(T), a bag that acts like an insulation for anything you can fit in it. Cold stays cold, and hot stays hot - the three layers (including a double-sided aluminium foil as the interchangeable middle factor) make sure the content doesn't change it's temperature or consistency. Yes, all this tech-y convo makes you think of something very basic looking - just because it's useful. Well, the girls didn't stop after creating something useful, but played around with its design, embracing the utility side of it, yet playing against it in the colourful weaving and a tiny buoy that is once again both useful and an animated touch. It's also important to mention that the bag is very resistant and waterproof due to its plastic textile, and good in size. The images for this proto-product also have my high-school written all over it, as Luka was the photographer and her (and mine!) colleague Kristina Vrdoljak quite professionally modelled through this stellar set of shots that showcased the abilities of the Coolness(T) bag (which is also intelligently named, so kudos for the branding bit as well) to the fullest.
In the end, it's important to say this product is still in the 'final prototype' phase, yet I definitely expect of SoBa to develop it fully. It would be a true waste not to complete such an interesting idea and create a cool fashion souvenir of the Croatian coast that would be worn around to world. Good luck girls!! PS. If you are interested in these or have any kind of enquiries, you can find their contact sat Coolness(T) project page & their facebook page.