In fashion, ‘Utility’ has been a recurring trend: think khaki, think wide trousers with side pockets, the comeback of functional trench coats and rain jackets that actually – gasp! – repel water, garments with elastics, buttons and strings that increase comfort and freedom of movement, think shoes that are sturdy and warm, instead of flimsy and freezing. Often, quality and function have been made to seem so contrary to an item’s aesthetic appeal. At Mandarina Duck, usefulness has been the basis of our brand philosophy since its inception in 1977, without losing sight of beautiful design.
Didn’t Keats write: “A thing of beauty is a joy forever”?
So, it’s no surprise that our very first line of bags was baptized ‘Utility’. And it’s no surprise that it has proven to be an enduring design that has stood the test of time.
The original ‘Utility’ bags were rebellious and provocatively modern. Its exuberant polychromatic colour schemes in light, highly technical materials were a break with the conventional and staid leather bags in natural colours, which were the traditional choice at the time. In ’77 these pieces, which were fluid, functional and produced in easily recognizable hues, were the choice for the new youth movement. From the very start, Mandarina Duck has used colour and light but strong materials to symbolize the essence of the brand.
Today, the need for re-thinking our traditions is no less present. Luckily, Mandarina Duck is still there, and especially the ‘Utility’ line, for those who want to colour outside the lines.