There have been a few brave souls in recent history that have been willing to mess with designer handbags: In 2016, Aaron Kyro turned his mum’s four-figure luxury purse into a skateboard and earlier this year Zavala Bespoke took to painting on coveted monogrammed cowhide. But this latest bold riff, well, you might want to sit down for: Manhattan-born and raised designer Sarah Coleman has started turning Louis Vuitton bags into folding chairs.
Coleman’s first four-legged creation took place back in July 2018, when she reupholstered a vintage armchair using a deconstructed broken Louis Vuitton suitcase which belonged to her father. Since then, the thrifty chairmaker’s designs have soared in popularity—Coleman now has around 26K followers on Instagram—and she is required to make 10-15 chairs per month to keep up with her increasing customer base.
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“My work came about in a very organic way. I went for it after upholstering my own chair using an LV luggage piece I had but was not using because of a broken zipper. I always have my eyes open for new pieces that I can create or materials to repurpose in a new way from how they are usually seen,” Coleman told Robb Report.
The ingenious designer has always had a penchant for appropriating existing household items to give them a new lease on life—and her portfolio spans everything from coffee mugs, to ottomans, to vacuum cleaners. (She’s even thrown a Louis Vuitton Eames chair in for good measure.) But her most popular piece is the dead-practical folding chair.
Apparently, Coleman found inspiration on the sidewalk of downtown Manhattan where she came across a collection of small director-style folding chairs out the front of a massage parlor. She copied the design, shared her creations on social media, and the Internet gave a resounding thumbs up.
While some may shudder at the thought of cutting up a designer bag, Coleman works with pre-loved items that are already on the fritz or “sourced from your mom’s garage” as her Instagram reads. She ostensibly revives them and turns them into something useful. “The process of creating my art is exceptionally fulfilling as are the products I create,” Coleman adds.
Prices vary depending on each commissioned work, but a mini folding chair will set you back around $2,000 while the full-sized ones are closer to $3,000—oh, and require you to beg for your mum’s old Speedy.