Last October, we discovered Bare, a new line of sustainable, locally made handbags, run by Jessica Biel’s brother, Justin (not to be confused with the other Justin in her life).
Now Bare has come out with its second collection for the summer season and partnered up with a trio of artists—Bare co-founder and creative director Grason Ratowsky, Naomi Clark, and Jonni Cheatwood—who all ingeniously created large-scale paintings on repurposed vinyl canvases. The billboards were then cut and crafted into arty-cool one-of-a-kind handbags, backpacks, and wallets. Basically wearable art pieces!
“The Artist Collection is incredibly limited,” Grason explains. “We were only able to get approximately 50 bags out of a 40-by-10-foot vinyl canvas. Each piece is signed and numbered one of one by the participating artists.”
No wonder Jessica—one of our favorite red carpet stars and brand partner at Bare—is a huge fan of the collection. So much so that she took a moment out of her hectic filming schedule abroad to talk about Bare, why backpacks are cool (yes, naysayers), and her handbag essentials for the season.
Justin Biel wears one of the backpacks.
US: Which are your favorite pieces in this collection and why?
Jessica Biel: My favorite pieces in the Artist Collection are the duffel and the backpack. The duffel is robust in its carrying capacity but sleek in its design. It feels youthful and fun but still elegant! I love the backpack because it’s bold and stylish but also weatherproof. The key to this collection is that each item is a one-of-a-kind, original piece of art. It’s as much a canvas as it is a safe place for all your belongings.
Backpacks are a bit controversial on our comment boards. How do you feel about them? What advice do you have on how to wear/style one?
JB: Backpacks are a traveler’s best friend. They’re practical and necessary for off the beaten-track adventures. And now they come in all shapes and sizes and prints and colors. My advice is to rock one that makes a statement! Let it be the flair you add to your outfit. Or go classy and simple and let your outfit do the talking.
US: What kind of bag are you carrying now, and what items do you carry in it?
JB: My staple bag for the summer is my Bare burlap “Coban” clutch. It’s been my go to during my European travels because I can wear it as a relaxed evening bag, or use it inside a larger bag to carry my valuables.
Grason shows off the duffel.