Inside The New Shoppingbag – Chris Kabel

From time to time we ask users of The New Shoppingbag about their life. For this edition we got in touch with the inspiring fellow designer Chris Kabel. His works have been distributed by brands like Droog and have been acquired by many museums. He’s also a professor Ecole Cantonale d’Art in Lausanne. Just like Susan Bijl, Chris was born in 1975, the year we celebrate with our current collection.

Describe yourself in three words.
Smart above stylish

Where are you now?
In the train from Lausanne (where I teach) to Brescia (to attend a wedding).

Tell us something about you and The New Shoppingbag.
Apart from going to the supermarket I rarely shop actually. I have many other uses for Susan’s bags though; from ‘going to the swimming pool’ bag to ‘separate clothing from other stuff in your suitcase’ bag to ‘throw everything beach related in and head to sea’ bag to ‘bring odd shaped prototypes to a presentation’ bag to ‘transport a home made merengue cake safely to a dinner party’ bag…

Tell us something about Susan.
My first SUSAN BIJL bag was given to me by Susan on a photoshoot that we both were in, years ago. I still have it and use it. Thanks again!

Just like Susan you were born in 1975. What to you was typical for being born in that era and your youth?
I remember watching black and white television on a television that itself was also black and white. Another thing i remember that the streets were still so empty it was our private playground for all kinds of games. I think this was due to the oil crisis, even in Bloemendaal cars were still a luxury, so people had maybe one car but very rarely two, as has now become the norm.

What ecological measures would you take if you ruled the world?
I would immediately be assassinated for the severity of the rules i would impose, I’m afraid.

How do you brighten up your existence?
For his birthday I made my love a small but very comfortable reading chair out of a crooked oak plank I took from a lumber yard years ago. That was a lot of fun to make and to give!

What part does colour play in that process?
The oak turned a lovely grey… i hope that by use it will start to show some deep brown hues. Also I used brass screws, as iron screws react with the tannin in oak wood and the wood turns a deep black-blue around the screws. Colours for me are more a result of a process than a goal in itself. But you can always influence that process to get colours you like!

What is your biggest loss?
I often have no sense of smell. That is sometimes (like now in this smelly sweaty Italian train I’m in) a blessing but more often a real shame. Especially because I love good food.

What is your ultimate destination?
Today it’s my family in law in Brescia. In life it is to have a large garden with healthy soil, benevolent weather gods and a nice set of garden tools.

All photography by Jan Bijl