Take A Bao

That single Bao is deliberate as Issey Miyake’s newest Prism Pouchette under the Bao Bao sub-brand is really half the size of its usual totes



By Emma Ng

No sooner had the must-visit Madstore vacated its spot in the pop-up-galore main atrium of ION Orchard, a new one, also by Club 21, instantly appeared. This time, it’s another Japanese name, also known for their alluring retail concepts: Issey Miyake’s Bao Bao in the form of the Cloud pop-up. According to Club 21’s media communique, the Bao Bao Cloud on our shores is the very first that has floated out of Japan.

Despite their ubiquity and the rampant copying, Issey Miyake’s 19-year-old Bao Bao has resisted blandness and repetition (and others being inspired by it), and survived road-side knock-offs, from Bangkok to Baguio to Bandung. The Cloud, which looks like a lab, showcases unambiguously that there’s still kick in one of the most recognisable and saleable bags in the world. Bao Bao’s latest is a little envelope of a bag that’s as capacious as the Fanny Pack, and called the Prism Pouchette. Perhaps, more importantly, it’s customisable—a ____________ By You moment.


Based on initial visuals of the bag, I didn’t expect that it’d be more interesting than the Prism Tote, but once up-close and personal (and after the explanation by the unenthusiastic staff, upon querying), it is, in fact, as desirable as the Pixel series, which, to me, is the most enticing in the brand’s entire line-up because of how it really expands on the original Bao Bao idea—at its most basic, is really geometry and mesh.

The Prism Pouchette comes in only one shape (oblong, north-south orientation) and one size, but is available in seven colours. You pick the colour of the pouchette that you like, add a bar (from a separate selection of 12 colours) that will be afixed at the opening, and you’d have yourself a nifty little colours-by-your-choice carrier that can be used as gender-neutral shoulder, cross-body, and hand bag. Neat indeed!

Issey Miyake Bao Bao Prism Pouchette, SGD360, is available at Bao Bao Cloud, level 1 Main Atrium, ION Orchard till 29 Nov 2019. Photos: Zhao Xiangji

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