Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
When you think of fanny packs, chances are your mind wanders to some childhood memory of your parents at Disney World. They looked corny then, but they really did make a ton of sense, especially on trips. Fanny packs are practical, hands-free, and keep all of your most important things safe. So why — at a time when we are arguably at peak travel merch — has no one tapped back into the potential of the old classic?
Enter Ashya: the new Brooklyn-based, women-owned accessories line giving the fanny pack a whole new feel. For starters, you can call them belt bags now. More than just offering an updated sense of cool, these bags are aiming for luxury, too.
Today, the brand released its debut collection of hands-free, unisex accessories, ranging in price from $300 to $700. As modeled in Ashya’s really (really) beautiful lookbook, the hardware-adorned pieces can be styled around the waist or across the chest. In a palette of navy, forest green, and dusty pink, two styles will be available year-round: the Anjuna ($525) and the Cherai ($575). The brand will also release seasonal iterations of these core styles; the first is for autumn/winter ‘17 and features fur accents, priced from $625 to $675.
Cofounders Ashley Cimone and Moya Annece met while studying at the Fashion Institute of Technology before heading off into the industry to work for heavy-hitters like Opening Ceremony, Kate Spade, and Net-a-Porter, just to name a few. But it was only after the two traveled together to the southwestern coast of India that they began to conceptualize the line.
“Ultimately our travels motivated the idea of bridging the gap between functionality and style,” Cimone says. “We were very keen on designing a product that is just as practical as it is playful and beautiful.”
With real function in mind, Ashya designed the bags to make sure that everyday and travel essentials (like passports, keys, phones, and credit cards) can all be held easily and safely. “Everything we design for Ashya will be a nod to exploration and have the intention of creating ease for the design-savvy explorer.”
The line is available for pre-order today at Ashya.co; be sure to sign up for the brand’s mailing list to be the first to know when new styles are available on the site.