Every week a different FADER staff member will pick a clothing item or accessory that he or she has lately been spending a lot of time with—or would like to—and write a little love letter to it. We would’ve done a column on who we’re dating but that seemed a little bit much. This week Kadeem Johnson talks about his iise’s Monk Bag.
Like most guys of my generation, bags have become a part of our everyday wardrobe—pants are too damn skinny to hold anything but a wallet and a Metrocard. And although basic middle school backpacks had a style moment, most of us don’t want to just walk around looking like a tween overstuffed with science text books. Your bag should be original. Spikes jutting forth big enough to poke out a person’s eye or translucent plastic casing might be too much, but something like the Monk Bag by iise Accessories is perfect.
Founded by brothers Kevin and Terrence Kim, iise is a brand that combines street appeal with traditional Korean influences, like organically hand-dyed fabrics and the use of traditional techniques. The dyeing process takes about a month to seep into the fabric, making each bag very different from each other. The color of mine is made from persimmon, ash and gall nut. And just like the dye, the fabric itself takes a while to settle—a bit stiff in the beginning, my bag has gotten softer and softer. It’s possible that one day, I’ll wear a straighter leg of pants or even a cargo and I’ll throw all of my bags to the back of the closet, but there’s no doubt that the Monk Bag will last as long as I need it to.