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Designer Bobby Cabbagestalk styles an Acne Studios bag for the future

Bobby wears Bobby Cabbagestalk nylon CHERUBIM hood, full-length hell buster leather trench coat.
Bobby wears Bobby Cabbagestalk nylon cherubim hood, full-length hell buster leather trench coat, cotton long sleeve and space junk leather pant. Location: Ragfinders of California.
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This story is part of Image’s April issue, “Reverie” — an invitation to lean into the spaces of dreams and fantasy. Enjoy the journey.

A bag can be an appendage. A hiding spot for secrets. An extension of self. It is, in its purest form, a deeply personal totem. When I look at the Acne Studios rivet wine box bag from the brand’s spring/summer ’24 collection — more of a rectangular case than a bag, covered completely in studs — I think of the 16-year-old wannabe baby goth in me that still runs the show when it comes to my personal style, or the 21-year-old techno fairy that relentlessly dictates the general vibe. No matter how long it’s been, or how much these phantom selves have become more covert or refined, they always will their way to the surface when I’m choosing an outfit. The visual codes of subversion are best expressed in the details — a studded belt, a studded choker, a studded bag. Studs are like codex for the alternative — unmistakable messaging that turns any chill fit into a statement.

The shape of this particular bag, styled on the runway with a streamlined all black outfit and minimal accessories, evokes a toolbox. What kind of tools go in it are left to interpretation — and dependent on the wearer and their destination. The thing about a bag: It travels with you and quickly becomes a part of the self, the journey. The rivet wine box bag, with its structural nature and sheer amount of storage space, feels tough enough to withstand a long day in L.A. and is lightweight enough to not drag you down. A T-shirt changes daily, but often the bag stays the same. We are the ones who personalize it. Even a piece as distinctive as the SS24 rivet wine box bag becomes a different thing entirely when worn by different personalities — similar to how no one perfume smells the same on two different people.

We asked designer Bobby Cabbagestalk — among three other artists, DJs, musicians and stylists — to incorporate the Acne Studios rivet wine box bag into a look and lifestyle for one day, dreaming up places across the city where he would wear it. He opted to take the bag to Ragfinders of California, a world unto itself built entirely of fabric, while juxtaposing it against pieces from his own collection that were made in natural materials — allowing the bag to quite literally shine. “It’s its own moment,” he says.

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Bobby Cabbagestalk for a "Style It Yourself" feature in Image's April 2024 issue. (Bishop Elegino / For The Times)

The clothes that I try to make are the future of what I think a standard garment could be, should be. I try to design as if I’m in the future, not as if I’m trying to imagine what the future is about.

— Designer Bobby Cabbagestalk

Who are you and what do you do?

I’m a designer. My label is Bobby Cabbagestalk, it’s self-titled. The clothes that I try to make are the future of what I think a standard garment could be, should be. I try to design as if I’m in the future, not as if I’m trying to imagine what the future is about. When you work backward from there, you have so many different considerations where the societal and political perspectives impact how you approach your creative projects. When I approach making a dress or a jacket or a T-shirt, I always have that standard in the back of my mind.

Describe your personal style.

I grew up in Buffalo, N.Y. And like most kids [in the 2000s], my influences all came from rap. Ghostface Killah and Raekwon wearing head-to-toe baggy Tommy Hilfiger, that was the standard. It was this colorful, confident, exaggerated silhouette to just let the world know, “I’m here and this is my personal perspective.” When I was a kid, Polo Ralph Lauren, Nautica, Eddie Bauer, any heritage brands I could get my hands on, I was obsessed with. Taking that East Coast prep heritage [and] streetwear into my love for science fiction films created a new entry point for me and my self-expression. So leathers, more tailored silhouettes, minimalism with function — it’s come together into this idea of “cyber prep.”

Talk to me about dreaming up an outfit around this Acne Studios bag.

The Acne bag is studded, so it’s very architectural. It has a Brutalist undertone to it with a chrome patina, so it just flicks really naturally against any background — urban, countryside, whatever. It’s its own moment. What I wanted to do was stay in that conversation and just juxtapose the material of metal with natural fabrics: a cotton shirt, leather jacket, leather pants. Then the trench coat is three-quarter length, and it creates a nice A-line shape, so it’s its own architectural moment as well.

How does sense of place inform sense of style? How do you travel through L.A. with style in mind?

A lot of times we don’t think of Los Angeles as a commuter city because we’re in our cars, not on our feet. (It’s not like you’re in New York and you’re going from building to building on foot or on the train.) Even still, I feel like there’s a new excitement of traveling through Los Angeles on foot. Maybe it’s because it’s getting warmer, I’m seeing more and more people being expressive with what they wear on the street. I also think Los Angeles is an event city. Before people leave their house, they know exactly where they’re going, how much time they’re going to spend there. I don’t like going out aimlessly. I like to go to a gallery opening, or if there is a specific DJ I would like to see. And if I want to travel light, I’ll just have a sling bag or I’ll utilize a pocket. If I want to bring a camera, or if I know that I’m going to be really social and on my feet for a long time, that will dictate a carrying system that I have with maybe a larger bag or a tote bag. I think personal style right now is more important than ever, because there’s room for people to express their perspective, not only about themselves but about the world and how they’re being observed in an authentic way. And before social media, you could tell where someone was from based on what they were wearing. I think it’s really exciting if we [go] back to the things that make us unique and who we are.

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Producer: Mere Studios

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