If there was ever a must have bag for not just Summer but for potentially life, it’s the new range from Bee and Kin. Bee and Kin is the luxury leather handbag start up that is shaking the way we mix fashion and technology, perhaps forever. If you had the choice of a high end, designer handbag that could call you an Uber, start a playlist and even call your phone or one that’s just a handbag, which one would you choose? The technology infused one of course! We’re really sorry to tell you that every other handbag that does nothing but be a space for you to fill with your essentials and, let’s be real, non essentials, will pale in comparison from now on. It’s time you met the Ultimate Handbag, you won’t be disappointed!
Founded by Tracey Hummel, ex shoe production worker for Tory Burch, she gained her experience in the fashion industry before going out on her own. Well aware that the bag market is saturated with start up brands that tend to go nowhere, Hummel knew she had to be innovative and create a product that was not only different but that actually served a purpose other than being just another bag to fill.
It all comes down to one tiny button that’s incorporated into the design of every new bag in Bee and Kin’s first collection. This little “smart” button might be small but it is mighty. The idea behind the concept is that users can personalise the functions their handbag can perform from a vast array of choices. Some of the features it can perform include starting a playlist, calling an Uber, calling and finding your phone, a light so you can actually see what’s inside your bag and stop wasting precious minutes rummaging for your keys or lipstick, text your location or estimated time of arrival to someone, send a pre-written email and turn on your house lights if you have smart bulbs. At the moment, for the first introductory bags, you can only choose three of these functions to use at any one time but can alternate if you change your mind by simply changing the settings on the app it connects to. The functions are programmed through the same button with three different press options, a single click, a double click and holding down for a few seconds.
The big marketing draw for this new start up company has actually come through by accident from some of the early testers of the handbags. Many women found the smart button to be a brilliant disguise for getting out of an awkward date. Forget the old fashioned way of asking a friend to call you at a certain time when you know you have a date, these new technology loving bags will ring your phone on command at the touch of the button. The owner can then apologise to their date, claiming they have an emergency and saving them from another hour of boring conversation. To top it all off, that little button can even call them a taxi for the quickest getaway yet!
The button is covered with spandex to allow it to be durable and soft to the touch, discreetly placed on the bag so nobody would even know. Hummel paired up with technology company Flic in order to make this all possible, allowing the smart button to sync up to your phone through Bluetooth and a mobile app to make the functions customisable.
As far as the actual look of the bags go, they are just as stylish, if not more than your average bag without the infused technology. Bright, on trend colors like blood orange, canary yellow, soothing turquoise and metallic silver are mixed with grounding neutral colors like black and blush, allowing the fashion accessories to stand out as It Bags no matter whether you prefer neutrals or statement colors. The styles are available in many different shapes depending on your tastes and needs including a hexagonal cross body bag, a bucket bag with hexagonal handle and two different styles of tote. The hexagon shape relates to the name of Bee and Kin and this in turn comes from Hummel’s name which in German, translates to Bee. The hexagon is a motif for a bee’s honeycomb which makes the brand instantly recognisable and something Hummel hopes to expand on as well as upgrades in the technology. While the bright colors are certainly an attractive feature, for us, it’s the intricate detailing on the bucket bag handle that really stands out from the crowed market as far as looks go anyway.
As far as price goes, it’s fairly high for a start up and extremely reasonable for a luxury brand. One of the cross body bags will set you back around $500 USD while the larger tote is around $725 USD. While that price might seem too much for an unknown brand, we think for all the technology laced goodies that come with the purse and taking into consideration the price of other high end designer bags that don’t have the number of features Bee and Kin offer, we think it’s an absolute steal!
Article Commissioned by Mod'Art University of Shanghai