On Tuesday, Chung unveiled her very first bag in support of the annual charity initiative Amex Shop Small. Priced at just $30, the light blue and white gingham mini bag is significantly more affordable than other pieces from the Alexachung range but is just as playful, chic, and current as we'd expect from the beloved British style icon. "I was asked to create a canvas bag, and to be honest with you we had a couple of other versions in the works before this particular shape occurred to me. I wanted to make something unexpected and recently I have noticed a trend for micro bags," Chung explains. "This is the first bag we have created as a brand and I wanted it to reflect our goals as a company: to make things that are fun, classic, and quirky, but also easy and cool. The gingham is a color way we had applied to one of my favorite dresses in our second collection and I love it because it’s classic but fresh, and the mini sizing is an interesting play with proportion."
So why did Chung decide to launch her first ever bag with Amex Shop Small, an initiative that celebrates the local business owners who do big things for their communities every day? "Supporting small independent businesses has always been important to me because it was how I was brought up — shopping at the local Hampshire butcher or the village shop. Now that I’m an adult with a business of my own, I am acutely aware of how hard it can be to get something up and running. I wanted to make something in conjunction with Amex to celebrate the cornucopia of fantastic small businesses Britain has, in the hope that people will continue to support their local independent shops to keep the streets eclectic and alive."
The campaign, starring both Alexa and the gingham bag, was shot on Columbia Road in London, a stone's throw from the model, designer, and muse's favorite pub, the Royal Oak. And just a bit further down the street is another spot Chung frequents: "One of my favorite independent retailers is a bit of a curveball — it’s called Fin and Flounder. On a Saturday, one of my favorite things to do is to go to Broadway Market, hang out, get some flowers and a coffee, and then pop into Fin and Flounder, where I not only admire the fish but also their outfits. These dudes that work in their head-to-toe sick outfits — welly boots, an apron."
Retailing at $30, all profits from the limited-edition canvas bag will go to The Sarabande Foundation, established by Alexander McQueen to support young British creatives. "I am very passionate about British-made products because I myself am a British-made product," she says. "I also think Britain is cool, it’s where I grew up and I have always tried to support British designers. Living in New York made me romanticize home even more, so now that I'm back living and working here, I am happy to do whatever I can to bring our diversity and promote how cool we are as a nation."