SUSAN BOER KNIERTJE (1999)

Of all main bag genres, the rucksack is perhaps the most ungainly and the most feminine. It is also, however, one of the most practical and comfortable. One design solution to this dilemma is to soften of deconstruct the rucksack. Another one was the route taken by Utrecht-based Dutch designer Susan Boer (1959–) is to pare it back to its essential form.

The main body of Boer’s Kniertje is simple. Made from three pieces of saddle-stitched leather, the bag creates an elegant apostrophe shape that fits snuggle in the back of the wearer. A longue, tongue-like flap and a pocket like an upturned pouch are otherwise the only embellishments in a piece that, in the purity of its colour and shape, borders on abstraction. This is only fitting for a bag crafted in a city famous for its associations with the Dutch design movement de Stijl.

Bags, unlike other accessories such as hats and shoes, very often have a semi-detached relationship with the wearer. It could dangle freely from an arm, wrist or shoulder. The Kniertje, however, melds ergonomically with the body, to create a single  harmonious form.