Cork: the new material for handbags & shoes

  1. There was a big article in Saturday's Wall Street Journal about using cork as the new "fabric" in clothes, handbags and shoes. I won't post the entire article but here are a couple paragraphs:

    A $335 handbag that Stuart Weitzman introduced this spring has an unusual look and a supple, suede-like feel. But it's not calfskin, ostrich or another typical material -- it's cork. Increasingly, the material usually associated with wine stoppers and bulletin boards is becoming a favorite among some luxury designers. Michael Kors is using it on the upper parts of shoes, while Christian Louboutin is making wedges covered in a gold-leaf version. The humble tree bark is also showing up on umbrellas, flip-flops and even jackets. "Before I just used regular cork," says Mr. Louboutin, who started working with it in the late 1990s. Now, he uses different colors and styles, including a gold-leaf variety, which he says "looks like a soft stone."

    Cork is also appealing because, according to distributor Jelinek Cork, it costs about $9 a square foot. Top-quality leather can cost $15 a square foot. And unlike most leathers, cork is machine washable. Its durability is similar to that of leather.

    Clockwise from top: Christian Dior's $675 wedges have cork fabric with a shiny varnish on the footbed. It's one of four cork styles in the summer collection; Stuart Weitzman's $335 Softway that comes in natural or brown cork. $65 wallet designed by Tracey Tanner.
  2. hmmm that's interesting.. cork seems so fragile though... and to repair it... is that even possible??
  3. I've always LOVED cork I'm liking this new trend a lot. I think the cork looks really cool and different.