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.
     
    PT-AC553_cork_20060623170156.jpg
  2. hmmm that's interesting.. cork seems so fragile though... and to repair it... is that even possible??
     
  3. I've always LOVED cork heels...so I'm liking this new trend a lot. I think the cork looks really cool and different.