It all started with simple handbag: a half-moon silhouette and bamboo slats. Known as the Ark bag, there was a time when you couldn’t scroll through Instagram without spotting it, with celebrities like Jessica Alba, Michelle Williams, and Chrissy Teigen all embracing it wholly. Considered a summer “it” bag, this simple accessory launched Cult Gaia, founded by designer Jasmin Larian. These days, the brand is much bigger than its handbags, sporting anything from quirky shoes to luxurious resort wear.
“The name Gaia comes from the goddess of Mother Earth and the daughter of chaos, the most creative force there is in my opinion,” relayed Larian in a piece published on Anupam Dabral’s website. “And every great brand is cult-like, uniting like-minded people in their aesthetic ideals. Women and nature are endlessly inspiring, so there is a lot in the name.”
But though wholly artistic, the brand also aims to be approachable and functional, creating items that are Objet d’Art whilst still having utility. “In the market, it was always hard for me to find artful pieces that felt special and wearable, with an affordable price point,” explained Larian. “I love the idea of keeping special pieces forever.”
True to her word, Larian’s accessories, and more specifically her bags, stand on their own and have a very sculptural quality about them without being overt. The brand’s design ethos is to make things stand out and turn heads. “Pieces should be perfectly imperfect and need to be nuanced to be beautiful, like nature, no two things are ever the same,” reads Cult Gaia’s website. Scroll down to see some pieces from their recent collection.