Have you ever been so mad at a lover that you wished you could pulverize the thing they love most in the whole world and then see the expression on their face when they find out you did it? If your answer is yes, that's dark. But it probably also means you can relate to Medea, the character from Greek mythology. Medea is known as a powerful sorceress who took revenge on her unfaithful husband by murdering their children.
In the contemporary fashion world, Medea is also a Milan-based fashion label started by twin sisters Giulia and Camilla Venturini. The pair chose the name after viewing Pier Paolo Pasolini’s 1969 film about Medea. The social and aesthetic statement made by these bags live up to their fierce namesake.
The bags are made out of very fine leather and appear at first glance to be standard shopping bags. The designer sisters describe themselves as provocateurs and have said you need to get very close to the bag to realize it’s not plastic, a purposeful visual trick. The structure of the bags deliberately reject a traditional feminine look, for something more sleek and non-conventional. The product, which comes in a variety of bold colours, is simple and elegant and can transition easily from a daytime to nighttime look. The bag sizes range from minuscule (an adorable lipstick case) to an oversized option suited to a large shopping spree.
The brand has also expanded their collection with artist collaborations, inviting a new guest artist each year. In 2019, New York City pop artist Judith Bernstein created a line for Medea. Bernstein has always been a politically engaged artist, creating work that challenges notions of human empathy during difficult historical periods. Her work is also staunchly feminist, bold and provocative: a perfect match for Medea’s ethos! Her line of bags for the brand features recreations of two of her previous works “Phallic screws” and “Voice” as well as a new commission exclusive to Medea.
Like the artists they choose to collaborate with, the creators behind Medea are politically conscious and socially engaged. Their social media recently featured a donation campaign for the Bail Project, addressing systemic inequality in the prison system. The overall tone of the design, the branding and the creators is unapologetic originality and we are here for it.