Published By’s SS24 Collection is Pure Liquid-Metal Magic
During Paris Fashion Week spring-summer 2024, I perused Austrian design studio Published By’s latest collection – full of visual odes to early-2000s rave culture and golden skies in Mykonos. Plus, a surprising magic trick. Here’s what it was like.
In a sunlit showroom in Paris, Christoph Tsetinis, founder and creative director of Austrian label Published By, picks up a silvery bag. It’s smooth but dimpled, like something left behind by visiting aliens. “It’s the first bag I’ve ever made with this technology,” says Christoph, who designed it for his partner Ruby Wallen. “I made it exactly that size to fit her keys, card, and lipstick because when she goes out,” His voice drops to a whisper, “she always loses them.”
The bag was a perfect solution – and the turn of the key that started Published By’s engine. They called it “Ruby’s Lost Stone.”
Talking to Christoph, I think of the first Published By bag I purchased just a few months ago: black leather and raffia enveloped with mirror-like, silver-tone hardware, its surface caved in like the side of a dented car. That, too, is only capable of containing a lipstick, a thin wallet – and little else. Yet there’s something so special about it. So different. New accessories flood the market every year, but very few are worth remembering. This bag? It sticks with you.
And that’s exactly what Christoph and Ruby were hoping to accomplish when they launched the brand in 2020. Thanks to Christoph’s family’s experience in the car industry, the duo began exploring new and sustainable ways of producing handbags. Specifically, they started utilizing 3D modeling programs that are used for designing and manufacturing automotive components. The result? A surreal, futuristic, and brilliantly fluid visual language.
Here in his showroom, Christoph’s creations – all of them – feel even more like design objects. Artfully displayed across the floor, furniture, and fireplace, they eschew simple categorization. Yes, they’re accessories, but they’re also works of art.
This is especially true with Published By’s spring-summer 2024 collection, which was inspired by the liquid metal aesthetics of the early 2000s rave scene and Christoph’s memories of the era. The most exciting (read: magical) item in the lineup? A jet-black piece that’s shaped like Ruby’s not-so-lost stone. When I pause in front of it, Christoph lets me in on its magic. He clutches it tightly in one hand and then lets go, leaving a white negative impression of his fingers, like an X-ray.
“Wow,” I can’t help but gasp.
But there’s more, he says, stepping outside on the balcony and angling the bag toward the sunlight. The color transforms like a cloud of milk diffusing into coffee. I ask him: How? Dubbed the “X-ray bag,” its coating is made of a heat-reactive material that responds to changes in temperature. Genius.
Christoph’s striking wearable art pieces are not only a joy to have and to hold, they’re also downright fun. This season, playful colors make their way into Published By’s core collection. Citron-hued pieces evoke images of the sun casting a golden, early-morning glow on the beaches of Mykonos. And others, dreamed up in icy, ombre blues, mirror the color-shifting, flip-flop paint jobs on early 2000s vehicles.
But one of my favorite pieces is based on another memory. “This was inspired by stones that my dad brought from Greece,” he says, holding up a bag studded with silver-tone pebble-like designs. It’s a showstopper – and I tell him as much. “That’s the goal of [these] bags anyway,” he says, “because there are so many bags that are existing already, you need something that’s unique, you know?” It’s tough to make head-turning bags without stripping away their utility, but Christoph does it without a hitch.