By Giulia Chéhab

Giulia Chéhab’s project, +Strap, can be affixed to any standard-size tote bag to let users distribute the bag’s weight across both shoulders like a backpack. Chéhab was inspired by watching attendees of Milan’s Salone del Mobile carrying branded tote bags throughout the duration of the fair. While tote bags have become a staple in the marketing and communications strategies of many brands, Chéhab noted that carrying the accumulated weight of promotional material on a single shoulder can cause tension and pain.

The spongy and slightly padded properties of the knitted textiles by Kvadrat Febrik made them ideal for use as load-bearing materials. A range of textiles have been used by Chéhab in her process, with thicker textiles reserved for one side of the strap, and more graphic textile patterns appearing on the other. In addition to this, the strap features a pocket into which a phone, keys, or other small items can be slipped, and which remain accessible even as users wear the totes on their backs.

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