pfw fall 2024

Would You Buy a Bag Made of Air?

Photo: courtesy of Coperni

Coperni knows how to design things that go viral. At the very end of the brand’s 2023 show in Paris, Bella Hadid, semi-nude, slowly walked to the center of the runway while scientists sprayed her with a liquid resembling silly string that morphed into a white dress with a thigh-high slit. There have been robot dogs, mirrored minis, and white lace dresses strewn with 3-D printed flowers — and now a bag made of air, backed by NASA.


Would you buy this? Coperni’s new version of their swipe bag is technically 99% air, made mostly with silica aerogel, which has been used by NASA to collect stardust ✨ #coperni

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For their fall 2024 ready-to-wear collection, Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant, with the help of researcher and professor Ioannis Michalous, created the Aerogel Air Swipe Bag. It is a bag, basically, made of … air? What?

Photo: courtesy of Coperni

How does the Coperni Air Swipe bag even work?

Often referred to as “blue smoke” or “solid smoke,” Aerogel is a silicon-based solid with a spongelike, porous structure in which more than 99 percent of the volume is open space, making it a thousand times less dense than glass.

Aerogel is made by integrating high temperatures and the pressure-critical-point drying of a gel composed of colloidal-silica structural units filled with solvents. Appearing almost like a cloud, the bag is the biggest piece to ever be crafted from the nanomaterial. One giant leap for mankind, and fashion. It may seem confusing, but it makes perfect sense in combination with the rest of the interplanetary collection, which features archetypal outerwear paired with star-shaped stilettos, watery second-skin jersey dresses, UFO heels, and models in an alien state sans eyebrows. Like NASA, they’re focused on the future. Beam me up, Scotty!

Tell me more about the artist Ioannis Michalous

Professor Ioannis Michaloudis, Ph.D., is a visual artist and researcher from Cyprus who is the first person to use NASA’s nanomaterial silica aerogel in the visual-arts space. His work sits between research and art.

Is this the lightest bag in the world?

Possibly! It weighs 37 grams, which is roughly equivalent to a penny or 30 paper clips.

Would You Buy a Bag Made of Air?