O bag lets you build the bag of your dreams

Warning: be prepared to have trouble making up your mind, though. 

Some of the ready-made items at the O bag store
Some of the ready-made items at the O bag store
30 Oct 2019

Some of the ready-made items at the O bag store

There is a variety of straps, flaps, and other customisable details to choose from
There is a variety of straps, flaps, and other customisable details to choose from
30 Oct 2019

There is a variety of straps, flaps, and other customisable details to choose from

The flaps and straps can be attached or changed on the spot (or at home) via buttons and screws
The flaps and straps can be attached or changed on the spot (or at home) via buttons and screws
30 Oct 2019

The flaps and straps can be attached or changed on the spot (or at home) via buttons and screws

Screwing in the straps of my new O Market took less than five minutes
Screwing in the straps of my new O Market took less than five minutes
30 Oct 2019

Screwing in the straps of my new O Market took less than five minutes

The cute, small O Pocket and the classy O Glam
The cute, small O Pocket and the classy O Glam
30 Oct 2019

The cute, small O Pocket and the classy O Glam

The O Double mini shopper and O Swing purse
The O Double mini shopper and O Swing purse
30 Oct 2019

The O Double mini shopper and O Swing purse

When I was younger, I was a huge fan of online fashion games, whether it was putting clothes on a semi-naked paper doll, designing my own [mess-free] digital manicure, or crafting a handbag with all the elements I wanted.

Last week, I got to experience the latter in real life at the official launch of O bag’s first flagship store in Singapore. The 10-year-old Italian brand is known for its customisable bags in bold, punchy hues and a trademarked foam material called XL Extralight, which is non-toxic, odourless, resistant to heat, water, and fading, and - as its name suggests - super lightweight.

While there are a few ready-made options in the shop (for those who just want to browse, grab, and go), the real fun is in putting together your own pack, pretty much Build-A-Bear style.

The process basically goes something like this: you start by picking the body of the bag, then you move on to select a handle or strap for it, which comes in all kinds of lengths, types, and materials. Some models also let you choose a trimming (also in different colours, types, and materials), inner bag, or flap.

If you’re anything like me (indecisive as heck), you will have trouble making up your mind, and you might end up changing it. After humming and hawing over the details of an O Glam envelope crossbody (which I was sure I was going to bring home), my attention was stolen by a bright orange O Market tote in a corner. And let’s not talk about the many times I admired their signature O Mini in the mirror.

But hey, if you ask me, being so spoilt for choice is half the fun at the O bag store. And besides, you can always go back to get new parts to play around with, such as by replacing the strap or getting a body in another colour for your flap, which will make it feel like a completely new item.

Even those who walk in with a very clear picture of what they want are at “risk” of ending up with something completely different. Gladys Koh, the Managing Director of D.Grit Pte Ltd who brought O bag to our sunny shores, told everyone the story of how a customer came in with her family, who were sure she was going to get another black bag like she always does.

Lo and behold, she was successfully convinced to join the coloured carriers club. This is why Gladys recommends everyone to come into the store with an open mind and to try out all kinds of different combinations, even those you didn’t think you’d like at first. You might be surprised.

Prices start from $28 for the O Pocket body, up to $125 for the O Double body. Trimmings and inner bags are priced from $51 to $79. Flaps for the O Pocket and O Glam range from $41 to $69. Handles (Rope, Chain, Plexi Glass, Faux Leather, and Faux Rex Rabbit) range from $22 to $79. The eco bamboo handle for the O Glam is priced at $95.

View the full range of products at 313@Somerset, unit 03-014.

Report a problem