Designed in the PNW

By Antoinette Alexander Feb 8, 2018

Photo by Rachel Alves

Inspired by Korea. Designed in Seattle. Handcrafted in Italy. That’s KACYYOM — a new line of handbags designed by Kacy Myong-Jin Yom. Born in South Korea and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Yom is turning heads with her elegant handbags.

425: Tell us about the inspiration behind your handbags.

Yom: My debut collection comes in four styles, all made with fine Italian leather. The colors and lines of the bags are inspired by traditional Korean costumes, called hanbok, which are characterized by vibrant colors and simple lines. And the double-Y design is inspired by the lines of the Korean flag, which has significant meaning — harmony and balance. The design is simple and clean, but timeless. Growing up, my mother was a handbag fanatic, and I watched her go through one designer bag after another.

425: What makes your handbags unique?

Yom: The structure of my initial bags is inspired by my lifelong search of the “one” bag that can easily transition from casual daytime to dressy evening bag. Being an avid traveler, I travel light. I like to dress casual in the afternoon and carry a cross-body bag so my hands are free. In the evenings, I like to put on heels and dress for dinner. All my bags easily convert from casual to dressy. They have a clean, elegant, and structured look, as well as detachable shoulder straps and hand straps.

425: Your handbags are crafted by a family owned handbag factory in Tuscany, Italy. Can you tell us more?

Yom: I started working on my debut collection, “Soh-Lee,” about 2½ years ago. I spent about half of the time searching for the right manufacturer. I went from West Coast to East Coast, testing multiple manufacturers along the way, but could not find the quality I was looking for. Then, finally, a small manufacturer in Florence responded to me after two years of me “knocking” on their door! We started with one dummy bag (a prototype using felt), and I was blown away when I received it. It was the most beautifully crafted dummy bag I’d seen!

They have been working with top luxury brands for over 45 years, and the bags feature an Italian classic leather exterior and supple stain-resistant micro-suede interior. All of our leather products are sourced in Italy and produced by a tannery that has been in the industry for over 50 years. I am proud to work with a tannery that is socially and environmentally responsible. Their leather treatment process minimizes impact on the environment by using a water-based finishing process that reduces carbon emissions.

KACYYOM bags are currently available at kacyyom.com and at Four Seasons Seattle Hotel Spa.