LONDON — Stella McCartney’s dreams of green, no-leather luxury are becoming reality with the upcoming commercial launch of the Frayme Mylo bag, which is made entirely from mycelium, the web-like roots of fungi.
The handbag, which McCartney made in collaboration with the California-based Bolt Threads, will go on sale on July 1 and will be exclusive to Stella McCartney boutiques. It will retail at 1,995 pounds.
McCartney said it’s the first time that a “mushroom handbag” will be available for sale and also marks a milestone in her longstanding relationship with Bolt, and in overall vegan material innovation.
The bag will initially launch as a limited edition run of one to 100, each individually numbered, and will be available exclusively at Stella McCartney stores. The Mylo bag will then form part of the brand’s seasonal collections starting in 2023, and the plan is to introduce more colors, too.
The bag has been handcrafted by Italian artisans who have been trained to work with the mycelium-based leather developed by Bolt. The bag launched during McCartney’s 2022 runway show last October at Paris Fashion Week. The show took place at Espace Niemeyer — in a room resembling the frilly underside of a mushroom.
The Frayme bag’s design has been inspired by McCartney’s Falabella tote and features an oversize, recyclable aluminum chain strap. The commercial launch of the bag forms part of the brand’s wider, summer 2022 campaign titled “Fashion Fungi,” which takes a “psychedelic trip into nature.”
The overall collection was partly inspired by the “Fantastic Fungi” documentary on Netflix.
Dan Widmaier, founder and chief executive officer of Bolt Threads, said Stella McCartney’s “category-defining leadership of animal-free fashion and championship of sustainable materials is paving a path forward toward a more responsible fashion industry. Bringing the first-ever luxury bag made from Mylo to market is a massive milestone for conscientious consumers, the biomaterials industry, and the future of luxury fashion.”
Bolt Threads said it grows mycelium, which is used for Mylo, in a vertical agriculture facility using air, water and mulch to recreate a process that happens on the forest floor. Bolt’s ingredients are all found in nature and its processes are powered by renewable energy.
It said the process of making mushroom materials is designed to have a minimal environmental impact and takes days, compared to the years required to raise cattle for traditional leather.