The inky, minimalist, black-and-white drawings and linoleum-cut prints by Brooklyn-based British artist Hugo Guinness often focus on inanimate objects — from garden chairs to vintage typewriters, oven mitts, architectural columns, double-decker buses, binoculars, faucets, urinals, kitchen ovens, and tractors — thereby transforming mundane miscellany into transcendental, muse status-worthy fodder, an Andy Warholian approach to creating art but minus the pomp and flash that accompanied the latter's productions. Rather than obsessing over perfectly symmetrical forms, realistic proportions and shading subtleties, Guinness seems to sketch with the impatience of an excitable 7-year-old, but it's precisely those imprecisions and imperfections that make his work so endearing, so whimsical.
Now, you can add a hint of this playful spirit into your choice of accessories with the debut of the limite-edition Hugo Guinness for Coach, an array of handbags, wallets, and other leather goods featuring hand-cut linoleum prints designed by Guinness.
Handbag lovers will gravitate toward the Hugo Guinness for Coach Reversible Totes ($398 each at Coach.com), available in three different designs: Coffee Cup, Boxer, and Handcuffs. Each tote is reversible, so that one side features smooth vachetta leather, while the other is made of cotton canvas and features a unique Guinness design. When you're looking for a city chic look, then, you can display the funky canvas exterior while, when you're headed to a business meeting, you can turn the purse inside out to show the prim leather side.
The Hugo Guinness for Coach Coffee Cup Reversible Tote, for instance, features a black cotton canvas exterior with a white illustration of a New York City diner coffee cup and Guinness' HG signature and date (as shown above at top). If you turn the purse inside out, however, the canvas design will then become the lining of an almond-colored vachetta leather purse with the HG limited-edition logo at top. These totes measure 13 1/4" in length, 15 3/4" in height, and 3 3/4" in width, making them roomy enough alternatives for even my fellow bag ladies. Similarly, the Hugo Guinness for Coach Boxer Reversible Tote features a black leather shoulder strap, one side covered in black leather (tucked inside the bag in the photo above), and a white cotton canvas side (shown along the exterior in the above photo) with an original Guinness linoleum print of a shrieking boxer, his hands at his sides, and his gloves practically touching his breathable shorts, the band of his shorts featuring the letters "GRRH" perhaps to signal frustration or pain. Last, there's the Hugo Guinness for Coach Handcuff Reversible Tote, which features a black leather side, a black leather shoulder strap, and a black canvas side with a linoleum print of a set of handcuffs in white.
One of the smartest, cheekiest offerings in the collection is the Hugo Guinness for Coach Sunglass Case ($148 at Coach.com), which features an original, hand-cut linoleum print of a pair of Ray-Bans emblazoned atop a naturally tanned vachetta leather case with tonal stitching, a snap closure, and microfleece lining to ensure your shades' lenses remain smudge-free and unscratched.
If you carry around more keys than a superintendent and train inspector combined, you'll find the Hugo Guinness for Coach Keys Zip Top Keycase ($118 at Coach.com) an ideal choice. The pouch-like vachetta leather case features a zip-top closure and a leather strap with a keyring. Adorned with a linoleum print of a set of keys fanning out from the ring to which they're attached, forming a circular shape, the case will allow you to keep all those lock-turning essentials organized and still leave you room to tuck in some loose bills, an ID, and perhaps a lip gloss tube. The key case measures 3 1/4" in length and 5 " in height.
The simplest piece in the collection is the Hugo Guinness for Coach Coffee Cup Key Ring ($68 at Coach.com), which features Guinness' iconic coffee cup print atop a vachetta leather cut-out. This detail is, of course, attached to a short silver-toned chain with both a lobster claw clasp and a split key ring.
The collection also includes men's wallets, an iPad case, and other knickknacks, so make sure to check them all out!