Top Manta
2009 mobile site-responsive project
Barcelona, Spain
Throughout Spain, hawkers of designer bags line the streets of small and large cities. Fake Louis Vuitton, Prada, Gucci, and Chanel purses are arranged on top of blankets (mantas in Spanish). Rope is attached to each of the four corners of the blanket allowing the bag hawker to quickly gather up his illicit goods and dash away from the police. In contrast to the glitzy, faux-designer bags, the blankets are plain and unassuming, often a white cotton sheet. They are highly functional, but far from beautiful and serve to underscore the illicit nature of the transaction between buyer and seller. For this project, I designed a prototype for a new manta whose improved surfaces could serve two functions. When laid out on the sidewalk, the manta resembles an "open-face" Louis Vuitton bag complete with authentic pattern, leather-like straps, and bright brass hardware. When drawn up into a sack, the underside of the manta resembles the patterned sidewalks throughout Barcelona and allows the bag hawker to hide his fake purses in plain view of the police.