The Return of the Circle Bag, a Hit in the Early Aughts

Twenty-five years after the style’s heyday, Threeasfour is resurrecting the Circle Bag in two sizes.

Article by Jameson Montgomery

14-TMAG-TRANSYLVANIA-HOTEL-4Threeasfour’s Circle Bags, a relaunch of their iconic 2000 style. Photograph by Jessie Richie.

The design collective Threeasfour, made up of the Lebanese designer Gabriel Asfour, the Tajikistan-born Angela Donhauser and the Israeli designer Adi Gil, was founded in 2005. (The three cheekily refer to themselves as “the United Nations of fashion.”) Before Threeasfour, there was its previous permutation, Asfour, which in 2000 launched the Circle Bag, a shoulder bag made from two ringlike pieces of leather sewn together at their edges, resembling a Frisbee. Its graphic geometry was an immediate hit among downtown New York’s arts community at the time; early wearers included the actress Marisa Tomei, the musician Björk and Lady Miss Kier, the vocalist for the dance music group Deee-Lite. Its status as a cultural touchstone was solidified in 2004, when New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art acquired a Circle Bag for its collection, this one with a metallic pewter finish and embossed with floral arabesques.

Now, 25 years after the style’s heyday, Threeasfour is resurrecting the Circle Bag in two sizes, the larger one about the size of a hubcap, the smaller a vinyl record. Updates for the relaunch include added interior pockets and a gusset for extra storage on the smaller style. The bag is also offered in nylon, perfect for casual wearers and vegans alike. In the U.S., Circle Bags are available in New York at the Canvas 3.0 Gallery, situated within the Financial District’s Santiago Calatrava-designed Oculus Center, and from the brand’s website.