This post was originally published on sothebysrealty.com.
When fashion veterans and longtime friends Yijia Wang and Zi Xuan created Advene in 2019, they set out to reinvent sustainable luxury in the accessories sector. Customers at the time had to choose between sustainability, style, and price. “That’s when we thought we should do something,” Wang says.
With Advene, Wang and Xuan, who are based in New York, created a solution: luxury accessories that are thoughtfully constructed, sustainably made, and fairly priced.
Advene’s first product, the Age bag, is entirely sourced from food byproducts and is 100% traceable. Leathers are produced in a tannery certified by the Leather Working Group. This means that, from rawhide to finished leather, every step of the process is held to the highest standards of environmental impact and ethical production.
There are only 13 tanneries in the world certified as such. “Just think about it,” Wang says. “Only 10% of leather made in the U.S. is traceable. We’re not producing new leathers;it’s all recycled leather.”
Additionally, the Age lacks plastic filling, which is commonly used to structure the silhouette of bags. Instead, the design ensures it maintains its architectural shape. “Even though it’s a three-dimensional, sculptural shape, we can achieve it without using any fillers,” Wang says. “It’s all very supple leather—the weight comes from the material itself.”
It’s not just celebrities like January Jones, Hailey Bieber, and Kerry Washington who admire Advene’s dedication to fine craftsmanship, high style, and commitment to sustainability—the Age won the nascent company the 2021 iF Design Award for Excellence.
“The Age bag is there to help a woman through her everyday adventure,” Xuan says. From an elegant dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant to a neighborhood bake-off or smart meetings with clients, it’s a versatile bag the duo says can easily be dressed up or down. “I wanted to create something for the modern working woman that empowers them and that gives them emotional support,” Xuan says.
The Edge, Advene’s second bag, is a casual yet chic rectangular shoulder bag that tucks neatly under the shoulder. “It differs from the Age, which is more feminine,” Xuan says. “The Edge is much cooler, more unisex.” From the front, it has a distinctly edgy appearance—chic but also sharp. From the side, Xuan used tulip-shaped gussets to maintain Advene’s feminine charge. Kendall Jenner immediately picked one up in black.