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albert chu

OF otaat

For the L.A.-based accessories designer Albert Chu, his company Otaat is more than just leather and canvas—it’s a personal mantra. See, Otaat stands for “one thing at a time,” a phrase once used by his mother to help him from feeling overwhelmed with tasks. As he got older and starting feeling almost limited by it, he amended it: “One thing at a time; advance the plot.” As he explains, “‘One thing at a time’ can unfortunately be seen as ‘it has to be perfect, and it can’t go into the world until it’s completely done.’ I thought ‘advance the plot’ was a nice counterbalance to that.”

Smarty-pants for life, Albert earned a graduate degree in architecture from Harvard and spent a few years working around the globe, from Paris to Beijing. Although he loved the firm he was with, in 2010 he decided his personal storyline was urging him toward designing beautifully functional pouches and bags, incorporating the technical sketching and skills he picked up in the building world and working in canvas first and now leather. “I got the itch to try my own thing and to make things that took a little less time—not years,” he says. “I would love for Otaat to appeal to people who are thoughtful, and who appreciate a certain rigor in the design process.” —jackie varriano


Behind The Scenes

  • Profile_tumblr_mbswmi7jz91qazwkm
    The Man Behind Otaat Goes on an L.A. Food Binge What’s eating Albert Chu.Albert Chu of the super-slick leather label Otaat tends to have mad cravings. For him, it’s about the impulse, the indulgence, and the absolute ridiculousness of it all. Curious where he goes to get a food fix? Check out his eight favorite destinations around Los Angeles—but, unless you’re Kobayashi, space this stuff out. —jackie varrianoLa Brea Bakery“This may be the one healthy craving I typically have: the marinated artichoke heart sandwich from La Brea Bakery’s or... READ MORE »
  • Profile_tumblr_mbsw39qc1g1qazwkm
    A Look Inside Albert Chu’s Bag Every last thing he totes has a story.Since his Gameboy days, Albert Chu has been carrying around a pouch to store his essentials. He might have moved beyond Tetris, but he turned his fondness for a little carryall into a hyper-high-functioning bag line Otaat. Take a look at what Albert’s got with him on a daily basis. —jackie varriano“Sneak-preview alert! I’ve been carrying my upcoming Topher Bag a lot lately. I’m really excited about it because it’s such a tight, compact backpack. And is it... READ MORE »