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by Laura Neilson

eley-eastpack-1.jpg

Eastpak's most recent spring/summer '09 collection, a collaboration with Eley Kishimoto, may just put the middle school backpack wars of LL Bean vs. Eastpack to rest. When I was growing up, while LL Bean loyalists had the option of monogrammed initials, Eastpak carriers occasionally gained the upper hand when the company turned out splashy, limited-edition prints. If any such rivalry still exists, Eley Kishimoto's snazzy trademark "flash" print, in red, blue, back and grey puts an end to that. Besides the classic backpack model, other styles in the limited-run collection include a messenger bag, a shoulder bag and a sportier backpack.

In addition to producing winsome prints for their own fashion line, London-based designers Mark Eley and Wakako Kishimoto have lent their bold, eye-popping designs to a spectrum of fashion houses and products, including Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Alexander McQueen, Uniqlo, Volkswagen and even London's double-decker buses.

The backpacks are currently available for online purchase at the Eley Kishimoto website for £58.

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