Fall in Love With Handcrafted Kites

One look at Haptic Lab's beautiful kites will have you dreaming about a day spent at the park or on the beach, flying kites and feeling like a kid again. Find out how their designer turned her childhood pastime into a kite-making career (yes, this is a real thing), and shop some of these whimsical creations, below.

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It feels wrong somehow that we don't remember the last time we flew a kite. Why would we deprive ourselves of something that used to fill us with so much joy? When we came across the whimsical handmade kites designed by Emily Fischer at Haptic Lab in Brooklyn, New York, we knew we were ready for a kite comeback. Fischer, a former architect, started Haptic Lab in 2009 to turn her childhood hobbies, primarily quilting and kites, into her full-time, adult job.

Fact: bringing a kite this pretty to the beach will make everyone around you jealous.
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When Fischer told family and friends she was leaving the architecture field to focus on kite-making, she says, "There was a lot of confusion and a lot head scratching. There was more than one person who thought I was running a 'tights' business."

Emily Fischer in Haptic Lab Studio, where architecture meets kite-making.
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Fischer admits that kites are certainly niche, even in New York where there's a subculture for every odd hobby you can imagine. But she draws inspiration from a rich tradition of kite craftsmanship in other cultures. "West Indian communities are super into flying kites and kite-making," the designer says. "I grew up in Wisconsin making kites out of trashbags, but for communities in Indonesia, it's much more serious."

This beauty is made in collaboration with kite makers in Bali, and will have you longing to sail away on a strong breeze.

Fischer's biggest design influence, however, comes from the turn of the last century, when she says the Wright Brothers' first aircrafts were really just giant kites. "A lot of my early research goes back to looking at the connections and the materials that were being used 100 to 120 years ago," she says. "Haptic Lab uses a lot of bamboo, birch, spears, and some fiberglass, but we try to keep it as low tech as possible."

The wooden kite string spool needs no updating. Why fix what isn't broken?

A travel tip from Fischer: If you find yourself in Bali, and you're looking to spark a spirited conversation, ask a local how their kite did at the previous year's annual kite festival. Guaranteed friendship.

Below, find your favorite kite and then meet us at the park for some breezy, high-flying adventures!

Gold Cloud Diamond Kite, $42, hapticlab.com.
Sailing Ship Kite, $40, hapticlab.com.
Blue Cloud Diamond Kite, $42, hapticlab.com.
Multi Wind Delta Kite, $42, hapticlab.com.
Yes Pocket Kite, $35, hapticlab.com.

Navy Star Shower Comet Kite, $42, hapticlab.com.
Navy Crystal Delta Kite, $42, hapticlab.com.
Rigel Diamond Kite, $42, hapticlab.com.
White Multi Crystal Comet Kite, $42, hapticlab.com.

For more on Haptic Lab, see hapticlab.com.

From: Seventeen
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