On a daily basis, bound for work, to sight see the different areas of the city, or even enjoying a tropical vacation. A bag is a “vital” necessity for a person to carry. And, just like a reflection, A bag’s design and build quality reflects,emphasizes and brings more to the person than just being a sewn leather to hold one’s essentials.
Most of the public’s perception of a well-built and designed bag costs higher, but the good news is that you don’t have to look that far and pay a higher amount. There are bags from Filipino local brands that are made from quality material, and the artisans have put at the forefront a patent on local creativity and craftsmanship.
There are homegrown labels that share similar qualities and created obras to which made a difference and made their way to the eyes of the general public and even internationally thanks to their creativity, hard-working spirit, and ingenuity.
Let the Filipino tradition flow into your fashion and wardrobe or bag collection and check out these local brands.
R2R is one of the first Filipino brands to be eyed on an international or global scale. Rags2Riches is a diamond in the rough, to which it came from one of the Philippines’ largest urban communities. The bags were from scrap fabrics, and the artisans who wove the fabrics that turned into masterpieces are women and mothers from the said community. Also, the label’s goal started from empowering women from remote areas, to let their creativity loose and weave bags from upcycled materials.So, it’s best to say that the fashionable bags’ intricate, sustainable and at the same time long lasting design tells a deep story.
R2R’s bag designs are in resemblance to Filipinos’ thriving and diverse culture through-out the whole country. Its different designs paired with light colorways would give-off a light and comfortable vibe.
Flat Crossbody Beige
Price: 1,280.00 php ($22.65)
A well-loved brand in the local bag industry that introduces canvas waxing technique, which the brand claims to have the bags be meticulously handcrafted to have a unique finish. Gouache made their mark on people, both local and international, who are living or want to live the contemporary urban lifestyle. The production takes up to a month, and is filled from initial sketches, assembly, to quality control, and then up to the finished final product, and then ready for distribution.
Gouache’s rustic and creamy color palette variations for their bags suit any professional or student living in the city. The bag’s build quality, even at plain eyesight, could leave a “sturdy” impression based on how the leather-to-stitch process has been made. The brand offers a multitude types of bags, from; duffle bag, totebag, pouch, camera bag, etc.
Rennell Camera Bag
Price: 3,700.00 php ($65.42)
Zara Juan design unveils a Filipino inspired heritage. This brand has been on the eyes of the public, nation’s publication, and even in the world renowned magazines (Forbes and Vogue). The brand features a “true-to-the-root” design by making bags that are unique but still pleasant to the eye, and by making a statement that the Filipino culture has a vast influence towards its people.
Zara Juan’s woven bags also highlight a handcraft nature by fellow Filipino artisans, every piece is created from a collaboration among communities. The design that captivated the most is the Busina Mini and Padyak bag, for their designs also sends out a statement to the general public to keep the weaving and handcraft generation alive.
Ni-QUA is a Husband-and-wife team that acknowledges the proud creativity and craftsmanship of the Marikina artisans to whom weave the bags that they have designed. The brand has grown and became one of the most popular Filipino leather brands, and their raw materials are 95% obtained from the country (philippines) itself. Ni-QUA has its pride in a combination type of design, which showcases a true workmanship of producing bags and other products by using the seamless clean lines, thus emphasizing the essence of magnifying the quality and beauty of high-grade leather goods.
Ni-QUA also offers personalization of their products through “Bespoke” (editing to the existing design). And, a choice of different colors that you could choose. On another note, the brand’s design speaks of the Filipino heritage, a woven design that is a description of the ancestral design of huts, and also a spice of light color combination that pop off either day or night.
Price: 1,560.00 php ($27.73)
Katre offers high-quality craftsmanship products in a wide range of styles. The brand features fresh, new, and quality designs that carry a consistent approach in order for you to be indulged in the wide variety of choices. On another note, the designs are of smooth pastel-like colorway that would suit the preference of most of the general public, be it brought to a vacation or on a city meeting. Price-wise, the brand also offers a wide variety of prices per product design so that you could choose a bag that fits to your liking. Other than that, the brand has also been keen to its roots, as it patents its design prior to the filipino culture, embracing the weaving tradition of the tote bags thus resembling true filipino heritage.
These brands show the side of the Filipino creativity and endurance, as each brand turned their passion and passed it upon the artisans that turned each and every design to a newly furnished and symbolic to the historical and at the same time traditional roots of the country. This goes to show the innovativeness and resilience of the Filipinos towards their own country, as they proudly patent their work and turned it into a story for the general public to see, and for you to feel. A story that has been woven from the arms of the talented artisans that has been passed on from generation to generation.