What was your inspiration for this bag?
Whilst living in the Philippines these past three years I've discovered some beautiful pieces of woven rattan furniture, this led me to discover the Solihiya weave- a Rattan sunburst pattern weave. Traditionally used in furniture, it gained popularity in the 19th century Spanish colonial era. When used as the backrest and seat of chairs it lets air through, providing comfortable rest in the tropical heat. I wanted to create a clutch bag using this weave. It took me quite a while to find artisans who are still skilled in this particular weave, but my perseverance paid off! I wanted to create a unique shape of clutch bag and therefore came up with the idea of a hexagon shape, which I think also compliments the pattern of the Solihiya weave. There's two types of handle you can attach which offers versatility too.
What are the retail price-points of your line?
$110 - $230
How has this season or collection differed from those of yours of the past?
This is the first time I've created a range of bags. I started off designing costume jewellery. It was since moving to the Philippine three years ago that I stared on a journey of becoming a more socially responsible and ethical brand. I started my own small social enterprise with a group of female artisans from an underprivileged community in Tacloban and have started to incorporate sustainable materials into my designs as well as working with other local artisans. Every piece in this collection has a story, they are ethically made to combine contemporary luxury design with traditional craftsmanship and social responsibility.
What other handbag designers have inspired you? Which Instagram accounts do you follow for inspiration?
Aranaz (https://www.instagram.com/aranaz_ph/) are a beautiful brand from the Philippines. I love that they celebrate craftsmanship from the Philippines, also that it's a family run business and is a few generations old now. It's not a bag brand, but I'm really inspired by Innika (https://www.instagram.com/innikachoo/) a fellow expat now based in Bali. She has a very definite style of smock tops and dresses, which again showcase beautiful craftsmanship. Another source of inspiration is Nannacay (https://www.instagram.com/nannacay/) they also work with local artisans to help produce their beautiful bags.
What makes your line innovative and worth of the Best Handbag in Overall Style and Design?
I think because I work with local artisans and aim to elevate their work to produce unique ethical luxury design, that also tell a story makes my collection innovative and worthy of Best Handbag in Overall Style and Design.
Clare Hynes, Joanna style, clutch bag, fabric, rattan & brass, and wooden bead handle, $205