Statement bags are big right now.
Not so much the I-just-dropped-a-whole-lot-of-cash-on-this-hunk-of-Chanel kind, but the art-deco style clutch: typically small with artistic embellishments, interesting handles and exaggerated, otherworldly shapes. If you’re on board with the likes of Staud, Cult Gaia, Attico and the Simon Miller Bonsai Bag, well—you catch my drift.
Launched out of Sydney just this week, Raela is a new player in the “it bag” world with a damn sleek line of handcrafted clutches, shoulder bags, totes and top handle bags. Raela, however, has a more ethical spin on statement bags.
Founded by designers and friends Rae Pooley and Nataschia Holland, each of Raela’s designs adopt elements of traditional Indian craft—embroidery, hand-beading, crocheting and metalsmithing.
"I have always been drawn to products with stories and nuance, that push aesthetic boundaries while staying timeless,” says Pooley. “There is so much beauty in products made by the human hand, so I feel humbled to have such talented artisans bringing our designs to life."
The idea is to preserve the slow but meticulous skills that have been passed down through generations. As well as this, $10 from each bag sold is donated to South African children’s charity Thandi House and Kasturi and the Mehfuza Charitable Trust in India, which helps upskill the families of the artisans who create Raela handbags in Northern India.
Among the collectable clutches is the showstopping “Reassurance” cage bag, made with brass, a removable woven lining and resin handles. The “Eloquence” bag features hand-beaten brass, handcrafted by metalsmith artisans.
Check out the full launch collection here.
Image credit: Raela.