I’m not very much into buying designer bags unless they’re sold dirt cheap at ukay-ukay (second hand shop) or an outlet store. I find buying something ridiculously expensive at the mall a bit pointless, especially if you can buy a more reasonably-priced version of it elsewhere.
My Rags2Riches bags are an exception, though. Mine are the ones designed by Rajo Laurel back when Rags2Riches first came out.
I like them because they’re pretty and look one-of-a-kind. It’s made of rags and scrap cloth, yes, but the rich forest green shade of it makes it look elegant and classic and not rag-like at all. I can use it for years to come.
Another reason why I like it is because each bag is lovingly made by a “nanay” (mother) at Payatas in Quezon City. This means that each bag takes days to make as each is handmade. And in the age of automation and instant noodles, each handmade Rags2Riches bag is extra-special.
Making each bag also gives each “nanay” a decent income–enough to live a simple and happy life with one’s family. Every purchase thus makes everyone happy: you with your beautiful bag and the “nanay” with her well-earned income.
Nowadays, it’s bag designer Amina Aranaz who designs Rags2Riches bags. I haven’t bought anything from her collection yet, but I would love to. The bags are prettier, especially the ones with rosettes and mother of pearl. It’s very Filipino, too! Totally worth every penny. Hoping, hoping, hoping to buy another one soon!