Since its establishment in 2007, Rags2Riches (R2R) has been known for their wonderfully artistic and handmade pieces from handbags, wallets, to household items like hampers, wooden trays, and floor planters.
What makes their items so special is the heartfelt philosophy behind it, and the great leadership that our very own Gen T-lister, Reese Fernandez-Ruiz offers to the rest of the team. Each item is handmade, designed by renowned professionals, and created in an environment that is built on earnest camaraderie.
Rags2Riches prides itself in being a livelihood partner for all their artisans; most of which dedicate their art and skills in the hopes for a better life for their families and communities.
How It’s Made
Just going around the Rags2Riches headquarters, nestled in a lovely old house in Quezon City, one can already feel the homely ambiance that is somehow mirrored in every item they produce.
To understand just how much detail and passion goes into each item, we were taken for a quick tour around their workshop.
Here, the bags go through four stations: cutting floor, assembly, stitching, and quality control.
Each station, manned by a handful of artisans, offered us the warmest welcome as they continued on with their respectful tasks.
Let’s Talk Bespoke
After the tour, we were treated to a weaving workshop. Each were given a 7x7 frame, scrap fabric (a nod to their passion for sustainable fashion), and a weaving hook.
At the very sight of these items, one thinks two things: first, you try to supress flashbacks from your long-forgotten home economics classes, and second, there’s no way to create anything out of these pieces of scrap... or is there? Instructed by the R2R artisans, we went from this:
From basically no knowledge about weaving, the workshop taught each attendee to focus on detail, patience, and appreciation of the intricacy of the weaving process. After a few hours, your get your very own bag. Now, that’s custom-made.
The Spring/ Summer 2017 collection has been designed by their lead designer, Chris Cera. It is the first time R2R is using the Binetwagan indigenous weave in a collection. This textile is a kind of Abel Iloko weave from the province of Ilocos. Historically, weaves hailing from Ilocos were used as sails for the galleon ships during the Spanish Era because of its durability.
For Versions, there was only one textile weaver who worked on the Binetwagan fabric of the bag, who was Dedicacion Arriola.
To enroll in a weaving class, you may go to rags2riches.ph. The Versions collection launches on April 6, 2017 in all R2R stores at Glorietta, TriNoma, and UP Town Center