Raff’s Bauhaus-inspired geometric belt bag makes it to the finals of the Independent Handbag Designer Awards
Rashi Agarwal Favier’s designer handbags have always been tangible manifestations of her love for buildings, structures and tesselations. Little wonder that the design that gained the Coimbatore-born entrepreneur’s entry into the 13th Independent Handbag Designer Awards (IHDA) curated by Emily Blumenthal, followed a similar strain. Creating her sketch for ‘The Nine West Cult Belt Bag Sketch’ contest category in a personal record time of two hours, the 30-year-old’s inspiration came from the Joseph Albers’Club Chair from the Bauhaus Archive in Berlin. “I know of designers who carry little notebooks and jot down notes and doodles in them. That has never been my experience. I mentally store images and let the information sink in. Once I have a cohesive idea, I draw it out,” says the co-founder, who manages the luxury leather label, Raff with her husband Maurits Favier.
The right form
Submitting her entry with merely four hours to the final deadline, the Puducherry-based designer is the only Indian among the 40 finalists, selected from 2,000 submissions from 28 countries. “The pre-requisites for the design was to create a belt bag that would go from day to night. The idea fit perfectly into my design aesthetic which places functionality at the core.” Made from vegetable-tanned, hand-cut leather, the 15x15 cm bag has a waist belt that can be detached, transforming it into a contemporary clutch with chic upcycled wooden handles. “Adjust the belt and you can convert it into a sling or a cross body bag, as well.”
Wooden it be nice
Embracing form and structure—key elements of the Bauhaus movement- the Golkar belt bag isn’t the first accessory in Rashi’s repertoire that has employed this linear and geometric style. Working on a capsule collection of jewellery made from reclaimed wood over the last year, the London School of Fashion graduate had been perfecting her form even before the awards were announced. “I was gradually working towards creating the leather collection.” In line with the brand’s sustainable and fair trade practices, the belt bag will go into production post-award season with three additional styles. “We usually only do three or four styles a year that are then crafted individually by artisans in Puducherry. Since this collection is a mixture of upcycled wood — which we have a limited supply of —and leather, it will be a
limited edition line.”
Rashi Agarwal will be in New York representing India as a finalist at the Independent Handbag Designer Awards on June 12. Rs 4,999 onwards.
You can check out Raff’s collections at @shopraff via Instagram