The year of the statement bag has officially begun — but not as you know it. Once, it was a label-packed, logoed-up tote fresh off the runway that got the street style set excited. Now, it’s all about finding the next big thing. Lucky for us, they’re right here in Australia.
Producing vintage-inspired bags that lend themselves to all manner of global adventures, Raela is the Sydney-based handbag label that’s already creating a serious buzz. Trendy without being too trendy, each of their designs is a statement piece in their own right, with the sort of understated coolness that 2019 is going to be all about.
“The aesthetics of the bags lend themselves to an array of outfits from day to night, all year round,” founders Rae Pooley and Nataschia Holland tell InStyle, admitting it can be hard to pick a favourite. “It makes it very hard to choose a favourite but our cage metal bags are truly special treasures.”
Talking to why the pair started the brand, their commitment to sustainability and ethical fashion is clear: the industry is changing, and these two want to be there for the party.
“We started the brand because we were set on writing our own history. We wanted to create a label that embodied our vision of an industry that respected its human and natural resources, that would act as a homage to the art of craft and epitomise our devotion to sustainability and humanitarian causes,” they say.
And the action really is there, with $5 of every bag sold being donated to two charity partners, Thandi House in India and South Africa’s Kasturi & Mehfuza Charitable Trust.
“We believe that a product is so much more beautiful when its value extends beyond the gratification of its owner, and offers enlightenment to others,” they say.
In the future, the pair want to expand their collections — at the moment it will be just two per year, with a few limited releases in between — and ensure the Raela girl can be a part of the sustainability process. And, considering all they’ve done in just two weeks since launching, we can see a big future for this fledgling brand.