SEE: Louboutin’s Limited Edition Treasure Tote in Collaboration with GREAT Women Makes Use of Weaves by Local Artisans
May 9, 2018
When Marites Tantoco introduced the French fashion designer to Jeannie Javelosa and the work of GREAT Women with local weavers, he was inspired to create the Manilacaba bag, the third in a series of limited edition artisan bags under his label
This is a story of mutual respect. It is also an experience happily shared especially when it brands our country, our people and culture beautifully. From the hands of our small indigenous community weavers under our GREAT Women platform and brand, the limited edition Treasure Tote of Christian Louboutin proudly called Manilacaba is out there being carried by the ultra rich and famous.
The partnership takes on board the GREAT (“Gender Responsive Economic Action for the Transformation of Women”) Women in ASEAN initiative, the advocacy driven marketing platform and brand supporting the economic empowerment of Asian women artisans and their craftsmanship from Southeast Asia and bringing their products out to the world.
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Lumban Florals on Ilocano Textile
The Manilacaba is the third in the bag series of this soft-spoken French luxury shoe designer. His first two, celebrating Africa and Central America were the Africaba and Mexicaba. With a clear intent of working with small local communities, Louboutin and his team have stretched patience, their good hearts, plus exacting perfection in design and strict production guidelines in this truly inclusive supply chain.
“I have always been captivated by the Philippines’s beauty: the perfect combination of sparkles, mother-of-pearl and shells. But this project really started to make sense to me when I discovered the richness and quality of craftsmanship the GREAT Women artisans were able to develop”, said Christian.
His denim blue and black satin Manilacabas are wildly colorful and delightful tapestries of our country. From Luzon he selected the traditional op-art Binakol textile woven in Ilocos, embroidered with the traditional barong florals that Lumban, Quezon specializes in. The Visayas is represented by the checkered patadyong from Iloilo City, while Mindanao makes a statement with the diamond geometrics of our Yakan peoples and abaca t’nalak by our B’laan peoples. The central motif of the bag is our unique festive jeepney, framed by mother-of-pearl beads influenced by the T’boli costume.
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Designing the side-panels with Christian was a rich experience. The pattern Christian elaborated for them was new for the artisans who were used to weaving traditional motifs with this technique. When our team at GREAT Women saw the encounter of tradition and creativity happen on the fabric, we thought: how interesting; we should have done this before!
Christian and his Manilacaba set our standards high, and made us at GREAT Women ambitious. Such collaboration is what I want to wake up to everyday for it is a unique chance to help artisans grow and put their work in the light. It is the opportunity to create impact together.
The Manilacaba may be found in Louboutin boutiques in major luxury fashion centers of the world.