Pinoy designer Rafe Totengco launches new "Rafe" bag collection for Jones Group

Handbags by Rafe. Photo by George Chinsee


( New York-based Filipino designer Rafe Totengco, creative director of handbags for the Jones Group (Nine West, Anne Klein, Easy Spirit, among others) has launched his spring collection for the company, reports Totengco said his collection will feature a mesh of materials, including tinalak, the abaca fabric hand-woven by the T’boli tribe and snake and wood minaudieres made in the Philippines.


"Like my bags, I'm a mix myself. I'm a mutt. We're all mutts," said Totengco, who won the "Pamana ng Filipino" award last year for bringing the country honor and recognition through his work. According to the report, the collection is comprised of 15 styles using mixed textures and patterns like leather, straw, and snake-skin in vibrant shades of coral, orange, and indigo-which, Totengco said, is a nod to his tropical home country.


Bags in his collection range from $195 to $450. "When you're designing, I think you cannot avoid being aware of what's going on in the world, but buying is emotional. Every purchase you make must be emotional," he said. "If I design with a price point in mind, I'm going to lose."



For more on this story, log on to and Rafe Totengco's website.


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Rafe at work in the Jones Group’s Nine West offices in 2010


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