Z is for Zacarias.

If ever a bag was going to make you smile it would be one of these beauties. In much the same way if I was ever to be tempted out of black this summer, it would be into one of the pastel pretties from egg.

They are hosting a summer party this weekend to showcase a new bag collection from Zacarias.

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Zacarias bags are made in a family workshop opened in Manila in 1925. They began by stitching pineapple fibre and linen and still make everything by hand. Rita Nazareno is the third generation of the family to be involved. Her grandmother started the company and her mother developed it further before handing it over for Rita to run. She now designs all the bags and homeware that have become the speciality of the studio. It is still a family affair with Rita’s uncle making all of the prototype bags and many of the younger relations starting to work in the business. Many of the craftspeople involved have worked there for thirty years and Lito, who builds all of the wooden frames for the bags, took over from his father Tony when he retired.

While the techniques of weaving and construction are traditional in the Philippines the shapes of Zacarias bags are often new. They reference contemporary artists such as Barnett Newman, Ellsworth Kelley, Cy Twombly and modernist architecture in their simple familiar shapes. A recent trip to egg, while in London, inspired new colours and patterns for the collection.

Depending on the complexity of designs Zacarias bags can take anywhere from three days to two weeks to construct with one craftsman weaving each bag from start to finish. The results are happy, characterful and friendly objects that feel as if they have a life of their own. 

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Queen Marie