Rafe Re-Launches Handbags, Now Under Jones Group

Rafe Totengco in front of his handbag re-launch

Rafe Totengco in front of his handbag re-launch

New York–Rafe fans can breathe a sigh of relief. After a brief hiatus, the beloved handbag line is back on the scene, now as part of the growing Jones Group family of brands.

Designer Rafe Totengco didn’t have much of a hiatus, however. Last season, the designer was tapped as the creative director of Nine West handbags, a brand also owned by Jones. He will be working on his own line as well as Nine West going forward.

“It’s been a very busy time for me but it’s great to be able to bring my Rafe label back,” says Totengco. “We’re targeting the same types of stores as before and keeping the same aesthetic and pricepoints (retails range from $195 to $495 for handbags and totes, including wood and mother-of-pearl minaudieres with silk tassels). “Retailers have been asking for the brand and it’s great to be back!”

The Spring 2012 line took Totengco to his Filipino roots, featuring leather and canvas bags mixed with traditional woven fabrics and ikat prints.

“Ethnic and tribal is such a strong trend for spring and it’s being interpreted via many different cultures, so I figured, why not go back to my roots,” says Totengco, pointing out some photos of the Philippines taken on his recent trip to his native homeland.

Rafe Spring 2012 handbag

Rafe Spring 2012 handbag

Materials include an abaca fabric from the Philippines called Tinalak, which is painstakingly woven by hand by the Tiboli tribe.

And Rafe, if you’re reading this, we’re patiently waiting for the return of your footwear line!

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Lauren Parker, Accessories Magazine

Lauren Parker, Editor-in-Chief, Accessories Magazine & accessoriesmagazine.com
As Editor-in-Chief of Accessories for the past 14 years, Lauren Parker has covered women's fashion accessories both from a retail business perspective and a fashion point of view. She frequently judges industry design competitions and loves seeing the next generation of designers come into their own. In previous full-time magazine jobs and freelance gigs, she’s written about practically every angle of fashion lifestyle living, including women's fashion accessories, fine jewelry, Caribbean travel, private jets, Hampton’s real estate, the New York art scene, the bridal industry, men’s lifestyle and being a mom. She loves meeting designers and seeing how their latest offerings capture the current zeitgeist and fit into the entire cultural and social picture.