Demetria + Idée Clothing Continue Their Exclusive Designer Collaboration
Today, a fetching designer bag of imported quality and artisan craft can come at a considerable price. What would be involved to give a luxury bag its enduring worth? Last November 22nd at Rica Lorenzo-Davila’s exclusive hideaway boutique, Idée Clothing Store, was a special preview of Mai Mai Cojuangco’s limited edition designer bag range named Demetria, a continuing collaboration with Idée.
What you see is a collaboration of Mai Mai’s designer talent with the revered and premium curation of Rica’s style boutique Idée. It is the second time that Demetria has launched its chic, Florentine-crafted creations in partnership with Idée. The Italian-made Demetria line was first launched in April this year and back then all pieces sold out in the blink of an eye. At this second launch, we noted early spring hues and more popping brights versus the first release.
Named for Mai Mai Cojuangco’s grandmother, herself, and her daughter, Demetria as a brand transcends three generations in a single name. “Demetria is my second name, my daughter’s first name, and my grandmother’s name. Since my last name is hard to pronounce I said ‘It’s too complicated. I think Demetria is much easier for everybody’. Demetria is the Greek godess of harvest.”
Her collaboration with Idée’s Rica Lorenzo-Davila has seen a personal design dream to fruition, Florentine crafted Italian bags. Mai Mai confirmed certain details of their construction “Everything is made in Italy, the metal accessories, the filling, the lining, the heat embossing, the rings…everything.”
Nostalgia can often serve as a foot in the door when it comes to design inspiration. Mai Mai shared a bit more about her designer education when it came to bag-making. “It was a state-funded school and I would say it was one of the best educational experiences I’ve ever had. Super intense bag-making…3-year course…with all these artisans and young Italians designing and working together it was a fantastic experience.”
“Then I also worked designing and making bags for a few years, everything was over there. That’s also how I found the studio to make the limited quantities that we make.” On her collection’s particular appeal she shared about making each bag unit a work of art and a one-of type of keepsake. Currently a few of her new editions of the bags feature handpainted stripes by Mai Mai herself “Each bag is unique and I thought ‘Okay I want to add a stripe’. Originally the bag didn’t have a stripe so I went to this very old historical paint shop in Florence that also produces paint for boats, and I said ‘Listen I need to do this on leather’.”
“So he said ‘I do paint especially for fabrics, I’ll make paint for you I’ll do the mixture for you for the leather and come and come pick it up.’ So, yea, [he was] this 70 year-old man who’s obviously been doing it for a very long time in this little shop in Florence. I just picked up the paint from him and I painted the bags myself at home.”
Idée store owner Rica recalls the time she first put up the boutique now in Lapanday Bldg. along Chino Roces extension in Makati “I run our family fruit export business but three years ago I decided to put up my store called Idée. Since then I’ve had all sorts of collaborations with different artists. For accessories we’ve had collaborations with several designers from Italy.”
Rica shares “The one I’m proudest to have is the one [collaboration] with Mai Mai simply because she’s Filipina and while everything is made in Italy there’s a certain sentimental value in the fact that it’s a Filipina who has brought it home.”
When it came to how Rica was first connected to Mai Mai for the bag collaboration care of Mai’s sister she recounted how simple and eventually fruitful the exchange was “Phine [Cojuangco]- Guingona who is a friend of mine, she was here once and buying clothes. I told her then I was going to Italy because I have an apartment in Florence. Then Phine goes ‘Wait, my sister Mai is there and she makes bags. Baka you want?’. I said ‘Sure I’ll look her up when I get there’. So, that’s what happened. I called up Mai and she came to my apartment and we spoke and she was interested to design it from scratch.” Rica encouraged Mai Mai to take her time, even a year if need be to design the collection and she would simply be at the ready to send the resources once both were in agreement on the final look.
“This is now part 2,” Rica continues to explain, “so the first launch was last April and very successful. Now it’s taking a bit longer because the artisans that she is working with are rushing an Oscar de la Renta line. So we’ve had to take a backseat because our pieces are very limited. This is like part 2a of the second collection, part 2b which is the bigger section of this collection will be available middle of December or early January .”
It is a rare circumstance to actually be able to own a designer bag with the striped editions bearing additional details painted on by the designer herself. Mai Mai shares the passion and purpose behind her creative work “I like the idea that people own something that’s one of a kind. Quality-wise it’s the same level as all these HUGE brands because those [bag artisans] are the same people who produce for those brands. Hopefully at some point I’ll integrate some Filipino materials because even we make beautiful things.” The complete second collection of the Demetria + Idée collaboration is expected in early 2018.
Idée Clothing Store is located at 2263 Pasong Tamo Extension, Makati City. Open weekdays, 10AM-6PM. Saturdays by appointment. Tel +632 833 9763. Demetria bag pricing upon inquiry. Follow @ideeclothingstore on Instagram.
Photography by Julia Arenas