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New York-Based Filipino Designer Rafe Brings The Tropics To Your Hands

“What I love about [minaudieres] is that they truly reflect the beauty of nature.”, says Rafe Totengco, designer and founder of Rafe New York. In describing his iconic creations, he talks about the meticulous craftsmanship and dedication it takes to finish just one bag, which can take four to five days. “All of these minauderes are completely done by hand, by artisans who have been doing the same thing for years, and have learned the craft through generations. [They’re] very passionate, very proud of what they do, and it shows.”


Rafe's Spring-Summer '18 minaudieres


Keeping up with this tradition of luxury and excellence, Rafe puts forth another exciting collection for the Spring-Summer ’18 season; this time more in tune with a rainforest and beachy dream. There’s no shortage of inspiration for Rafe, who drew his concept from a variety of art, architecture and travel. Exotic birds, wild flowers and fruity colors decorate the gorgeous bags—perfect for an outdoor party!


“Designing Spring Summer is second nature for me due to my upbringing in the tropics. I love working with straw, shell and snakeskin; using them in ways that show off their inherent quality.”, he remarks. “The motifs this season were all about the tropics— from flowers to birds. I’ve always loved tropical birds. I used to have a green parrot growing up, and he was such a smart and funny creature with tons of personality. I chose a flamingo, a cockatoo and a macaw because visually they immediately transport you to a tropical paradise.”







Rafe is exclusive available at Rustan’s Makati, Shangri-La and Cebu.