Posts Tagged ‘Vizcarra’

Handcrafted and handwoven ‘murses’ even women will love from S.C. Vizcarra

In Philippine Star Column on June 14, 2012 at 4:17 pm

The Rodrigo. Woven from a single piece of leather.

Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend but a bag is definitely her baby. Slung over the shoulder, clutched in the crook of an elbow or dangling from a bent arm, a bag is something we never leave home without. We have all shapes, sizes and colors as one is never enough, and it becomes a veritable treasure trove (or portable trash can) for our most personal — and sometimes our partner’s personal items. How many times have you found yourself with your husband or boyfriend’s keys, wallet and cellphone? As a child I remember my father walking around holding his wallet, papers and car keys while we went to watch a movie or to the mall and my mom being so paranoid that he’d lose something or everything that she insisted he dump it all in her purse. Until recently, the only option for men was a clutch bag, which became the cause for many a DOM joke, it became associated with out-of-shape politicos or businessmen, or the knapsack, which only worked if you were either a mountaineer or still enrolled in school.

The Salcedo. Throw everything in, stylishly.

Thankfully the evolution of the “murse” has come round, with options for the conservative to metrosexual male within easier reach. S.C. Vizcarra has launched a men’s collection, which most women wouldn’t mind buying for themselves, and not just the men in their lives. Designer Rita Nazareno, whose grandmother Segundina Cornejo Vizcarra opened shop in 1925, continues three generations of luxury hand-woven bags using traditional weaving techniques. Having two brothers helped Nazareno to create functional yet aesthetically unique and beautiful bags that wouldn’t emasculate and can withstand the less nurturing nature of men towards their murses. “We started designing for men a couple of years ago,” shares Nazareno. “I design for my brother Anthony, an architect, and also my lawyer brother, Philip. But even if we designed this line for men, we’re finding that women like them as well.”

The Jaime. A bestselling leather “pull-out” all-around bag.

In terms of bestselling bags there is the Rodrigo (P13,500) which shows fine weaving as the body is from a base of a single piece of leather and is nicely two-toned, the Salcedo (P7,800) which both a brother and a sister carry and the Miguel (P8,900) a “market basket” design made from microfiber which she herself uses. “The Salcedo and the Miguel are great buys as they are very versatile with classic shapes.” All of the bags in natural leather take about a week to produce — each painstakingly stitched and designed under Nazareno’s scrutinizing eye. “ I never have a typical work day,” laughs this award-winning designer, “and that’s what I love about it. I could be somewhere and doodle something, take a picture of it, email it and then work on it with the team when I get back to the office. And the team is great too, they come up with great designs!”

The Bilbao. Frank Gehry inspired artsy attache.

There is also a new take on the male “clutch” with the Barros (P5,100) which one can easily imagine on the arm of a woman, made of leather weave and natural, antique with gray microfiber lining. Even with its sleek design, it opens up and expands to accommodate personal belongings and then some. For an all-around unisex work bag the Jaime (P10,000) is what gets swept off the shelves the most. It is foldable and stretchable and has a timeless look and made up of leather diagonal weave and a charcoal microfiber fabric lining. It’s strong enough to tote around your laptop and other work items in and also stylish to use for play or a day trip out. If you’re looking for something that pushes the design envelope, then the edginess of the Bilbao (P28,200) will make you or your man a definite conversation starter. Inspired by Frank Gehry’s art, this natural leather weave in pewter looks like an attaché on acid, and will turn more than a few heads, plus it wields everything you need for the day inside of it, effortlessly.

The Barros. A modern day clutch.

It’s Father’s Day weekend so your pops may need an accessory update, or your better half a break from his tired and tattered messenger. Perhaps you might just be looking for a brand new bag so why not go for local love and see if there’s a handcrafted “murse” in your stars.

The Miguel. A market basket inspired bag made of microfibre.

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S.C. Vizcarra will have a sale on selected bags and corporate give-aways on June 15 and 16 at One Roxas Triangle, 3rd floor social hall, Paseo de Roxas (entrance on Cruzada Street), Makati (behind Mandarin Oriental Hotel), from 10am – 6pm. For more info, or call 854-6751 or 854-6755.

The Andres. A sleeker take on the normal messenger bag.

Proudly Pinoy arm candy inspired by Frank Gehry

In Philippine Star Column on July 8, 2011 at 2:35 am

Proudly Pinoy arm candy inspired by Frank Gehry

SCV Nanna reversible bags

The new bayong: S.C.Vizcarra’s Limited’s Nanna bags are hand-woven natural leather totes that are reversible and appear seamless.

Although a woman’s love for bags remains many a (straight) man’s mystery, this doesn’t deter a lot of us from cluttering our closet space with keep-alls and keep-(sm)alls. We change our bag when we change outfits, points of destination or even our moods. Bags can change an entire ensemble and, like a beautiful piece of art, can be a conversation starter, which can result in a gaggle of girls crowding around you, cooing over it like a freshly-bathed baby.

S.C. Vizcarra’s Rita Nazareno is no stranger to this phenomenon; in fact it was how I made her acquaintance during an art exhibit last year. Although surrounded by the provocative artworks of Schnabel, I was introduced to her and my eyes immediately zeroed in on her arm candy, a beautiful brown weave that looked as soft as butter and was of an unusual shape. Not realizing that she came from a family of designers (both her parents have their own lines of bags under the Vizcarra label), I asked in total ignorance where she bought it, and she replied, almost shyly, “I made it.” Within minutes, a small crowd had formed around us and her bag became the evening’s most talked-about piece.

The Pez Clutch

Form and structure: The El Pez clutch inspired by the structure created by Frank Gehry.

Shortly after that evening, Nazareno returned to the UK to finish her MA in design management for the Fashion Industries at the London College of Design. Even while abroad, she already started working on her first line called Zacarias for S.C. Vizcarra, showing her first five pieces in October of 2010. She won the KATHA award (given by Manila FAME at CITEM) for fashion that same year. The bags included a woven leather bag based on Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum (Bilbao bag), a wicker clutch based on an Anish Kapoor sculpture (Marsupial clutch) and a recycled leather bag based on an Isa Genzken cement sculpture (Porthole bag). The Porthole bag was the very same one that got my attention the night that Nazareno and I met.

SCV Salcedo Tote

Weave the future: Bags are created using weaving techniques traditionally used in basketry.

Since returning to Manila, Nazareno has plunged wholeheartedly into design depths. One of her first projects was the re-design of S.C. Vizcarra’s Nanna bags, which were originally designed by Nazareno’s father, Butch Sales. “It took him and our development team a long time to come up with this new version, to perfect the weaving for this particular reversible Nanna bag. I’m still very impressed how the weaving was realized. This bag hides nothing really, if you look at it closely. And it comes with a great pouch for the inside as well,” she shares. The Nanna bags are fresh and fun, with stunning color combinations such as purple and pewter that will please even the most bipolar bag lover.

There are also additions to the Zacarias line, which is the El Pez clutch, inspired by Frank Gehry’s El Pez structure in Barcelona. “Even when viewed from the plane, that structure is quite fabulous, so much so that I just had to try to see how this massive, woven-looking sculpture could translate into a ti ny, handwoven bag,” says Nazareno. One can see the craftsmanship and attention to detail needed in the production of a bag. Most of them are made from natural materials (the Cruise Collection in particular) and weaving techniques traditionally used in basketry are applied. It is an intricate method with finer shapes, and there is an effort to meld luxury and fashion with artisan-crafted, handwoven objects. These make the bags challenging to produce; in fact some of the S.C. Vizcarra Limited bags are hand woven from a single piece of leather.

Zacarias by SCV Uchida

Even with all the work needed, the bags appear to be seamless, and have successfully married functionality with fashion. The Salcedo line, whose original version also won the Katha Award last April, is reinvented in a combination of materials, like woven jute and microfiber with a denim lining. All of the S.C.Vizcarra bags are produced in their workshop on Roxas Boulevard, and are not limited to just the designer’s imagination but to a team effort. “We also do bespoke products. We can customize a bag to one’s needs in terms of size, pockets, material and colors,” explains Nazareno, something which will definitely be sweet music to the ears of every bag lady out there. Imagine being able to choose from materials such as chaircane, wicker, water hyacinth and, of course, leather plus a rainbow of colors all woven into one beautiful seamless package.

zacarias-by-scv-bilbao-laptop bag

Totable art: Zacarias by S.C.Vizcarra is named after designer Rita Nazareno’s grandfather, a sculptor. The designs in this line are based on contemporary art, architecture and design.

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For more information, e-mail info@vizcarra1925. com or rnazareno

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SOUL TRAIN By Katrina A. Holigores (The Philippine Star) Updated July 08, 2011 12:00