:: Textiles Image c/o The Luxe Project ::
One such company which re-purposes hill tribe fabric into gorgeous accessories, is The Luxe Project.
Founded by mother and daughter duo, Chutisa and Sharidan Bowman, The Luxe Project uses hand embroidered fabrics from the hill tribes of South East Asia, to make beautiful bags with a bohemian touch. Bags are designed in Melbourne, and ethically handmade in Chaing Mai, Thailand.
:: Cross Body Bags ::
Admiring the beautiful work of The Luxe Project, I've asked Sharidan to share some of the inspiration and history of the brand with Recycled Fashion readers:
:: Chutisa and Sharidan Bowman, The Luxe Project ::
How long has The Luxe Project been in operation?
My mother (Chutisa Bowman) and I created The Luxe Project in March 2013.
What inspired you to start your business?
Mum is originally from Thailand and I am half Thai (my dad is Australian) so we’ve always been aware of and admired these hill tribe artisans. We have always loved these textiles and thought it was about time the whole world had the opportunity to love them too. We both have a professional background in the fashion and beauty industry so have always been immersed in the style world. As well as wanting to share and repurpose these fabrics with a fashion twist we also feel it is very important and our duty to support these hill tribe women and showcase their work to the world.
Can you tell us a little about the materials sourced to make The Luxe Project products?
Most of the textiles we use are vintage and were created over 20 years ago. They originate predominately from Thailand, Vietnam and China – mainly from the Hmong, Karen and Miao hill tribes.
:: Hilltribe Textiles ::
All the fabrics we use were originally ceremonial garments made and worn by these hill tribe women and they have a history all of their own. All fabrics have been hand embroidered/loomed and the love and care that has gone in to them is evident in the painstaking detail of every stitch. One hand embroidered hill tribe skirt can take up to a year to complete. Our bags are created with a combination of A grade leather and hill tribe skirts/shirts/baby carriers.
:: Weekend Bags ::
Do you travel to Thailand often to monitor the work of your products?
Now that The Luxe Project is up and running we liaise frequently with our Chiang Mai contact and visit three to four times a year to select fabrics, design bags and quality check previous orders. We work very closely with the individuals we have entrusted to help us create The Luxe Project. We feel it is of paramount importance to not only be responsible for the creative design of each bag but be fully involved in the construction of our bags and the welfare of the individuals who make them.
Do you have any future plans for The Luxe Project, any new designs or products that will be launched in the future?
We are constantly working on new designs and sourcing new fabrics. In fact we have a range of nappy bags coming out at the end of this week – so many nappy bags are functionally adequate but aesthetically disappointing, the nappy bags we have created still offer the functional benefits of a typical nappy bag (water proof lining, multiple compartments etc) but are also pleasing to the eye and can still be used past their original purpose. The nappy bag is called the “Tee Ruck” which means ‘beloved’ in Thai.
:: Sneak Peak at the Tee Ruck Nappy Bag ::
We also have a number of textile swatches which we have chosen not to turn in to bags and will be framed or converted in to wall hangings in the near future. Some of these fabrics deserve to be displayed and admired completely untouched!
Good luck with your business Sharidan and Chutisa, your hill tribe textile bags and accessories are truly beautiful.
If you'd like to check out The Luxe Project's full product range, you can do so here, and follow on facebook here.