Iconic French tote bears Filipino artists’ paintings

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Established in 1976 in France, Herve Chapelier through the years has been renowned for its classic yet functional tote bags. Finally, the brand enters the Philippines with the opening of its flagship store at the SM Aura in Taguig City.

Proudly “Made in France,” the company’s local debut, however, is set apart from the barrage of foreign labels which have previously set up shop in the country. For while introducing its fashion tradition to the local market, Herve Chapelier also chose to shine the spotlight on Filipino talent by featuring six visual artists in its tote bags.

Tokwa Peñaflorida, Mayi Peñaflorida, Soleil Ignacio, Kris Abrigo, Aiyah Balingit and Niccolo Jose were tapped for their interpretation of the “Parisian Life” in a truly novel collaboration.

“Hervé Chapelier is a classic bag that you can carry on different occasions. It’s simple yet chic which is a lot like the modern Filipina woman, who is our main inspiration in bringing the brand to the Philippines,” said marketing manager Franchesca Buenaflor in an interview with The Manila Times.


Asked what sparked the idea of featuring paintings by local artists at the very onset, she replied, “The merging of Hervé Chapelier’s chic utilitarian bags with Filipino artists’ interpretation of la vie pariesienne [Parisian life] came from the idea of [offering the market]masterpieces that have international appeal but still with a local twist, thus seamlessly fusing Filipino modern art into classic French handbags.”

Choosing which Filipino visual artists to commission was also easy, according to Buenaflor, who related that they first saw the works of the group at [insert month here with apostrophe s]Art in the Park campaign in Makati City.

“We selected the young upcoming artists of this generation based on their portraits and still life from that event. We knew they could take the simple yet chic handbags of Hervé Chapelier to whole new level.”

The local official of Herve Chaplier eagerly told The Manila Times that this partnership will not be the last now that Herve Chapelier’s operations have gone full blast at SM Aura.

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