These Christian Louboutin bags inspired by Philippine culture were made by Filipinos

These Christian Louboutin bags inspired by Philippine culture were made by Filipinos

Walk the talk

Text: Andrea Sim

From design to production, a collaboration with local female artisans

The nature of design, as with any undertaking of the creative sort, calls for broad horizons. The more experiences and cultures one is steeped in, the richer his or her output. But in doing so, what are the responsibilities that come with such acts of "borrowing"; when is it considered cultural appropriation? While the current climate has seen many a designer called out on the matter time and again and yet, offer little remedy or repair, Christian Louboutin shows us how it's really done with a recent bag collection.

Inspired by the lagoons, traffic jams and bedazzled trucks of the Philippines, the Manilacaba range is a collaborative effort between the brand and local artisans of the GREAT Women in ASEAN (GWA) initiative from design to production. It doesn't simply take or borrow, but sets the stage for its people to represent their own culture and traditions first-hand: "Designing the side-panels with Christian was a rich experience. The pattern Christian elaborated for them was new for the artisans who were used to weaving traditional motifs with this technique," said GWA's co-founder, Jeannie Javelosa of the process. "[The collaboration] is a unique chance to help artisans grow and put their work in the light." Going one step further, the brand is to pump in ten percent of the collection's profits to the organisation in hopes of further empowering these artisans and their craft.

To that, we say watch and learn.

Available at Christian Louboutin boutiques from end of May. 

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