The raffia fiber is obtained from the raffia palm tree, the main and most popular place to grown raffia is Madagascar, but also any tropical region works fine. Collectors go deep into the island to harvest the palm. They strip and dry the freshly cut pale green strand and sun dry them. Dried raffia turns to natural beige colour we all know. They are sorted and separated into different qualities of raffia, according to their colour, texture, fiber length and width.
In the mid-1950s, sophisticated straw handbags appeared in southern France. Eaton Bag Company issued elegant raffia baskets, as well as trunks made out of black-lacquered straw closed with a gilded lock and key. Elizabeth Arden even created a high-fashion take on a shrimp basket, outfitted with a compass in 1956. By 1958, giant hand-woven basket bags were finally staples of high-fashion magazines.
Your new favourite city bag!
Since then raffia became the most popular and typical beach bag. For the years people equated raffia with summer and beach, but now it’s all about to change, it’s time to introduce your straw bag to the big city life. Of course, not all of the types of raffia are appropriate to walk around the Soho, but shops and designers provide the big selection of cache, beautiful and modern solutions, which you will fall for.
How to wear it?
Last year was the first time when I decide to buy my city raffia bag ( picture above) and start carrying it around the city. To be honest, the size is not even big enough to put all your beach stuff inside, but perfect for carrying your wallet, makeup, phone and all everyday essentials. I used it over my holidays in Ibiza, but over the summer, it was my favourite tote to wear in London. More summery and unique for hot days in the capital!
The natural raffia colour is beige, so it will be easy to wear it with clothes from your summer wardrobe. For a day look you can pick fun raffia basket with pompoms and for the smart evening outfit, elegant clutch. I like it to wear with all skirts and dresses as much as I like to style it with more casual looks (jeans, espadrilles and t-shirt). Once you convince yourself to get the raffia, you will realise that you can wear it every time with almost everything. If you find beige one t0o “beachy” for your liking, you can also pick some colour ones like elegant but fun black or happy orange from Kate Spade (link below). Just try it, you won’t regret.
Put your favourite leather bag in the corner, and replace it with fun raffia solution for this summer! Check out my top picks for the summer below and let me know what are your thoughts!