"Now that we are all clear that carting your goods in plastic bags is a definite don't, we couldn't help but notice that the most stylish girls are swapping out their trusty cotton shopping totes for more exotic statements. Natalie Matthews, pictured here at Wholefoods, is a fan of the mochila pouch, her version crafted by hand in Northern Colombia by a group of local Wayuu tribeswomen. Each bag is unique and she loves the versatility. “It’s great for the beach (she is a Palm Beach native), and now that I'm back in New York, it's perfect for picnics, brunches, concerts, and grabbing groceries." Added bonus: Proceeds help to support and sustain the community of origin. Lauren Santo Domingo is another mochila fan (she blogged about the "Mochila Project" just last week) and Tory Burch included the bags (complete with her signature “T” logo) in her fall offerings. But there is more: Another sought after bag of South American provenance is made by the Ayoreo, a native group which inhabits the border between Bolivia and Paraguay. Though less capacious than the Mochila, these bags (traditionally used for collecting herbs and roots) are ideal for those lighter shopping trips".
It takes the women of the Wayuu tribe of Colombia and Venezuela up to a month to weave a mochila bag, working eight hours a day, every day. It took no time at all for J. Crew, which featured the strappy satchels in its June catalog, to sell all of them. In fact, they were gone before many customers had even flipped open the issue.
“Craftsmanship is something rare and very valuable,” said Jenna Lyons, J. Crew’s creative director, who was not at all surprised by how quickly the bags went. “There are few things that are still made by hand, much less in a technique that is handed down through generations and is a means of support for a community.” On top of that, she added, “It’s a beautiful bag.” But there is more to it than that. Recently, the mochila has become something of a cult item, toted around town by fashion editors and It girls, and the subject of chatter on style blogs. “It seems to be the iconic tribal bag,” said Anne Slowey, the fashion news director of Elle, who has picked up a few on her travels. “The perfect mix of practical, exotic and chic.” Much of the craze can be traced to November when the Vogue editor Lauren Santo Domingo organized the Mochila Project. For it, 40 designers, from Alexander Wang to Oscar de la Renta, were each given a traditional bag and asked to rework it in their own style. The extraordinary results — the Calvin Klein was trimmed in snakeskin; the J. Mendel, in fur — were then auctioned off at a charity event in Miami that left those nowhere near South Florida somewhat envious. Fortunately, at least one label produced its design: Proenza Schouler will release medium, large and clutch versions of its PS1 bag, fashioned from mochilas, as part of its prefall collection. “We had wanted to do a fabric PS1 for a while, but hadn’t found anything we wanted to use,” said Lazaro Hernandez, of Proenza Schouler. “Then this project came along, and it was perfect.”
Wayuu Mochilas by Colombia Secrets
authentic Wayuu Mochilas.For exclusive Shops and
Boutiques want the best products for their clients. Every pattern is
different and we give a certification of the original.
We work with fifteen Wayuu Communities in the Guajira from Colombia.
We have te best Wayuu quality, we don´t sell the double trhead quality or cheap copies.
The Wayuu Mochilais a piece of art, which has been hailed by the great
fashion, Vogue Magazine and the New York Times. The best stores in the
world have liked the beauty and perfection designs.
Always the famous fashion products, have been copied for the Chinese factory
and they have reproduced these bags without difference with the
The copies of the Wayuu Mochila are not exact copies of the originals.
Copies are destroying a beautiful and unique cultural traditions of
indigenous communities emblem of Colombia.
Because the bags are hand woven and although Wayuu women crochet
needle use, use a tissue system, different from traditional weaving
inside and outside at the same time, which makes the bag look like a
fabric made in the factory, compact, perfect and unique.
The Wayuu Mochilas copies are made of double thread in a loose tissue,
using materials low-quality fabric, the designs are too simple, the base
of the backpack does not have the wonderful designs that have made
famous and this bag is not made on a loom, consistency is weak and
poor and not the beautiful drawings like the original famous bag.