I am so excited to introduce Gustoko by Paula Figueras’ beautiful and functional handbags to the Lesetta Collection. I discovered the brand in 2018 on my first visit to Portugal. I came across Paula’s clutches at one of my favorite concept stores that sells only Portuguese designers’ fashions. I purchased two of her pieces - an Art Deco wood, brass and mother-of-pearl clutch and a raffia and snake clutch/crossbody in a rich Bordeaux color. I then set out to learn more about Paula and her work.
When Paula and I first connected, she explained her design philosophy and the inspiration of her home country in her work. Although Paula is originally from the Philippines, she now lives in Lisbon where she designs her gorgeous bags. Paula’s merging of eastern and western influences is present throughout her handbag lines. She uses bold and dramatic patterns to give way to daring color combinations. Her bags are not only beautiful, but intentionally functional - they can be worn several different ways, and are appealing to all ages.
Her current collection includes Pop Art designs as well as elegant prints. She also has harkened back to her roots with an Asian collection that she says takes her back to her childhood in The Philippines.
From the beginning, Paula’s brand has been based on promoting the artisans of her country. All of her bags are handmade in The Philippines by craftsmen of the highest skill and of local and natural materials. She often uses t´nalak fabric which is made by the T’boli ethnic tribe in the southern part of the country. There are very few weavers of t’nalak now and most of them are the older members of the tribe. With the process of collecting, drying, coloring and weaving the fibers all by hand, she sometimes waits two to four months for new t’nalak rolls.
Raffia and other natural fibers she uses also have their own intricacies that require patience and rely heavily on external factors and their environment. Paula is not only creating beautiful art, but supporting the livelihood of the village; helping to keep their tradition of weaving alive.
I could not be more delighted to add Paula Figueras to our roster of exceptional Lesetta designers. Her work is not only original and of the highest craftsmanship, but also utilizes the resources of the country in which they are made. Gustoko is a sustainable, Slow Fashion brand driven by Paula’s passion. You can shop her collection now on lesetta.com and I know you will love her pieces as much as I do!