Your New Favorite Evening Bag May Just Be From Rafé's Fun Fall-Winter 2018 Collection

New York-based Filipino designer Rafe Totengco was inspired by the music of Cole Porter, the bustling New York scene, and the jazz age.

Musical genius Cole Porter was on bag designer Rafe Totengco’s mind when he was designing his latest fall/winter collection. Totengco says he listened to Porter’s upbeat compositions sung by Ella Fitzgerald, with lyrics that are happy and full of optimism and romance.” Porter reached the height of his career in the 1920s, from where Rafé’s drew his latest design inspiration. This season brings a new clutch design, which its creator has dubbed the “Amanda,” featuring individually threaded tassels.

Take a look at the entire collection available at Rustan’s below: 

The new Amanda clutch draws inspiration from the flapper dresses of the Golden Age of Jazz. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a night on the town.


The designer shares that a major source of inspiration for him was his own city, New York, which is brimming with Art Deco architecture, a diverse culture, and a bustling arts scene.

The trendy Sophie camera bag comes in a slick and versatile form. The adjustable straps make it so that ladies can wear it as a belt bag or a cross body bag.

The current line features animal prints, which provide timeless elements that do not adhere to a single season.

The Kiki minaudiere is Rafé’s statement pieces this season. Its glossy inlays take a course of several days to apply.


Totengco, however, injects his own signature designs into the collection, adding fresh variations of his timeless Melissa and Vivienne minaudieres.  

“Their faceted shells allow me a myriad of combinations and the possibilities are endless. This season, I’ve introduced them lacquered in jewel tones and complementing shell inlays," he says.

When he envisioned this collection, Totengco took notes from the fearless and bold women he had encountered in everyday situations. “Whenever I would go out to a restaurant, I might catch a glimpse of a woman out on a date and I love observing the flirtation that transpires,” he says, “I see how she flips her hair, how she clutches her bag, adjusts her dress, and sips her cocktail. It’s fascinating. There are the kinds of moments that inspire me when I think of the woman who might wear my designs.”


About The Author
Hannah Lazatin
Senior Staff Writer
Hannah is a communications graduate from Ateneo de Manila University. She’s originally from Pampanga and from a big, close-knit family who likes to find a reason to get together at the dinner table. Experiences inspire her. “Once, at a restaurant, I received an interpretation of my second name ‘Celina,’ and it meant 'someone who tries everything once' and that is me through and through,” she says. As for the job, she wants her “readers to be inspired by the stories of the people we feature and to move them to reach for greater things.”
View Other Articles From Hannah
Latest Stories
The musical reminds us to take some time off and indulge in something good for a change.
From vaccinations to visas-and choosing where to stay-here's a primer for safari newbies.
The 19-carat gem that once belonged to the Oppenheimer family sold for over $50 million.
The CEO of Evident Communications, an integrated marketing and public relations agency, talks about philanthropy and the bright future of digital technology and social media.
A new book details Hughes' tendency to manipulate and deceive the women in his life.
If it weren't for these revolutionary entrepreneurs, the world as we know it, would've been very different.
Plus, the former First Lady reveals the story behind that hug that broke royal protocol.
Say goodbye to your flakes and irritation.
Load More Articles