Introduction to.. Raff
Raff brings beautiful handbags and accessories from natural vegetable tanned leather, entirely stitched by local artisans in India, most of which are women and who are paid fair wages. They have a zero plastic policy in their packaging and they only use leather that is left over from the meat industry, all materials and packaging being sourced locally.
Hello Rashi, tell us a little about yourself and how you created Raff!
I am Rashi Agarwal Favier, the Creative Director and Co-Owner of Raff. After I finished my course in accessory design from London College Of Fashion, I fell in love with the minimalist appeal of European fashion. Raff was created in Pondicherry, India, We take pride in revisiting the traditional craft of leather handbags, showcased in modern design and aesthetic.
All your pieces are so beautiful and timeless - how do you get inspired when designing new pieces?
Raff handbags are simple, contemporary and innovative. We take pride in revisiting the traditional craft of leather handbags. Each bag is made using high quality natural vegetable tanned leather and is hand cut and hand stitched by artisans. No machines are used in the construction of the bag.
In all our designs we try to create unique but still modern and contemporary. We find inspiration in everything from architecture, furniture and daily objects. We work to create shapes that are fresh and showcase the craftsmanship well.
For us here at Aequem sustainability is everything. Tell us what sustainability means to you and Raff?
Sustainability to us is the only way forward in fashion. We wish to see it become the norm, rather than a niche market. At Raff, we promote the Fair Trade movement and provide our artisans with fair wages and good living conditions. All our packaging is plastic free and is locally made with handmade paper and organic cotton. Our leather is naturally tanned without chemicals and is derived from the meat industry. We also believe in slow fashion and only make a few quantities at a time.
We love the fact that your pieces are entirely hand stitched, that's amazing! How did you develop this aesthetic?
All Raff bags are fully hand stitched using saddle stitching techniques. This pain staking and traditional construction method offers unmatched strength, lasting longer than normal machine stitching. The waxed linen thread adds to the strength of the stitch.
How or wear do you like to wear your pieces?
We love that our pieces go with almost every outfit and can be a constant in your wardrobe. We make fashion for design and practicality, pieces that can wear for a long time and that add to your outfit without being too overpowering. Many of our pieces are convertible like our Hugo sling/backpack, which is great for travel!
Okay, so now more about you…
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
Drink a big glass of water and check my Instagram!
If you could wear only one thing for the rest of your life what would it be? (not including your fave pieces from your label, obviously.)
A smart A-line midi dress in a comfortable fabric, which I think can take me through multiple occasions.
If you were a celebrity, who would you be?
I would love to be Leandra Medine Cohen from ManRepeller and see what goes on inside her mind.
Out of your current collection, which is your favourite piece and why?
I love our Vega crossbody and belt bag because that’s the bag I wear almost everyday, plus it is great for travel as you can turn the crossbody into a belt bag when you want to go hands-free. I also feel secretly proud that we came out with a modern belt bag style before it became a huge trend.
It has been great getting to know more about you and Raff, if you could give one piece of advice to our readers to take away with them, what would it be?
Be kind to yourself, others and the earth.
We love Raff and thank you so much for spending some time with us Rashi! For all those who read this - don't forget to subscribe to not miss out on any news!
Also, check out the full Raff collection here.
Aequem Team xx