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Renée Patron tells us a story of love, passion, art and a very unique creative process through her brand.
The secret of BANAGO’s success
BANAGO, founded in 2011 is a brand created by designer, Renee Patron to support and preserve ailing arts and crafts of her homeland in the Philippine Islands. After fifteen years in the fashion industry in New York, Japan and Paris Renee was eager to start a business where she could use her years of education, experience and expertise to go back home to where her family is from and contribute to expanding their creative industries internationally.
By 2013 in only its second year BANAGO gained international attention from retailers like Nordstroms, Trina Turk, Anthropologie, Takashimaya, Beams Japan and an “Island Life” brand collaboration BANAGO for Tommy Bahama in stores worldwide. Distribution was over 500 retail doors and specialty stores and resorts worldwide. Meanwhile, publications such as Vogue.com, Lucky magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, Elle Japan listed their classic Malaya Tote as one of the top ten must have summer essentials.
In 2014 a new collaboration launched, BANAGO for J.Crew in support of Banago artisans which included a full range of summer tote bags and clutches, also included in their Summer style guide.
That same year at the peak of BANAGO’s success its entire network of artisans and production and all its natural materials were wiped out by the deadly Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest ever typhoon recorded in history to hit made direct landfall in Renee’s home town and BANAGO’s region in the Philippines. Since that Date November 8, 2013 Renee has spent two years just rebuilding the infrastructure and lives of its BANAGO artisans and the business.
Forward to 2016 Renee was chosen as one of the top ten finalists in US Women’s Health Magazines Game Changers for helping to rebuild 50+ communities after Typhoon Haiyan through her company BANAGO.
Through its successes and trials BANAGO pioneered and paved the way for artisan made products in the international market, focusing highly on beach bags and beach lifestyle accessories. All the while contributing to building and nurturing a dying arts and crafts industry in its home region in the Philippines.
BANAGO trains its artisans the value of their work through quality and design. Currently the brand supports about 50 villages of artisans in a non-factory environment, instead promotes a cottage industry so the women majority can do their work at home while they take care of the children. The same way Renee’s mother and grandmother worked while she was growing up as a young child.
BANAGO has acclaimed much attention and has been appraised by national media and press for growing a dying arts and crafts industry and inspiring more individuals to aim for entrepreneurship to help local industries grow as they are listed as one of the top social enterprises in the Philippines.
What sets BANAGO apart from the rest is the organic story, people, art and passion behind the brand. BANAGO stays true to its values that quote: “True luxury is having the ability to help.”
BANAGO launches its 6th Spring Summer season for 2018 at Capsule New York and Premiere Classe Tuileries Paris this September 2017.
BANAGO’s classic totes and clutch bag collections are known to have vibrant, fun, colorful and unique patterns.
BANAGO designer, Renee Patron has the unique ability to take Philippine arts and crafts and design items into pieces with a twist of chic, not just for the beach but also for the city, much like her own upbringing going back and forth to the beach side provinces of the Philippines and growing up in Los Angeles and New York cities. Renee’s fashion career spanned various coasts and countries like Japan and Europe influencing a very unique combination of taste and design which beam through from season to season.
All Banago products are artisan hand woven, hand embroidered and hand crafted with wild grass and then embroidered with palm leaves to make the vibrant patterns on the bags.
For Spring Summer 2018 Renee adds colorful hand-woven bamboo skin clutches with hand woven wild grass lining and “twice woven” wild grass large and mini totes to the collections.
She calls the new technique of woven bags “twice woven” because the strips are first hand woven by a separate set of artisan weavers and then the hand-woven strips are weaved by craftsmen into each other again making the bags sturdier with a similar look to the Bottega Venetta leather woven bags, but these made of natural, vegan materials of wild grass.
The diagonal “Twice woven” textile weave technique is an innovation by Renee and her head crafts man, Bonibert that was created to expand more livelihood opportunities for more artisans in the Philippines. Renee and Bonibert first launched the “twice woven” technique in 2016 at Manila Fame Fashion Fair and it had a great response with their retailers. This season they combine the “twice woven” technique with BANAGO’s classic palm leaf embroideries as well as hand loomed Abaca fiber fabric from the southern region of the Philippines to create unique bags you will only see from BANAGO.
A full digital version of the SS18 Look Book available upon request.
LE BON MARCHE - PARIS, FRANCE
MERCI - PARIS, FRANCE
BLOOMINGDALES - USA
ASSEMBLY NY & LA - USA
AMANPULO - PHILIPPINES
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