RWH

Designer Profiles

SERPUI MARIE: Bag It

When thinking of Brazil, you may conjure one of several images in the mind: sandy beaches; vibrant street festivals; Salsa dancing, football or perhaps even an extremely painful wax? Yet for many people (men mainly), Brazil takes shape in the form of its beautiful Amazonian-like women. They have become almost legendary across the globe, led by long-limbed beauties such as Gisele Bundchen and Adriana Lima. However, with a little help from Serpui Marie, a handbag label that NEEDS to be on your radar, the beautiful women of Brazil are all becoming bags (no pun intended!). This year Brazil has earned its stripes at fashion week and names like “Nora,” “Dorita” and “Vannessa” are drooled over by fashion hungry women, not sex-crazed men.

Born in Sao Paulo, Marie grew up in a rural town far away from the bright lights of the city. Surrounded by fields of poppies and exotic fauna and flora, Marie occupied her time roaming the grounds near her house collecting flowers to decorate straw bags that were used to transport fruit and vegetables to the local markets. This creative imagination combined with the visual influence of her childhood memories planted the seed of her future as a designer of unique expertise and powerful vision.

Already a hit with celebrities such as Madonna, Jennifer Aniston and Brazilian goddess herself, Gisele Bundchen, Marie now runs her own artelier, located in the romantic district of Vila Madalena. Each day she oversees even the most finite details of her collections which are then brought to light by a team of skilled craftsmen. She pays the upmost respect to the environment, often using sustainable materials, which has won her huge respect as a pioneer of fresh ideas translated into the handbag market. Marie’s handbags encapsulate the development of her signature design vision: a unique mix of natural elements and materials, often seeking inspiration in typical craft markets which are then combined with the sophisticated style elements found in one of the most influential fashion cities in the world.

Now a 20-year veteran of the fashion industry, she has received rave response from fashion stylists and editors across New York, London and Paris. Her success is specially recognized in Japanese markets where the high quality craftsmanship and the fun designs of her bags are much appreciated and have made her a style icon. You can find Serpui Marie’s bags at CoconutTrading.com, with prices starting from around $200, but be warned, they’re selling out fast! NICOLE DALAMAGAS

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