In the run up to Selvedge World Fair – 3 – 5 September 2020 – a celebration of cloth, culture and creativity, we are profiling some of the 100 artisans taking part. Today, we look at the work of Rita Nazareno, creative director of Zacarias 1925, a brand of hand-woven bags and home accessories from the Philippines. We featured Zacarias 1925 in Issue 94: “The woman at the helm is Rita Nazareno and she creates bags like no others you have seen. Exquisite artworks that can sit equally well on your hip or your shelf. These pieces are steeped in a tradition of hand basket weaving and made exclusively at a workshop founded by Nazareno’s grandmother in 1925."
"The company was originally known for embroidery made from pineapple fibres and a range of various handmade items. The line of matriarchs running the business was continued when Rita’s mother, an only child, took over and focused on bags. This was after a fortuitous suggestion made by a Japanese client; that they apply the intricacy of their weaving skills exclusively to bags. The S.C.Vizcarra brand still operates today as, quite literally, the mother company making bags of a more classic design.”
“Around 2005 Nazareno was called by her mother to return home and start running the business. She took the plunge, leaving a successful career as an Emmy award winning TV producer in the USA, and immediately enrolled at London College of Fashion. She had a clear idea from the beginning what she wanted to achieve and knew a few years in London would give her the cutting edge she needed to move the family business forward and give it her own stamp. Nazareno wanted to retain the craftsmanship and skill of the traditional techniques but was also determined to create something unexpected and contemporary. The result was her own spin off brand, Zacarias1925, named after her grandfather who was a sculptor; indeed, her own work is extremely sculptural which feels like a fitting tribute. Her concepts stem from the workshop itself which, unusually, has artisan craftsman creating every part of each product from start to finish. An extraordinary group of people, some of whom are second generation weavers and have worked for the family for 30 or 40 years.”
Selvedge World Fair tickets are available now and will give access to talks, shopping, demonstrations, articles and interviews as well as a prize quiz.
Visit Selvedge World Fair for more information.