The collection marks the first major fashion partnership for emerging label Rags2Riches, which has steadily been building a strong following for the past five years. Helmed by designer and entrepreneur Reese Fernandez, the company started out as “a specific solution to a specific problem”. Inspired by a visit to Payatas, one of the poorest urban communities in the Philippines, Fernandez discovered talented artisans weaving beautiful items, but who were having to rely on a series of middlemen who were taking most of their trade profit – leaving them with only 20 cents (USD) in earnings a day.
Since its launch in 2007, the initiative has trained 900 urban artisans – helping them to get out, and stay out, of poverty. The company produces everything from woven bags and accessories to pillows and rugs, made out of natural, locally sourced materials and “forgotten fabrics”.
“Ever since we started, Anthropologie has been on the top of our list as a place to be – it’s a whole experience of discovery and every nook of every store is like a peek into another space and time,” added Fernandez. “We knew that products as intricate and unique as ours, with our own stories to tell, would do well in Anthropologie. And the awesome thing is, it was not just us who thought so. Partners and customers from the Philippines and abroad would always recommend that we approach them.”
The Rags2Riches for Anthropologie collection is available to buy online now.