If ancestral South American craftmanship mixed with a trendy London vibe sounds like a recipe for success, it’s because it is, as proven by those exquisite hand woven creations. It was during a school run in 2011 that I first spotted the colourful and exquisite hand-woven bags designed and chicly worn by Kensal Green yummy mummy Sophie Anderson (36), a boho-chic version of the traditional English rose. Fresh from a sojourn in Colombia, the former yoga teacher and stylist was just about to launch her first collection made in collaboration with the Wayuu tribeswomen, an indigenous community of wonder-weavers whom she discovered whilst on a road trip at the border of Venezuela.
Not surprisingly, her handmade bags were immediately snapped up by exclusive retailers such as Matches in London, Le Bon Marché in Paris and Henri Bendel in New York, as well as photographed on celebs such as Uma Thurman, Thandie Newton and Claudia Schiffer.
Dominated by multicoloured or black and white geometrical patterns, with playful additions such as pompons, Sophie’s bags can appeal to the adventurous beach lover, urban day tripper or globe trotter wishing to do her bit for fair trade. I’ve worn mine equally easily in London, Corsica, Tulum, Lisbon and at British festivals, and have been told they were a big thing at the last edition of Coachella.
Three different traditional Wayuu hand-woven techniques are used by the tribeswomen to create the fabrics, which are so intricate that it can take up to six weeks to make a single bag! Leather comes from Italy, while the handles and other elements are manufactured in East London. Each piece is unique and part of a limited collection. www.sophieanderson.net