By Elena Allison
Some people argue that if women’s pants were traditionally designed with pockets that could actually fit things, we would have no reason to carry handbags. We disagree. Not only do we love the fashion statement that comes from sporting sleek (vegan) leather and vibrant eclectic patterns, we love feeling like a magician when we keep pulling necessities out of our seemingly bottomless bags! Have you ever been the one to save the day when you happened to have that one random, minuscule object that part of you thought you would never need? Our hero! We love to feel prepared, particularly when on the go with our little ones whose needs seem endless, but it can get frustrating trying to keep all that stuff in its rightful place.
Rafi Nova has the solution! We are thrilled to introduce our Crossbody. Designed with our iconic Hmong textiles and an easy wipe interior, the Crossbody is the perfect accessory to carry on its own or inside a larger bag! Two zippered outer pockets connect on the sides to provide two secure enclosures as well as an easily accessible pocket in the center. One side is perfect for mom. Keep your lipstick, headphones, sunglasses, charger and other essentials all in one place, and your baby needs on the other! The Crossbody can easily hold 1-2 extra diapers, wipes, a pacifier, hand sanitizer and more. The center pocket is the perfect size for your phone, keys and a small wallet. This accessory works as the perfect clutch to pair with a killer outfit for a pop of color on a night out, but also includes a removable shoulder strap to transform into a crossbody. However, if you are traveling or heading into the office and need to pack a bit more, try pairing the Crossbody with the Rafi Nova Supernova Backpack/Diaper Bag! The Supernova backpack has three zippered pockets of different sizes. The largest pouch is adjustable with a clasp closure to allow you to securely pack as much as you need, and has two vertical side zippers for easy access. No need for digging! The padded laptop sleeve provides security and protection for your electronics, and a small front pocket is perfect for easily tracking essentials like your phone and wallet. Metal feet on the bottom of the bag allow you to place the bag on the ground without it falling over, and the padded back straps also include stroller hooks for easy resting. On each side are two pockets that are the perfect size for a water bottle, thermos, or small umbrella! Rafi Nova’s products are excellent for you and your baby, but are nonetheless versatile in function and style!
Rafi Nova is a fair trade and ethical company that stands by all the products we produce. We are committed to encouraging families to grow through travel and aim to create products that facilitate adventure. Our family splits its time between Boston and Vietnam, which is how Rafi Nova was first born! On our excursions around the country, we fell in love with the colorful textiles worn on the skirts of the Hmong women. We wanted to design a bag that incorporated these in a way that our friends and family back in the US would find wearable and create a business model that empowered the artisans and their communities!
To begin, we purchased 40 of these skirts at the local market. We are completely honest and transparent in our intentions to clean, cut, repurpose and resell the fabrics, and we always pay a fair-trade price. Each skirt we use is hand selected by Rafi Nova team members.
As the first collection Rafi Nova launched, the Sapa pattern is a staple of the brand and near to our hearts. The village of Sapa, located in Northern Vietnam, is home to mountainous roads, rice patties, and the ethnic Flower Hmong. Its bright orange and neon colors will add a perfect pop to your summer and fall outfits!
Our Batik pattern features cool toned reds and blues. Batik is named for a dying practice used by the Hmong people in Northern Vietnam and Indochina. Artisans first draw the patterns in beeswax onto handspun hemp fabric and soak it in indigo. This leaves beautiful blue fabric printed with white motifs, which traditionally serve as a storytelling device.
Ikat, frequently meaning to tie or bind in many languages, is a dyeing technique that employs resistance techniques. Individual threads or bundles of yarn are bound together by a tight wrapping that forms the desired pattern. Once dyed, this process is often repeated with different patterns and different colors. The end result is colorful and elaborate patterns.