If Rafe Totengco's first Nine West collection looks more luxe than you’d expect, it should come as no surprise. It’s design. Totengco, who was recently appointed creative director of handbags at Nine West, shared his inspiration for the collection.
“”I wanted to make everything look good,” said Rafe at the line's preview yesterday. Mission accomplished. Totengco turned out an elegant collection that included plush fur-trimmed totes and vintage-inspired frame bags, each of which clock in at $99 or less.
Fashionista: Who do you think the Nine West woman is? Rafe: A lot of people buy the shoes, but now if we can get her to buy the bag.
Fashionista: Do you think she’s going to gravitate toward this line? Rafe: She will! We are giving her a lot of function and fashion. It’s a lot of bag for her buck! Fashionista: When you say "her," who are you thinking of? Rafe: She is someone who is interested in fashion, but she’s not obsessed. She wants to stylish and pulled together. But she works. She’s a real person.
Fashionista: Which is your favorite? Rafe: The frame bag with the trick pockets! I dare someone to try to pick your pocket on the subway with this bag. Fashionista: Any regrets over putting your line on hiatus for your current position at Nine West? Rafe: Sometimes you need a break and a little breather! Right now, I’m excited to be here at a company like Nine West that is so supportive and allows me to just focus on design.