Seasons change, and with them, so does your ideal wardrobe. Winter is for rich leather and cozy down, and in spring you mix linen with your chunkier knits. When it comes to summer, raffia best embodies the season. The woven material has an inherently relaxed feel and adds texture to even a simple, beachy ensemble. This season, raffia shoes and bags have been perfected by five ultra cool brands that are making a splash in the industry.
Take Giovanna, a newly launched raffia-only line inspired by the founder's Italian great-aunt. The footwear brand is based out of New York and is founded by Leonora Arslani, current Senior Apparel Designer at Lela Rose and Head Designer at Lela Rose Bridal. The shoes are all made in Morocco using traditional weaving techniques. "I fell in love with the look and this traditional Moroccan craft," Arslani tells TZR. "Raffia is the material that is always used for this type of shoe." In the collection are handwoven mules and slides, ranging between $195 to $250, coming in a mix of colorful and neutral styles.
Though traditionally, raffia is the material of choice for simple sandals and woven beach totes, this season it has also arrived in new and different fabrications including evening bags, heels, and sneakers. Whether you'll be vacationing in Italy, or posting up by your local pool, below, see five brands that have the most buzz-worthy raffia products on the market right now to incorporate into your summer accessories collection.
Though the label is best known for its luxe acrylic bags that have been spotted on the arms of celebrities and influencers alike, its newest raffia arrivals for summer are likely to match the cult status of the original icon. Included in the collection is a raffia sandal detailed with a tortoise buckle, a pointed toe finished with a rounded heel, a baguette raffia bag featuring a beaded strap, and a raffia bag with bamboo handles.
Giovanna is a New York-based lifestyle brand, that launched in aunched June 2019. Founder and designer Leonora Arslani wants her shoes to not only be worn in summer, but transition smoothly over to the fall months. "The Venus mule is a great transitional shoe, especially in the black and natural colorways," Arslani tells TZR. "They look great with jeans and a sweater, and I love wearing them with long ribbed knit dresses. Cashmere knit against the artisanal raffia creates a wonderful mix of textures."
Carrie Forbes' polished take on raffia has led to placement on stockists ranging from Net-a-Porter to Shopbop and Intermix. In 2014, Forbes launched a collection of woven raffia shoes made in Morocco, and today the line includes handmade bags, too. Her latest collection of shoes are slides, wedges, and mules — all of which seem ideal for a summer garden party or outdoor event.
Miista's footwear is designed in London and made in Spain, and the brand has gained attention from the fashion community for its woven leather pumps. For its newest collection, Miista released raffia iterations of its popular block-heel shoe, while also offering other styles in the summer material. Expect to see the new, chic shoes on the Instagram feeds of your favorite style icons this summer.
French-crafted Clergerie specializes in fun-yet-sleek designs and innovative materials. The brand has expanded upon its popular leather shoes and debuted a collection of raffia styles this season, including a slide, platform sandal, and a platform sneaker. The line is primarily in neutral colorways, making the shoes seamlessly pair with any piece in your wardrobe this summer.