A WOMAN and her handbag have an inseparable bond. But that doesn’t mean she’s going to be committed to just one.

When it comes to bags, it’s rather like a mother with more than one child — the more she has, the more love there is to go around. But when it comes to expanding your bag collection, it pays to look locally first as many talented Malaysian designers are creating fabulous bags for the stylish urban woman.

In materials, colours and patterns that rival international brands, and in designs which range from elegant to quirky, these bags are a delightful addition to any wardrobe. Whether you’re looking for a tote, clutch, shoulder bag cross body or backpack, there’s something local to appease every woman’s bag craving. These bags have been lovingly crafted and are a sense of pride for the local labels and designers behind them.

Here are some of the brands to look out for:

Sometime


A stylish contemporary bag for the urban woman by Sometime. An elegant stylish design for the modern woman by Sometime (left). Credit: @sometime_byasiandesigners.

THIS bag specialist company is able to offer designer exclusive, trendy and striking designs which have the look and feel of international brands. The designs are stylish, contemporary and very much in keeping with the look wanted by every sophisticated urban woman.


MiuMae


MiuMae. Credit: @hellomiumae.

THIS brand specialises in 100 per cent handmade products and besides handbags, they also make wallets, key holders and cosmetic pouches. It’s always easy to find something within your price range despite the fact that these are handmade and meticulously crafted in a little studio in Negri Sembilan.


Azooi


(Left) Painted delights by Azooi for the woman who wants to make a statement. Art comes alive in this clutch by Azooi. Credit:@azooiofficial.

ART in a bag just about sums this up. These bags with beautiful artwork painted on them are so stunning it’s hard to believe they are functional as well. The handmade and handpainted clutches in this brand made from shell or wood, are conversation pieces that will draw attention wherever they’re carried.


Jemari by Junita


(Right) Curvy clutch with detachable wrist and long adjustable strap; Go green with this unique piece by Jemari. Credit: @jemari_by_junita.

IF fabric bags are your thing, this is the brand for you. Everything, from pouches, totes, cross body bags, drawstrings and bucket bags are available in a wide range of fabrics with striking motifs. The best part is that this brand only produces custom-made items, so you’re always going to get a one-of-a-kind accessory.



Bebe Handmade Store


Credit: Bebe Handmade Store.

SIMPLE but unique and useful best sums up this brand which makes bags in blended linen cotton, canvas and cotton. The bags — whether they’re pouches, slings, wristlets or totes — are offbeat pieces but very functional too. Extra compartments or pockets, means you’ll always be well organised and stylish. Fabrics are sourced either locally or from places like Taiwan, Korea and Japan.


Sophia by Shirley


Sophia by Shirley.

THIS brand, known for its gorgeous fabric clutches, is making a name for itself through Facebook. These dainty and elegant “kimono clutches” made with fabric sourced from Japan is the perfect companion to your evening ensemble. These bags have an irresistable old-world charm and designer Shirley Ong, who named the brand after her daughter, believes in combining beauty with quality.


Mel and Molly


Mel and Molly.

A BRAND offering stylish, fashion-forward accessories such as eye-catching clutches, practical but beautifully designed totes and even trendy backpacks. Designs range from classic and elegant to fun and quirky. It’s a range that will cater to every mood and certainly every occasion.


Christy Studio


(Left) A backpack can be a woman’s best friend. (Right) Functional and practical Japanese tote. Credit: www.facebook.com/christystudio

THESE are fun, functional and stylish bags for the woman on-the-go. The trendy totes and backpacks are particularly appealing with youthful designs and colours. It’s no surprise that Christy Studio is regarded as one of the top handmade bag sellers from Malaysia on e-commerce website Etsy.


Adourra


Hobo bag with glitter vinyl by Adourra. Credit:@adourra

THESE bags are meticulously crafted from carefully selected fabrics and beautifully sewn. The person behind this brand, Lyli Adourra, has a fine eye for colour and style and she can even personalise the bag by embroidering the owner’s name on it.


Teisha Handmade


(Left) An eye-catching piece from Teisha Handmade. Right: Go bohemian with this patchwork inspired piece. Credit: Teisha Handmade.

FIONA Roland Belimbin, who adores bags and is a skilled needlewoman, sews her bags from the comfort of her home. Her made-to-order pieces have a bohemian chic quality and are sure to appeal to those who like colour and prints. The best part is that one can pick a fabric and ask the designer to turn it into a much loved bag.