Meet E'st Bag - Simple and Refined
E’sT designers and sisters Angela and Paola Totaro created the brand to design high-quality leather handbags that are practical, refined, and can be worn for all occasions. Based in Italy, the bags are produced by hand in some of the country’s finest factories. Inspired by the female figure, the styles are bold and defined yet elegant and sophisticated. In addition, the sisters are inspired in part by their grandmother, whose crocheted bags are cherished handicrafts from their childhood.
What's your name?
Hi! We are Angela and Paola, founders and designers of E’st Bag.
Where are you from?
We are Italian, born and raised in Apulia, in Southern Italy, where our company is currently based. Our second home is Milan.
Describe your signature design style in five words.
Geometric lines, style, quality materials, craftsmanship, timeless design.
Do you think true innovation in fashion is still possible?
We believe that true innovation is returning to the past and rediscovering the craftsmanship of the past. We consider a bag entirely handmade to be true innovation, from the processing of the leather to the cut and the seams, even down to the smallest detail. There are invaluable techniques which will be lost if not cultivated.
What other art forms inspire your collections?
Our collections are born from retro references to timeless bags, handed down from generation to generation, revisited and approached in a modern way. We find inspiration in art and try to translate what connects the past and modern times.
Do you prioritize aesthetics or functionality?
Aesthetics is a priority: Our brand is characterized by geometric lines, style, and quality materials that are also simple and precious. We have developed models that work for any time of the day without compromising the primary functions of the bag such as comfort and practicality. We focus on a total and lasting elegance.
How do you think the fashion industry is going to change as automation takes over?
We believe that the distribution will change - indeed it has already changed - while the design, especially the medium-high level, will retain its space for innovation.
What first made you passionate about fashion?
We are daughters of art. Both of our parents worked in fashion. We spent a lot of time in their companies between the beating noise of sewing machines and embroiderers. The passion for bags was born in adolescence. Our grandmother sewed crocheted bags for us that we wore with pride as if they were signed by the big brands. In addition she collected evening clutches which are small treasures today. Those same models were a source of inspiration for us.
Do you work better alone or on a team?
We are a team, and although we are very different, we complement each other.
Do you have any rituals when starting a new design?
The starting point for each new collection is research. We start looking for trendy colors, we browse fashion magazines, we look at shop windows, and above all we visit the most important trade fairs. We also let ourselves be inspired by nature and art and then rework everything in a personal way, with the style that distinguishes us.
Check out E'st Bag's new collections here