We have been fans of Bembien since well before we had the idea for Golden Edit. Bembien's handwoven bags are designed for slow summer living – they are lightweight, classic, versatile, and oh-so chic.
Founder Yi-Mei Truxes was inspired to create the brand while living in New York. At the forefront of the brand's work is supporting precious weaving communities. It's her goal to help bring these communities' craft into a wider market on the other side of the globe.
Her latest Summer collection is inspired by the Tuscan coastline (swoon), natural and earthy materials, and '60s and '70s silhouettes. Yi-Mei says: "I wanted the collection to blend past and present through vignettes that feel like another time has made its way to today." The Le Tote and Capri – both woven leather bags – are probably our two favorites. And if you need one more reason to fall in love, did you know "Bem" means good in Portuguese, and "Bien" means good in both Spanish and French?
Learn more about the brand below...
TELL US A BIT ABOUT HOW IT ALL STARTED
I was inspired by a woman I saw on the streets of lower Manhattan. She was holding a beautiful straw bag and looked as though she had stepped out of 1970's coastal France – I was so drawn to her look, and was inspired to create a line of handbags that evoked her classic, nostalgic style. Four years later... we have expanded the line quite a bit, but everything we release always ties back to that woman I saw on my way to work that day.
CAN YOU SHARE MORE ABOUT THE WEAVING COMMUNITIES BEMBIEN SUPPORTS IN BALI?
Bembien has worked with the same community of artisans since the very beginning (who we cherish). We partner with a nonprofit called Nest – an organization that promotes inclusivity, well being, and opportunity among the artisan workforce – and give back 10% of sales to directly support our weaving community, and the communities in surrounding regions. It is so important to us that we protect the craft of all artisans, which has supported their communities for generations.
WHAT IS YOUR DESIGN PROCESS?
It's very simple, and often happens on the back of a napkin when I least expect inspiration to hit. The process of working with my artisans is wonderful. I am able to send sketches via Whatsapp, and the more senior artisans will work on a sample. Once approved, they teach the design to the larger weaving community for production.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT WOVEN BAGS THAT MAKES THEM SUCH A CLASSIC PIECE?
Straw bags will always be a staple of effortless summer style! There is something so raw, easy and beautiful about it... Not to mention, the universal appeal of the French-girl style of Jane Birkin and Brigitte Bardot will always resonate.