Whether you’re jetting off to another island for a tropical holiday or finding new styles to try in sunny Singapore, you need the basket bag in your life
With Singapore’s year-round tropical weather, the basket bag is one summer trend that is welcome to stay for as long as it likes. Just like stylish sunglasses, the wicker carrier isn’t just a holiday wardrobe staple; brings on the Sunday vibes for weekend brunches, pool parties and trips to neighbouring islands. So channel your inner Jane Birkin, and bag this iconic beach style for all your essentials on-the-go.
AAKS at Ashepa Lifestyle
Artisan made, sustainable and downright gorgeous, AAKS (pictured top) celebrates African design and talent, and is available in Singapore thanks to Ashepa Lifestyle. Kenya-born, Singapore-based Chetna Bhatt collaborates with African artisans and makers to showcase their incredible skills to the world, in turn uplifting their lives and honouring age-old crafts. Her collection includes hand-painted ceramic jewellery, homewares and baskets… lots and lots of baskets. We’re crushing overtime on AAKS’ vibrant and woven basket bags with leather detailing and linen lining.
Manava at Zerrin
Zerrin’s Susannah Jaffer aims to build a community of meaningful shoppers and we’re on board. Her store Zerrin stocks Manava – a Cambodia-based social enterprise that works with female artisans in Kroh Bei Riel village to craft exquisite basket bags using locally harvested rattan.
Manava at Zerrin, online and 5 Straits View, #01-03 Marina One Singapore 018936
We’re majorly crushing over everything from La Filippine. Founded by Julia Barba-Baudlot, a Filipino-Franco based in Singapore, the local label’s oh-so-chic basket bags marries French restraint and Filipino craftsmanship. We particularly love that these bags use natural woven fibres along with materials like suede, faux leather and yarn. Get them in unique shapes and colours and stand out from the crowd.
La Filippine, online and stockist
Halo Halo Baby
A collection of creatives from Singapore are taking their love for Asian craftsmanship and design to a whole new realm. Halo Halo Baby stocks a wide collection of bags and jewellery, most of which are made in the Philippines by highly skilled artisans. The curation is impeccable – Inne’s handwoven rattan bags with six weave patterns (or solihiya as its called in the Philippines) and leather frames are the chicest. We want one in every colour! You can also pick an Arnaz bag or clutch crafted by a mother-daughter trio taking Filipino heritage to the world. Each of these luxurious bags is embroidered with raffia and straw and come with a leather handle.
Halo Halo Baby, online
Jump on the sustainable fashion train with this label that goes waay past Bali to curate a gorgeous collection of basket everything. Culturally centred, ethically handmade, everything at Greenie Genie comes from Africa. Woven to perfection, these basket bags (and home decor goodies) are eco-friendly – they’re made with native wild grass and upcycled plastics! These Fair Trade basket bags come in a variety of sizes and shapes – so you know you can’t just stop at one!
Entirely handmade in Kenya, Lana Pujara -Terigi’s Bahati Collection has been on our radar for a while. Her culturally designed and ethically produced woven bags are happy-hued, super sturdy and tribal chic. As is with any handmade piece, each bag is utterly unique and bears the mark of a skilled craftsperson.
One scroll through Hestia’s Instagram feed and you’ll want to own them all. Hestia’s curation of handcrafted basket bags from around Asia includes pretty gypsy rattan bags (love the cute barrel bag with patterned fabric lining) as well as a new line of made using water hyacinth (and tassels and pom poms!). Follow Hestia on Instagram to catch their next market stall – they’re often at the monthly Katong Square vintage market!
Hestia, e-store and Lazada
Two Baked Buns
Classic round Bali bags, moon clutches with a hand-painted flamingo, pillow-shaped handbag and more, Two Baked Buns’ bags are a sophisticated celebration of the tropical lifestyle.
Two Baked Buns, available at The Attaby Collective
The Cult in ‘Cult Gaia’ is well-deserved; this is the brand that revived the basket bag obsession after all. If you fancy something out of the norm, there’s no denying that its uniquely-shaped basket bags look like they’re from the future. From handbags with modern silhouettes to a crossbody bag shaped like a pig (say what?), these stylish must-haves will give you an instantly cool look in no time.
Cult Gaia, available online.
The Happy Beach
Living up to its namesake, this Singapore online store offers beachwear, including swimwear, apparel and accessories in vibrant colours. But when it comes to shopping at The Happy Beach, we can’t resist its eye-catching basket bags. Available in a variety of styles ranging from buckets to round crossbody bags with leather straps (as pictured top), its collection of basket bags are also embellished with colourful pom-poms and tassels — come on, who can say no to tassels?
The Happy Beach, available online. Having made available at Yacht 21’s The Lobby, track its next pop-up on its Instagram page (@thehappybeach).
You’ll be spending hours on this online store — trust us. With its infinite scrolling function (both a curse and a blessing), it’s hard to exit the page without finding your next favourite basket bag. If you’re not feeling the classic roundies, why not go for one that looks like a cat (fur real)?
Soeurs.Co, available online.
Go straight to the source
That shopping weekend in Bali you’ve been dreaming about? Go on, you deserve it. Besides, you’ll be able to pick up the basket bag in all shapes and sizes for a total steal at the local art markets. We spotted those beauties above in Ubud and wish we’d brought back a suitcaseful. Take us back!
Don’t ignore the obvious: this treasure trove of crafty goods is my go-to for one-of-a-kind, handcrafted basket bags. Most of the items listed are of limited amounts, which makes it great for any fashionista who’d rather not have a fashion faceoff. Plus, with sellers from all over the world, it’s really not that hard to find one up your alley.
Etsy, available online.