Armed with the knowledge that style is very personal, the brand aims to produce what it has dubbed as “sentimental handbags.” That is, bags that serve as daily partners — as extensions of the self — to women everywhere that ease the daily mental processes involved in engaging with fashion. Choosing what side of yourself to show using clothes and accessories is an exercise of expression and Maricar Tuazon aims to incorporate its unique, character-filled yet flexible bags in that day-to-day experience.
The brand is owned and run by its namesake, LA-based designer Maricar Tuazon. Known mostly for co-owning La Tou Tou, a platform created for sustainable fashion created by Asian designers, this eponymous line is her first foray into the world of design. It was in fact her Her La Tou Tou co-founder who first encouraged the solo design venture. “She took a photos of my sketches on her mobile and was gracious enough to ask people around at her work, neighbors, friends and some [random people] she would meet in restaurants or at parks, about my sketches. Getting positive feedback from these people, She would remind me on a regular basis to start working on my line,” she shares. The aforementioned co-founder and friend continues to play a vital role in Tuazon-Payad’s business career both as an investor and as a loyal supporter to this very day.
ABOUT THE COLLECTION
Newcomer Maricar Tuazon Sets the Tone for Her Eponymous Line through the Chic Juxtaposition at the Center of the Brand’s Debut Collection
Championing unconventional shapes and interesting details, Maricar Tuazon’s debut collection proves to be exciting despite the use of a predominantly neutral color palette. Revolving around the themes of femininity and strength, subtle hues are juxtaposed with strong silhouettes and sharp details. Snakeskin accents and giant studded hardware grant exoticism, edge, and character to classic, wearable pieces.
“I based my design visualizing the spirit and the mood of a woman who has a [distinct] sense of freedom,” Maricar Tuazon, the brand’s namesake and creative director, explains. This first collection has a diverse set of pieces — from the head-turning Aliz to the subtle yet striking Mophia — in order to cater to women of different tastes and of different lifestyles. The collection aims to speak to women with a clear sense of personal style and identity, giving them a clear range of options to choose from. It’s all about juxtaposition and balance -- about keeping things interesting without straying too far from fundamentals.
Although manufactured in China, the brand’s first collection boasts of lavish materials and high-quality textiles. Using a mix of smooth genuine leather and genuine snake skin leather, Maricar Tuazon’s inaugural collection is sheer luxury. “It took us for like 5 months to have them made. Outsourcing the materials is not that easy,” Tuazon shares. The process was gruesome -- from sketching studies to customizing hardware to ensuring quality control -- it took a while until the brand found a supplier they could trust to take care of the production.
ABOUT THE DESIGNER
Maricar Tuazon stands tall in the face of change. After years of working in retail for a number of international brands, she left her post as Ralph Lauren’s Merchandise Manager in order to pursue a lifelong passion for design in 2015. In 2016, she co-founded La Tou Tou — a creative hub for Asian designers who value beauty and sustainability. La Tou Tou hosts and peddles ethically produced items that empower communities of women by providing a source of livelihood. Part-business and part-charity, La Tou Tou has given back to the Philippine community by funding a foundation for homeless children through its profits. The brand’s generosity stems from Maricar’s own personal philosophy, “You need to have a purpose — from doing a small project to starting your own business — share your talent and give back.”
For years, friends and family applauded Tuazon’s work with La Tou Tou but urged her to create her own line as well thanks to promising sketches that lay here and there. One day, opportunity came knocking and Tuazon welcomed it with open arms thus creating a handbag brand of her own: Maricar Tuazon. “I woke up one day and thought I think its time to put my ideas and concepts into reality.” She decided to create with timelessness as the main intention.
The burst of creativity did not, however, come as a complete surprise. Tuazon has been sketching since the age of four. Coming from a family with a rich history in the arts, she actually took an unexpected turn by pursuing Business Management instead of her initial course of interest, Fashion Design, during her university days. Although she strayed academically, her love for fashion remained. For her, it was never about runway shows or glamour — it was and continues to be about a feeling, an energy, a mode of expression. Thus, it makes sense that she looks up to the likes of Alexander McQueen and Tonya Hawkes — masters of creativity, innovation, and balance.
Tuazon currently resides and works in Los Angeles, California. She is constantly inspired by sprawling nature, blossoming diversity, and passing strangers.