The beauty of Samar was recently celebrated through LARA, the rise of the banig revolution. Manila’s most stylish were spotted during the exclusive event, held at March 10, 2018 at the Mega Fashion Hall of SM Megamall.
What began as a visionary effort of Governor Sharee Ann Tan of Samar to uplift the plight of her people has now evolved into an inspiring sustainable livelihood project. The weavers of Basey, Samar reinvented the banig as a means to rebuild their communities after Typhoon Yolanda. Innovative pieces and shapes in the form of bags, shoes, accessories and even home decor soon emerged, catching the attention of Spark Samar, the tourism arm of the province. They then gathered the four biggest banig houses of Basey and challenged them to create designs that could compete in the high-end, global arena—a challenge the weavers took to heart. Spark Samar pursued the endeavor further toward fashion and lifestyle, creating LARA, a visionary brand which transforms indigenous materials of Samar into contemporary fashion and lifestyle creations. LARA aims to be a top contender in the global market, ultimately bringing the Samar banig to the forefront as an iconic fashion staple.
The brand excites with endless possibilities, with weavers who have mastered how to tweak and tinker with weaving the patterns. There’s no limit to what else can be created and offered to the world. With LARA, weavers are eager to innovate and push the boundaries design-wise. The attention that Spark Samar is giving the industry fuels this eagerness and creativity.
Truly one of its kind, LARA uses indigenous materials from Samar like the tikog, a jointless grass more sturdy than pandan or buri, which is dried and woven into varying shapes and sizes. The weaving and designs are inspired by what transpires daily in the lives of Samarnons. Each bag, shoe, accessory and décor tells a unique story since no two pieces are ever exactly the same. Everything is made with a touch of love. The Baseynon’s devotion to their craft is apparent as seen through their delicate weaving and intricate patterns.
LARA’s woven creations are driven by the potential for progressive design, translating indigenous materials into future forward products. By reinventing the banig into contemporary creations, Lara is saving the industry, thereby becoming a creative design platform weaving a bright future for the people of Samar. Through LARA, communities look forward to long term sustainable livelihood promoting socio-cultural and environmental awareness while integrating a contemporary handle on tourism through fashion + style.
It is a wonderful representation of a nation who prides itself by the masterful hands of their local artisans and of history and tradition, handed down from generation to generation.