Based in Hong Kong, Cafuné borrows it’s brand name from the same Brazilian Portuguese word meaning ‘to run your fingers through the hair of someone you love’.
Beginning as long time friends before making the transition to business partners and first-time entrepreneurs, founders of the brand Day and Queenie view luxury in terms of emotions and the attachment formed between the wearer and the bag.
They realised their bags were becoming conversational pieces as a result of their unique designs and subtle branding, telling me ‘As customers share their own personal stories of how they discovered Cafuné, they build a stronger connection with the product, and that is how we think the emotional attachment begins‘
I caught up with the founders to find out more about the process behind their uniquely timeless pieces.
How smooth was the transition from being lifelong friends to business partners?
Day: We must admit, it was a little bumpy at first as everything was new and we were both first-time entrepreneurs. After a year we’ve both settled into our roles and working seamlessly together, we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses so being such good friends before has definitely been a huge benefit.
How hands on are both of you in the design process of the bag? Is one of you creative whilst the other is more business minded?
Day: Both of us are very hands on from designing, to developing and production of the bags. We play different parts throughout the process – Queenie works more on the creative aspect of the collections, whilst I focus more on the business development and merchandising.
What does a day in your life look like?
Queenie: At work, we are a very small team, so I don’t have a daily routine. I can be working on developments with the factory in the morning and planning marketing content in the afternoon. Everyday can be different! After work, I like having down time, catching up on reading or watching a movie.
How important is craftsmanship to Cafuné?
Day: We love to learn about the story behind each new vendor we meet, especially those that have long history and traditions behind the craftsmanship. Leather handbags require lots of skill so we ensure they understand our brand’s DNA, and are able to produce excellent craft with consistency. These are very important elements for us to create quality and timeless goods that can be cherished by customers.
What are some of the inspirations behind designs such as the egg/stance and bellows styles?
Queenie: Our inspirations often comes from nature or objects that can be found in our daily lives. It’s often exciting and challenging to transform this familiar subject into a handbag. For instance, I was inspired by the unique shape and originality of an egg, and hence we developed the Egg Bag, a top handle bag that fits the functional need but also keeping the organic form.
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