Street Style: Handbag Stories

By Kestrel Jenkins

Danica Ratte :: Founder of Wild Tussah

“We are the shapers of culture, the workers for change, the dreamers of dreams.”

Danica is a travel addict who came across endangered ethnic weaving communities in Vietnam while on a 5-week trip through South East Asia. Blown away by local weavers’ skills and their excitement to teach others about their craft, she wanted to learn more. 

After she discovered that these techniques were on the verge of going extinct, Danica decided she had to move to Vietnam and work with the artisans directly to help preserve their traditions. 

As the founder of Wild Tussah, she now designs handbags sustainably, provides these weaves to other designers and asks this question every day: “Do you know where your bags come from?” 

For Danica, Wild Tussah is all about preserving culture and helping share artisans' stories.

Dress (fabric picked out in a local Vietnamese market and taken to a Saigon tailor to model off of one of Danica’s favorite little black dresses)
Pearl Earrings (from a family owned shop in Saigon)
Handbag (by Wild Tussah, incorporates rare, vintage handwoven Lu weaves and acts as both a shoulder bag and clutch with a removable strap)


Kestrel JenkinsAbout The Author

Kestrel is a globetrotter with small-town Wisconsin spirit. She has lived in Chile, London, Madrid & New York, soaking up and absorbing every moment of fashion and difference along the way. She has worked with People Tree, Global Action Through Fashion, The GreenShows, FashionMeGreen, Fashioning Change, Ecouterre, Inhabitat & EcoSalon. She loves words & garments, and reorganizing them both. For Kestrel, fashion is her favorite way to share stories. Her most recent endeavor, AWEAR, is a style-driven project intended to help inspire us to think about where our clothes are made, what they are made of, and who makes them.


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