Lucuma Designs Handbags: Where the Rubber Meets the Runway

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Fashion tread handbags made from recycled rubber tires by designer Valerie Doehler debut in the Lucuma Fashion Collection at New York Gift Show.

Name-brand handbags are must-have accessories every year. Luis Vuitton, Prada and Donna Karan? Always popular. Michelin, Goodyear and Firestone? Aren’t they brands of tires?

Indeed, but if Peruvian designer Valerie Doehler continues to succeed, we may see her fashion tread handbags made from used rubber tires accompanying models down runways all over the world in 2005.    

The handcrafted bags, exclusively distributed by Lucuma Designs, are created by shearing sheets of rubber off of used tires, creating unique shapes from them and finishing with colorful felt.

Doehler sees these handbags like “a recently opened piece of fruit. The rubber is like the skin and the felt is like the pulp. The material is my starting point. I am interested in taking advantage of it fully. In my designs, I look for simple and straight lines. Also, I look for contrasts of materials and textures, synthesized forms, comfort and durability.”

The handbags are even better for the environment than they are for the wardrobe, and this Earth-friendliness is lovingly woven into the designs. Doehler elaborates “Respect for the Earth drives my designs. I hope my bags will serve as an inspirational example of how we can transform discarded materials into useful works of beauty.”

Additionally, a home accents line is expected to debut this year, with designing partner Sebastian Bravo’s new recycled rubber plant pots, coasters, trivets, baskets and trays.

These handbags and recycled accessories from the Lucuma Fashion wholesale collection will debut at the New York International Gift Fair Jan 30th - Feb 3rd 2005 (NY Newest at Pier 94, Booth #47048). For additional information or pictures visit or contact Alessandra Bravo at 1-877-858-2862.

About Lucuma Designs: Since 1998, Lucuma Designs has promoted the best of Peruvian folk art and fine craftsmanship while helping artists and small producers improve their livelihoods and keeping traditions alive. Lucuma Designs is a proud member and supporter of the Fair Trade Federation, a non-profit association of businesses helping disadvantaged producers all over the world through sustainable business practices.

Lucuma collaborates with a network of about 20 family workshops and small producers, reaching over 200 artists throughout Peru.

Lucuma and Lucuma Designs are trademarks of Lucuma Designs in the United States and/or other countries. All other names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

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Alessandra Bravo
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