Frankitas is set to be the new buzzword among fashion mavens looking to tote one-of-a-kind bags and clutches handcrafted by artisans using traditional methods. Almost a year into operations, Frankitas officially launched its brand recently with a proud display of its ethnic chic range of bags, silk scarves and accessories, designed and meticulously perfected over the months.
The independent label created by Francisca Turner Shaik, or Franki as she is known, is already creating waves with a strong social media following, a newly opened by-appointment-only gallery in Damansara Heights, and representation in Singapore, Australia and the Maldives. Frankitas is a combination of Franki, and the word tas, which is Malay for bag.
Franki’s Javanese-English roots, Malaysian upbringing and worldly travels nurtured her enduring love for ethnic, hand-woven fabrics for the heritage and craftsmanship they represent.
“I’ve had a long love-affair with textile, and ethnic ikat and traditional artisanal pieces have fascinated me the most. There’s a story behind each ikat style from different parts of the world, and I wanted to share and preserve this beautiful world heritage. What better way to showcase the highly skilled craftmanship and beauty within these textiles than through clutch bags,” said Franki.
A stickler for details, she uses only the most skilled artisans who practice age old methods of weaving and tie-dying. Her endless quest for beautiful textiles has taken her to as far as Uzbekistan and Africa. Each hand-woven textile can take anything between 5-22 days to make. Once the textile is ready, her network of seamstresses scattered across villages in the region will then sew each piece from the beautiful Ikat, Batik, Songket and Tenun Rang Rang.
With clutchbags, totes and travel bags made out of needlepoint in a burst of summer colours, earrings, necklaces and scarves that exude urban glamour, the fast expanding Frankitas collection can be best described as sophisticated artisan.