This Graphic Tote

The strength of Mlouye bags are in their bold, bold shapes


Mlouye Sera Tote P1By Mao Shan Wang

If you’re a bit over Bao Bao bags because of their ubiquity, yet won’t give up on graphically-bold bags with designs rooted in geometry and symmetry (and won’t give in to a certain Pouch), then perhaps Mlouye’s distinctive bags might interest you. I know they have aroused my interest.

The Turkish brand has been enjoying quite a lot of buzz since its founding in 2017, making it to every list of new bag brands to watch, from Forbes to Yahoo News. Their Pandora bag—a lot more conservative in shape if compared to their more striking designs—has been seducing headline writers to pen grabbers such as “Gigi Hadid Made This Bag Sell Out Everywhere”.

I have not one tiny speck of interest in what Ms Hadid wears or not, carries or not, causes sell-outs or not. So her impact on the popularity of the brand has no bearing on my appreciation of Mlouye. I am into shapes, the more unusual and seemingly difficult to construct the better. Mlouye matches that description.

Designer Meb Rure, who “hails from an industrial design background”, according to corporate literature, is reportedly inspired by the architects and interior designers of the Bauhaus, and is a massive fan of the design movement that can be traced to, first, a German art school, then, to an artistic front that greatly influenced modernism. Which perhaps explains Mlouye bags’ tendency to sport the seductive lines of the arms and legs of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s chairs with the quirk of Marianne Brandt’s kitchenware!

Mlouye Sera Tote P2Anyway, I am enamoured with this particular bag (above) called the Sera tote (nope, nothing to do with the Singapore Emergency Responder Academy). The form is almost traditional, but look at the controlled geometric folds of the 3-D front. Bao Bao-ists would go quite delirious. The surprise is in the inner top: it comes with suede drawstring closure! The Sera is what Japanese bag makers would call a ‘two-way’. You can carry the handle-strap in your hands or on your forearm. Or, add the supplied shoulder strap and you have a cross-body.

Sustainability is key to Mlouye, and if you are especially particular that the leather used for your satchels is sourced from tanneries with practices that are friendly to the environment, then these bags are for you. The Sera tote is made of Italian calf leather, and the bag feels lighter than it looks. That is, without doubt, a deal maker.

Mlouye bags are available at Pedder on Scotts. The Sera tote (cobalt blue, above), USG395, is available online at And the best part: they ship to our island for free. Photo: Mlouye