Here at Style Bust we’re pretty obsessed with handbags.  We’ve written about the PS1 Weekender Bag, Prada tote bags, and the Coach Blogger design edition bags.  It’s about time we’ve written about the versatile, chic, exotic, Mochila bag.  You’ll see women bringing back these woven bags from their Colombian travels and you you’ll also spot these bags on the beaches of South Hampton!  For those of you not familiar with this bag, the mochila is the traditional woven bag indigenous to the women of South American countries.

traditional mochila bag These bags sustain their villages’ economy by handmaking these pieces and selling them to local vendors.  Each bag takes 40 hours to make.  And all designs and color choices are unique.

Back in November 2009, the Mochila Project was conceived.  Designers such as VeraWang, Oscar de la Renta and Proenza Schouler participated in the project.  Each designer was given a traditional mochila bag and asked to rework it in their own style!  The results were embellished with fur, snakeskin, crystals…you name it…these designers got creative!

Missoni Mochila BagMissoni

Calvin Klein MochilaCalvin Klein

Oscar de la Renta MochilaOscar de la Renta

Proenza Schouler Mochila BagProenza Schouler

The entire mochila bag collection is on display in Miami…and later will be auctioned off at a charity event in Miami.

But for us that cannot afford the designer mochila…next time you’re in South America or Mexico, be sure to get yourself one of these bags!  They’re great for travel, you’ll help support a community of women and mochila bags are the perfect summer accessory (and I’m sure we’ll be seeing similar styles this fall)!