Home-grown Singaporean bag brand, Tribe, has made serious waves since introducing their debut collection — we sat down with Founder and Designer, Rosie, to get the scoop on what’s new with their second collection. Hint, Tribe is really hitting it out of the park with some super-affordable new styles!
Tribe‘s latest collection is almost here (and we’re very excited!) — what we can expect from the new range?
Tribe has stayed true to its roots as a luxury diaper bag brand, but we’ve added multi-purpose carryalls, handbags and beach bags (for mamas and non-mamas alike) to the mix. With the exception of Tribe’s signature diaper bag, the Singapore Sling, all the items in Tribe’s new collection retail between SGD249 and SGD289. I’ve worked really hard to made good design and high quality affordable.
How have you grown and developed the label with this new collection?
Tribe’s first collection featured diaper bags made entirely out of leather. Tribe’s best-selling all-leather Singapore Sling continues to be produced in familiar as well as new limited edition colours and I’ve introduced a new diaper bag, the Balmoral Bag, which is a lighter-weight and lower-priced alternative. It’s made from a pretty nifty combo of water-resistant coated canvas and leather — it’s minimalist but definitely a tote that will turn heads, and I love that it comes in five different colour block combinations.
Tribe’s product diversification into carryalls, handbags and beach bags is an exciting development. Many of Tribe’s customers want to buy more than one Tribe product as they’ve fallen in love with the brand’s clean design aesthetic and quality. Additionally, there are women who aren’t in the market for a diaper bag but who are, however, always on the look-out for tastefully designed bags in general. Tribe’s new bag models are all quite unique. There’s nothing which is run-of-the-mill and, equally, nothing over-the-top about them.
I was quite nervous about designing a handbag as there are so many great handbags in the market so it was a bit overwhelming, but Tribe’s Rocks Bag, which is an edgy, saddle-style bag with subtle stud detailing, is proving really popular. I often get stopped when carrying the Singapore Sling, but almost always get stopped when carrying the Rocks Bag. I’m hoping it will become Tribe’s signature handbag and I’m planning to introduce new colour offerings with each new collection.
What’s the inspiration behind all the colours you choose, and how do you feel inspired as a designer?
Tribe’s new collection is about contrast and hues that POP! Peter Pilotto’s stunning clothing and the label’s love of colour blocking is the key design inspiration behind the collection. Inspiration is definitely my starting point when designing a collection, but key considerations such as material selection, weight, costs, overall aesthetic appeal, and customer wants and needs can’t be overlooked. Piecing everything together and coming up with a collection that ticks all the boxes is challenging. It’s a lot of hard work and of course, as a mama myself I’m pretty busy!
What is it about Tribe’s diaper bags that make them perfect for mamas? How are they different from other diaper bags?
Tribe has redefined what a diaper bag should be — they’re designed for women who appreciate quality and a tasteful design aesthetic. Their functionality goes without saying. My philosophy is “Carry Something Beautiful,” so you won’t find any faux leather or PU being used in any of Tribe’s bags!
I’d like to think that I’m on the right track as Tribe’s Singapore Sling took the highly-coveted 2012 UK Junior Design Award for ‘Best Changing Bag’, and Tribe has a very satisfied customer base around the world, from mamas in small country towns in Australia to Gisele Bündchen who’s been photographed in Manhattan and Paris carrying her Singapore Sling.
Tribe’s still a young brand, so I’m constantly learning, and I’m always looking to improve on what I’ve done previously. I’m not interested in run-of-the-mill offerings and I set out to design bags that women take pleasure in owning.
What are three things every mama should have in her diaper bag?
A lot depends on the age of the baby or toddler whose mama is using the bag, but I’d say wipes, diapers/underwear and a change of clothing. Most little ones will need these items for the first couple of years — I’m also a bit of a softie so in my bag I always carry a card that my son Toby made me!
You can now pre-order bags from Tribe’s new collection (for delivery mid-late January) via Tribe’s website www.tribebags.com!