Paper bags, baskets people take to the open markets, nylon bags and brown paper bags are all inspiration for the Efika collection of exquisite, high quality leather handbags and wallets by Israeli Designer Efrat Baruchi. With a quick look at Efika handbags and wallets, which are all made from very soft leather, you can notice her inspiration.
Her Galim handbag looks like a brown paper bag with a short handle and its edges are cut with a zigzag scissors; The large scrunch tote looks like a basket with spiral shape and her line of leather wallets are simple, very attractive and user-friendly.
“I pay attention to the ways in which people carry things. I am interested in how people take bags, how people hold cash in their pockets. I can see a woman with a bag of oranges and imagine a bag in my mind,” Baruchi explains. The bags she designs do not stick out because of their colors, instead her designs have simple, clean lines and she usually uses calm colors like black, brown and red and some other seasonal colors.
Baruchi, 35 , graduated from the Bezalel Academy for Art and Design in Jerusalem and began her career designing shoes. Two years later she opened Kisim Bags with Yael Rosen and five years ago she went on to start Efika as her own independent brand. She lives with her family in a small moshav in the Negev and drives into Tel Aviv three times a week to a sewing workshop that she works with exclusively.
Efrat believes a bag should not attract all the attention but should still have strong presence. “I think a black bag is a good bag. A bag should fit in with the women’s outfit and flow with her body. My bags are neither trendy or for teenage girls, they are for mature woman that appreciate clean and practical all day bags,” says Baruchi.
What has attracted Baruchi to design bags? “The raw materials, I have to admit. I love the way the leather lives, breathes and gets better with time,” she says. ” When I began creating there were no bags that I would enjoy carrying. The bags were actually boxes with a handle attached. They had nice shapes but they never seemed to fit in from my point of view. They didn’t seem to flow with a woman’s body. Today there has been a wonderful blooming in this area and now there are many more challenges, which I consider motivating.”
Baruchi doesn’t sell to stores that sell only bags. Instead she sells to fashion boutiques and she chose Coolil.com, the leading Israeli accessories website to be Efika handbags and wallets distributor in the US and Canada.