Rita Nazareno is an Emmy Award-winning television producer whose shift to design is a product of passion and family ties. She is the Creative Director of ZACARIAS 1925, a brand of hand-woven bags and home accessories. Referencing contemporary art, architecture and cinema, ZACARIAS 1925 places a contemporary thrust in the traditional craft of hand-weaving. ZACARIAS 1925 is exclusively hand-woven at a workshop founded in 1925 in Manila by Rita’s grandmother.
How would you define your brand and who is it aimed at?
All the bags and home accessories by ZACARIAS 1925 are hand-woven at a workshop my grandmother started in 1925. ZACARIAS 1925, however, pushes a more contemporary thrust to the very traditional craft of hand-weaving. I reference contemporary art, architecture and cinema in most of the designs. The clientele is a certain, like-minded individual – those who appreciate design and craftsmanship and a dash of wit.
Our bags are available in Milan, Pietrasanta, Torino, Rome, Padova, Galatina, Brescia, Mantova, Treviso in Italy. Barcelona, Paris, Montpellier, Monte Carlo, Lugano, Hallein, Capri, Taipei, Tokyo and Seoul.
What are your thoughts on Filipino fashion and design in the world?
I’m very proud that all ZACARIAS 1925 bags and home accessories are made here in the Philippines, in our workshop.
As with everything, provenance is only a part of the equation. Good design is good design / bad design is bad design – no matter where it is from.
Having said that, there are some fantastic designers in the community and I can’t wait to see more of what they come up with – Gabby Lichauco, Stanley Ruiz, e.murio…
How did your collaborations with Filipino artists started?
I started collaborating with Gabby Lichauco basically because I had met him at a dinner and we hit it off. He would come to the workshop, we’d order take out (bangus or chicken and mojos) and shoot the breeze. Then we started making things together out of those lunches.
I’ve been fortunate that I’ve collaborated with some fantastic artists and designers. The melange of ideas, when it works, can be very fulfilling. I also like working with people I like – I don’t think there’s any point in working with someone difficult, no?
How is Zacarias 1925 helping preserve the traditional hand-weaving?
We continue to employ weavers who continue to amaze me…they are so skilled and talented and I am very proud that we can show their work to a lot of people.
How much does travel influence your design?
A lot. I am fortunate that I am able to travel and see things – a variety of art, architecture, culture and cuisine. Diversity is a good thing.
Is there any place in the world you haven’t been but you would like to visit from a professional perspective?
From a personal perspective, I have been dreaming about Navajo country…as well as Lanai and Molokai.
Professionally, I would love to visit Chandigarh, to see a city as envisioned by Le Corbusier.
Can you tell us about your upcoming collection?
I am looking at a variety of references – from vintage gadgets to more organic shapes to ubiquitous objects.
What are your favourite spot in Metro Manila for:
Website is best viewed on a portrait orientation on your device.