Rashi Agarwal Favier was on the lookout for the perfect leather bag. One that would age gracefully, suit her aesthetic, and match all her outfits. And when she didn’t find it, the 29-year-old art student-aturned-model-turned-accessory designer decided to make one herself. In her husband, Maurits Favier—who has lived and studied in Amsterdam, where he became familiar with and fond of European fashion—Rashi found her business partner. Post their marriage in 2015, he came onboard to helm Raff ’s business development.
ELLE: How did Raff come about?
Rashi Agarwal Favier: After I finished my master’s in accessory design from London College Of Fashion, I fell in love with the minimalist appeal of European fashion and really wanted to bring some of that to our country. Raff (an amalgamation of their initials) celebrates high-quality products with a clean aesthetic. It derives inspiration from art and architecture, and is meant for a customer who believes in longevity.
Maurits Favier: We spotted a gap in the market for leather bags with a modern twist and decided to cater to it. The label represents our taste and us.
ELLE: Take us through your creative process.
RAF: All our bags are made from the leather we source from Ranipath, Tamil Nadu, which is known for its local leather industry. We opt for hide that is a by-product of the meat industry and get it dyed in natural vegetable tans. We also hand-stitch our bags—as opposed to most leather brands that only use this method for the straps— with wax-linen thread.
MF: Our jewellery is made from the wood that is collected from the leftovers found in local furniture stores. The idea is to give our customers something that is priced well and is sustainable.
ELLE: How do you seek feedback on your products?
RAF: We give our products to our friends to use for a while and then ask them their views and how they think we can improve. This is our way of doing market research.