Thalia Strates creates adornments for wildly spirited yet sophisticated adventurers and professionals. We use materials that are indigenous to Africa – we have such a wealth of raw materials which are unique to us, paired with clean and classic designs making for investment pieces with a story. Our products are handcrafted in a small artisan workshop in Cape Town, South Africa, by a team skilled in the methods passed down from generation to generation.
“Our brand is about marrying clean silhouettes with materials which show their age with wear. The piece comes to life as it softens and gains marks as a result of the wearer`s love for it. It is lived-in luxury, perfectly imperfect.” – Thalia Strates
Transparency in manufacturing and materials used is vital to Thalia Strates. We believe in fair wages set by the artisans themselves, materials that are ethically sourced and building long-lasting relationships with local entities and customers alike.
The skins we use are a byproduct of the meat industry, where every part of the animal is used - horns, hooves, fur, feathers, meat etc. We do not use skins from animals which are farmed for that sole purpose.We aim at inspiring slow fashion and pride in conscious consumption through the creation of meaningfully made products that excite.
We don’t do seasonal collections, instead we have a core range of classic styles that we update with new and interesting accents and finishes as well as introducing new smaller accessories to accompany your TS products ensuring that you have an accessible way to stay up to date and relevant without falling prey to fleeting trends.
Our TS customer is aware and in tune with trends, updating as she feels necessary, but knows that quality and class surpasses all.
I create bags as I feel myself and my customer needs them. So far the collection consists mainly of transitional work/day bags with smaller options for evening, all carrying the essence of functionality and a need for chic, utilitarian comfort.
Personally my day can go from work to social, to outdoor activity and my handbag needs to be suitable for all those environments - smart enough, relevant enough and durable enough.
The type of bag you wear says a lot about who you are. And I want my bag to say that I understand quality and class, that I am professional yet open minded, that I am approachable and imperfect.
Having a handbag that you feel confident in with regards to timelessness, comfort and functionality is whats so important to me. I want to know that I don’t have to contemplate which bag goes with my outfit today. I want to know that what I choose to carry all my essentials in, will be able to transition from occasion to occasion without the concern of looking the part.
Too many things are made to break. Made with an expiry date in mind. We make to last. We want you to be able to look at your TS product one day down the line and be proud of all the adventures, weather conditions, occasions and lugging it endured. And not only endured, but did so looking great and in turn making you look great!
WHEN YOU OWN A TS PRODUCT YOU ARE CHECKING OFF A LIST -
Investment into a quality, long lasting piece
A well considered, functional carrier of essentials
A classic piece that is so relevant, it surpasses trends
An adornment that is transitional from occasion to occasion, environment to environment
A piece that will always turn heads and have people admiring
A handbag or accessory that is guaranteed to make you feel good
One less thing to worry about before you leave the house
A unique, beautiful and meaningful addition into your life
I love using materials that show their true characteristics. I never really understood a “leather” bag that looks so perfect it looks synthetic. Isn’t the beauty of leather the fact that it softens and develops new characteristics over time? The transition leather makes doesn’t effect the quality of the material, unlike other materials which weaken with wear. It is the only material that ages naturally and well.
Each piece is handmade, meaning no two will be identical. The leather I am drawn to is not technically classified as traditional Handbag leather, so we have had to adapt traditional methods as well as develop our own techniques in order to accommodate and incorporate the desired aesthetic.
Thalia Strates - Designer and Founder
"Born in Cape Town, South Africa, into a family of mixed heritage – a Greek father and a German/Dutch mother born in Namibia – I am what we locally call a pavement special or gebarste naartjie. Bursting with a mélange of cultural influences, I found a common thread: strong, independent women.Thus the muse of my design – independent thinkers, nurturers, creators and adventurers. There is a universal movement towards women not only running their own businesses and households but also channeling their inner wild self by being in nature. We need to embrace slow fashion by purchasing pieces that suit all these occasions and environments.
I love the outdoors and find my strength in the ocean, forests and studying nature. It really brings me perspective, quieting my mind and reminding me what is truly important. My goal is to be the best person I can be and that takes getting to know myself.
I strongly resonate with Oroma Elewa who says:
“I am my own Muse. The Subject I know Best. The Subject I want to better.”
This is my goal every day. The one thing that never fails to fascinate or challenge me.
When I embrace and love my true self, I am able to give more to others as well as create from a more honest place.
Being an entrepreneur and creating a brand has pushed me on all levels. Not only have I taught myself how to start and manage a business on my own without funding or any experience, but I have also had to look deep and figure out how I am going to create things which have a timeless purpose."