Saturday, February 18, 2017

La Jolla Fashion Files | Feb 10, 2017

Designed to Carry a Cause

Malia Designs is an online handbag and accessories business. The owners of this passionate business with a cause are Lia Valerio and Lucia Ruth. Valerio travelled in Southeast Asia and saw Human Trafficking going on and felt there is a need for women to have a source of income there so they are less vulnerable to this problem. They both are committed to bridging the developing world with Western consumers by running this business. This allows the women to earn a living and be less susceptible to the Human Trafficking trade. In addition to helping these women they are bringing awareness to customers about the plight of these women. Hopefully this will help combat this problem that is seen worldwide.

Each one of their handbags and totes are made to Carry a Cause. There are handbags, wallets, shoulder bags, messenger bags, diaper bags, lunch bags, and more. One item is a white Cement Tote that is made from recycled cement bags. It is so stylish with a white elephant on the front. A set of recycled cosmetics bags are made from Vietnamese rice bags. They are very unique and would make a perfect gift.

The Khmer Collection has screened printed wallets and bags on Upcycle cotton. Each one is inspired by Cambodian nature. The Signature Collection is perfect for the fashion minded with fun screen-printed designs on cotton. One collection is screen printed on hand woven silk. This is a must for Fashionistas and is perfect for day or evening. Each one of these is a one of a kind. Additional accessories are aprons, belts, and earrings. The earrings they carry are colorful and are made with recycled raw silk material.

You may ask what is the difference between Recycling and Upcycling? Recycling is reusing or refurbishing a product and Upcycling is taking a waste material and turning it into a better quality product.

Malia Designs helps fights Human Trafficking by providing economic opportunities to women. This helps break the cycle of abuse. Each one of the Artisans have their own special skill such as screen printing, sewing, dying and loom work. The products are handmade in Cambodia by Fair Trade practices. Malia Designs are members of Fair Trade Federation, Chicago Fair Trade, and Green America. As a consumer if you buy products that say Fair Trade then you are supporting products that value people and the planet. To take a peak at these fun items visit:

Photos: Courtesy of Malia Designs

Upcoming Events

Sunday, February 19, 2017 Wedding Party Bridal Show at the US Grant Hotel San Diego located at 326 Broadway. There will be 4 Fashion Shows between 12-5pm including Michelle Hebert at 1:30pm in the Lobby and M Bride Multi Designer in the Presidential Ballroom at 3:00pm. Visit for more information.

Saturday, March 11, 2017 Luncheon and fashion show fundraiser to benefit Soroptimist International of San Diego. Gretchen Productions at the Sheraton Harbor Island East Tower will present this event, “Women Stronger Together”. For information call: (858) 569- 6260.

This article originally appeared in La Jolla Today, Feb 10, 2017. Diana Cavagnaro is an internationally renowned Couture Milliner based in the Historic Gaslamp Quarter. Learn more about our Hat Designer, Teacher & Blogger at

No comments: