Once upon a time, clothing was either deemed an adornment or a utility — two words that rarely intertwine. But that is no longer necessarily the case now. Between keeping up with rising fads and designing to the demands of consumers, contemporary fashion sees the coming together of style and functionality. Whether it’s simple pockets on jeans or secret compartments in bags to hide your condoms, fashion’s love affair with practicality seems to have come a long way from its utilitarian days. Now, fashion houses are constantly experimenting with new ways to promote practicality that goes beyond just the design of the product, with sustainable fashion as inevitable buzzwords filling the industry.
Two people who really resonated with this new idea of fashion are Daniel Li and Angela Wang. The Chinese duo started their label, Ratio Et Motus in 2018 with the collective aim of creating minimalist, lasting products with special design details considered, calculated and executed to perfection.
Founders of Ratio Et Motus, Daniel Li and Angela Wang.
Ratio Et Motus brands itself as a classic label with a modern twist, made for the "intelligent, working women" — someone who, as Li puts it, "also has a good sense of style". The design philosophy behind the brand is anchored by none other than its own brand name, which translates to "sense and emotions". Like the people who embody the balance between logic and emotion, Li and Wang place much emphasis on having a rational thought behind each of their designs.
As Li picks up the smallest bags in their collection, he begins to dissect the functionality of each compartment, "This is our smallest bag, but as you can see, it holds your juul, your keys and important things like credit card, phones and passport. It is the 'going out' bag that is completely functional".
On their best-selling Twin Frame bags, Wang shares that it was designed based on her personal experience. "When I was doing fashion, I usually have to carry two bags around – a bigger bag for day time and a smaller bag for night time when we attend events. A multi-purpose bag like this makes it so easy for people with similar lifestyles". Li also weighs in that they "did not want to design a bag that is one dimensional", which inspired them to create a twin bag that can be attached or detached to cater to the lifestyle of a Ratio Et – Motus-woman.
Despite being based in New York, Li and Wang set their minds to have their products manufactured in Italy, utilising only sustainable leather. As a budding entrepreneur of this fashion era, Li said, "To make products that are sustainable has always been one of our main objectives when we started". But the journey down the rabbit hole of sustainability is not without its complications. Li and Wang shared that communication and lack of financial resources were one of the many challenges they had to face when they first started out. "We started on a sourcing level and we plan to take up more responsibility to be more sustainable as we gain more experience in this field." Wang shared, "When we do come up with packaging in the future, we want it to be of sustainable material as well".
With the wealth of fresh designers shaking up the fashion and accessories market, Ratio Et Motus stands as one that brings value to every purchase. Their aim was always to make forever-bags that would "last in your wardrobe for years", and in turn build a trusted connection between the consumers and their products.
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