I know I’m not the only one who’s fallen in love with Encanto‘s Mirabel — and her adorable mochila handbag too. And also her entire family, and the whole world she inhabits. (Seriously if you haven’t watched yet, get on it!)
If you’re like me and you’re looking to add some Madrigal magic to your wardrobe in the form of a cool Colombian handbag, I’ve got you covered with some authentic options that support Colombian designers and artists.
They’re so perfect for spring and summer and just a little more special than all the other woven bags on-trend right now.
From Disney’s Encanto
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Where to find authentic mochila bags: 4 options
These types of bags are called mochilas and are hand-made by the Wayuu ethnic group in Guajira, Colombia. I’ve loved learning all about their legacy from the Wayuur bag shop, but if you’d like the TL;DR version, Wayuu women pass the art of weaving these bags down from generation to generation, and the unique patterns in the bags express their values of independence and creativity.
Here are just a few wonderful places to start if you’d like your own.
I suggest buying a mochila bag directly from a Wayuu artisan; try shopping at the Wayuurs website for so many styles. (Google translate comes in handy here if you’re not a Spanish speaker.) Each of their handbags is completely unique, which I love. Plus, now I’m coveting their gorgeous woven bracelets as well.
Also be sure to follow their beautiful Instagram feed @wayuurs
You can also find authentic mochila bags right on Etsy. I love the shop Lombia Wayuu Bags, and they ship to the U.S. from Colombia for free! There are lots of options, but I’m coveting this striking mustard and cream crocheted mochila handbag right now.
They also offer that bright pink Wayuu bag, which isn’t quite Mirabel’s but has the same spirit.
Another wonderful option on Etsy is the CostaWayuu Etsy shop. Shop owner Maria collaborates with Wayuu artists to create these amazing woven mochila bags and I love that she also offers smaller clutch-type bags in addition to the traditional bucket style.
If you want to go designer but still support Colombian artists, you have to check out the Amor Dormido Mochila Bucket Bag at Nordstrom, from young, emerging Latinx designer Camila Mesar. This gorgeous bag (look at that crochet work!) comes in four colors including this bold pink, which is perfect for 2022. The entire brand is built on sustainability and ethical practices, with the aim of preserving of Colombian identity and craftsmanship — and that’s just where all her bags are made.
Woven designer handbags are having a moment right now, but I think the authentic mochilas are particularly special. While there are cheaper knockoffs out there, resist the urge! It’s worth spending a little more to support women artisans and help keep a rich tradition strong.