Patrice Gibbons is a do-er. She's the founder and managing director of ZURII, a leather-goods label that represents quality over quantity, and she's a passionate supporter of women in need.
Through the sales of ZURII pieces, Patrice empowers women with financial support and education, using her business as a force for good. Each ZURII piece is designed in Australia and crafted by hand in a small boutique family-run atelier in southern Spain, and each bag and clutch bears a personal story.
Through the creating and making of ZURII pieces, Patrice is able to 'pay it forward', creating a positive impact on the broader community. She pours her passion for sustainability and a better industry into her label, contributing to a positive fashion future through conscious design.
When Patrice was on the hunt for that handbag herself - that special, luxurious and well-made bag that every woman dreams about - the seeds of ZURII were sown. Any bag wouldn't 'just do' though, and Patrice yearned for a bag with a story. Where it was made, who it was made by, whether the materials were ethically sourced and if a fair working wage was paid to the workers - were all important factors to Patrice, and yet she couldn't find what she was looking for.
Armed with a lot of boxes for one handbag to tick, Patrice decided to create it herself, and ZURII was born; where luxury meets slow fashion with a personal ethos from start to finish.
ZURII is an example of fashion working through positive change; what Patrice has built is much more than a label though, and ZURII is about feeling good, looking good, and giving back. Working through the Fashion For Good Initiative and The Hunger Project, every ZURII purchase helps to empower disadvantaged women and men by providing them with microfinance loans and financial literacy training. Microfinance loans as little as $60 can help one woman living in poverty to start a small business, earn an income and provide for her family. Through the creation of small businesses, farming and agricultural practices improve in remote communities, crop levels and storage capacities increase, and a sense of financial independence grows - in global communities that are otherwise forgotten.
The Manhattan Clutch, in particular, is inspired by Patrice's love of global cultures and the beauty of exploring.
“ZURII’s Manhattan Clutch was inspired by my own travels. Coming from the buzz and style of New York and the rush to be somewhere, whether it's at an event, a dinner or a wine-bar catch-up. It's about needing a piece that not only looks stylish, but that works with multiple outfits in the wardrobe to maximise its purpose. The Manhattan Clutch is sleek and minimalist, and functionality was a big factor in the design. I wanted something that I could easily access my phone without needing to go inside the clutch. Hence the external (and very popular) pocket on the outside, just under the fold. The detachable straps are another functional point. I wanted a clutch I could take from dinner to the dance floor. You pop on the shoulder strap to turn it into a bag for a total hands-free option. I use the wristlet for occasions like the races when you want the elegance of carrying a clutch but also need a hands-free option. The clutch is perfect for so many different occasions. It’s a fantastic staple piece and popular as a gift.”
Patrice was determined to design with longevity in mind too, as she knows the feeling of spending money on a new handbag or purse only to have it fall apart within a year. She understands the disappointment of a stunning piece that falls short of functionality too, and so Patrice meticulously designed with practicality and purpose in mind. Patrice also made a conscious choice to create with leather, because of its long-lasting and durable nature.
“From the office to the airport, the wine bar, and the restaurant, design elements including detachable straps, large pockets and soft and supple genuine leathers ensure each piece is practical and adaptable for your lifestyle - no matter where you're going. My bags are a lifetime investment too; the last.”
Shop the full ZURII collection here and support an ethical and sustainable fashion future.
The Fashion Advocate x