'BAGTAZO,' SAY BOG-TAZO
DESIGNER: COURTNEY CADY (COCO)
EVERYTHING IN BAGTAZO'S COLLECTIONS ARE LIMITED. SOME OBJECTS ARE HANDMADE OR HAND-FINISHED IN BAGTAZO'S STUDIO.
BAGTAZO IS MADE IN PART BY MANUFACTURERS IN NEW YORK CITY, CALIFORNIA, NEW ENGLAND, AND THE MID-ATLANTIC. (BUT EVERY ONCE AND A WHILE BAGTAZO MAKES SPECIAL BERETS, WHICH OF COURSE, ARE MADE IN FRANCE).
BAGTAZO IS A FAMILY SURNAME FROM THE PHILIPPINES, SELECTED IN HOMAGE TO COCO'S GRANDMOTHER, A WOMAN WHO WALKS THE LINE BETWEEN TRADITION AND MODERNITY, WHICH IS THE CORE ETHOS BEHIND BAGTAZO'S DESIGNS.
BAGTAZO WAS FOUNDED IN LOS ANGELES. THEN COCO MIGRATED TO SAN FRANCISCO WHERE SHE MET HER HUSBAND. NOW THEY LIVE IN NEW YORK.
ACCESSORIES FOR EVERYONE ✌️
A MANUFACTURING PROMISE
ANYTHING MADE outside of MY STUDIO IS PRODUCED WITH people that i consider ESSENTIAL TO BAGTAZO.
I am proud to say that I manufacture in the USA, and that I work with a network of small businesses to make this happen. From paper printers and leather sellers, to sewing houses, hat factories, and metalsmiths, everyone I work with is independently owned and operated.
I feel strongly about working with manufacturers in the US because I believe that factory workers are the glue that holds our entire society and economy together.
I HAVE ALSO BEEN AN ENVIRONMENTALIST SINCE I WAS A CHILD. FOR THIS REASON, I WORK WITH MATERIALS OF VERIFIABLE SOURCES, AND CONTINUALLY STRIVE TOWARDS BUILDING THE MOST SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS I CAN.
WHILE BAGTAZO MAY CHANGE OVER THE YEARS, THESE ARE MY CORE VALUES. FOR LACK OF BETTER WORDS, THIS IS MY PROMISE TO MYSELF, MY WORKING PARTNERS AND ALL BAGTAZO CUSTOMERS FOREVER AND EVER.
I have been making jewelry and taking photographs since I was 5 years old. I grew up in a small beach town in Southern California. My mother is from the Philippines and my father is Irish-American from Georgia. I also had a long term babysitter from El Salvador who taught me Spanish. This hyphenated identity greatly shaped me as a child.
I started working in fashion when I was 17 years old. I worked at a surf shop where the owner (a little old lady from Japan) cut and sewed bespoke surf trunks. I helped her organize patterns and learned to hand-cut fabric. From here I kept working in fashion, eventually moving to Los Angeles, where I learned product development and production. Since I was a kid, I've been against consumerism and "Made in China" products, both from a social and an environmental standpoint.
in Los Angeles, I studied philosophy and (visual) anthropology at the University of Southern California, earning two bachelors degrees in 2009. Because I found work I loved so much, I didn't go to college directly after high school. I'm happy I made this choice because I studIED subjects THAT interested me greatly, rather than studying for a career, so I really enjoyed mySELF.
While I was in college I still worked in production, and continue to do so today as a freelance consultant for small businesses who produce apparel and accessories in the United States THROUGH bagtazo's sister COMPANY, SHALLOW FASHION.
Since I established Bagtazo in 2014, I have been able to meld all my interests. Because my products are made in USA and created in limited quantities, I feel that I am helping reverse mindless consumerism while also supporting our domestic economy.
I currently LIVE AND WORK IN NEW YORK WITH MY HUSBAND, DANIEL KINE. HE CALLS ME COCO (and SO CAN YOU).
A COUNTER-CAPITALIST COMMITMENT
BAGTAZO DONATES 10% OF ANNUAL SALES TO PLANNED PARENTHOOD, THE ACLU & THE ELTON JOHN AIDS FOUNDATION.
(BECAUSE SELLING AND CONSUMING GOODS aren't A MEANS TO AN END).
LOVE TO ALL!
I AM A DESIGNER. I DRAW OR HAND-MAKE EVERY PROTOTYPE BEFORE CREATING SAMPLES AND PRODUCING INVENTORY. I TAKE MY IDEAS FROM LIFE: FROM THE WISH TO WEAR A HAT IN A WINDY CITY, FROM THE NEED TO BLOCK THE SUN FROM MY EYES, FROM TRADITIONAL DRESS OF THE WORLD'S CULTURES, FROM THE WISH TO CREATE LINES AND SHAPES, FROM FINE ART.
SOME BRANDS ARE RUN BY BUSINESS PEOPLE WHO 'BORROW' IDEAS FROM REAL DESIGNERS. THESE COMPANIES GO ON PINTEREST AND INSTAGRAM, AND SOMETIMES GO SO FAR AS BUYING AN ITEM FROM ANOTHER BRAND IN ORDER TO POACH A DESIGN. THESE PRACTICES ARE UNETHICAL AND DAMAGING TO REAL DESIGNERS AND THEIR BRANDS.
TRENDS HAPPEN BECAUSE WE INSPIRE EACH OTHER, BUT THIS IS DIFFERENT THAN SIMPLY COPYING OTHER BRANDS. FAST-FASHION AND INVESTMENT BACKED BUSINESSES ARE MAJOR CULPRITS – BUT EVEN SMALL BUSINESSES ARE GUILTY OF STEALING IDEAS FROM OTHER DESIGNERS.
IN A FREE MARKET, I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND WHY THERE ARE FAST-FASHION BRANDS KNOCKING OFF DESIGNERS IN ORDER TO MAKE INEXPENSIVE VERSIONS OF CUTE THINGS. IN THIS CASE, COMPANIES ARE CAPITALIZING ON THE CONSUMER'S WISH FOR A DEAL, AND WHO DOESN'T WANT A DEAL?
BUT ON THE CONSUMER END, WE ALL HAVE THRIFT STORES AND SECOND HAND CLOTHING AS GREAT ALTERNATIVES TO BUYING CHEAP KNOCKOFFS. HELLO $10.00 FAUX FUR COAT!
STILL, TO MAKE MATTERS WORSE, THERE ARE SMALL BRANDS 'BORROWING' DESIGNS FROM OTHER BRANDS AND CONCURRENTLY SELLING AT DESIGNER PRICES. BUT WHAT GOOD IS IT IN TAKING ORIGINAL IDEAS AND MARKETING THEM AS THEIR OWN? CUSTOMERS DON'T GET A DEAL AND DESIGNERS GET RIPPED OFF. 👎👎👎
RIGHT NOW, THERE are NEW PRECEDENTS BEING SET IN COURT TO PROTECT DESIGNERS IN FASHION, BUT ORIGINALITY IS VERY HARD TO PROVE. AND BECAUSE THE LAWS ARE SO DIFFICULT TO ENFORCE, WE NEED YOU, THE CONSUMER, TO LEARN THE DIFFERENCE. WE CAN'T STOP COMPANIES FROM COPYING, BUT YOU CAN HELP US CURB THEM THROUGH BUYING WITH INTEGRITY. THIS MIGHT SEEM DIFFICULT AT FIRST, BUT WITH ALL THE TIME WE SPEND ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND IN STORES LOOKING FOR CUTE STUFF TO WEAR, WE CAN TOTALLY KEEP A TALLY AND SUBCONSCIOUSLY LEARN THE DIFFERENCE. LOOK FOR QUALITY MATERIALS, LOOK FOR DISTINCT DESIGNS, LOOK FOR WHERE THE ITEMS ARE MADE.
MY WISH IS FOR EVERYONE WHO WEARS BAGTAZO, OR IS EVEN JUST THINKING ABOUT WEARING BAGTAZO, AND ANYONE WHO WEARS OTHER INDEPENDENT, ORIGINAL BRANDS, TO STAND WITH US TO HELP PROTECT DESIGNERS. DOWN WITH KNOCK OFFS! DOWN WITH FAST-FASHION!
MOTHER NATURE DESERVES BETTER AND WE DESERVE BETTER.