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When nostalgia and pop culture meet: Zarah Juan made a bag that looks like a can of Ligo Sardines

By Camille Santiago Published Dec 23, 2020 6:05 am

Is it possible to combine design and function? Yes, indeed! 

Some handbag designers have incorporated elements of nostalgia, pop culture, and mainstream art to create a style that appeals to the popular taste.

One bag designer that is known for making nostalgia-inducing accessories is Zarah Juan. Admittedly fond of old and modern Filipino traditions, she creates high-quality accessories that commemorate sentimental nostalgia that fashion movers and shakers are all happy to relive.

“Most of you know by now that all my designs, all my projects and collaborations are inspired by my childhood memories,” Juan wrote on her Instagram. “They are made of gratitude, nostalgia, wonder and determination.” Juan is known for her Jeepney and Sorbetes totes, made of wicker, Inabel, and leather, that attracted even international customers.

Now, she has made another piece that many Filipinos know dearly and love, the Ligo Sardines Bag.

Her accessories are helping take pop culture to a whole other level as she partners with one of the most popular canned sardines brands in the country, Ligo Sardines. “The journey of the Ligo brand is something I have been watching unfold, it is very inspiring, and it shows clearly that it also comes from the heart,” said Juan.

To Juan, as with most Pinoys, she would always remember having a hearty meal of warm Ligo sardines with rice with her dad. But what inspired her with this collaboration is based on an old Filipino proverb, “Ang hindi lumingon sa pinanggalingan, hindi makakarating sa paroroonan.” Citing her own childhood experience of having to “wear many hats to survive.”

Like Juan’s story, The Ligo Sardines Bag is a versatile piece for any occasion. It’s ideal not only for parties and intimate gatherings, but for everyday occasions such as quick grocery runs or walks in the park.

And for the best part, the purse is shaped like a can of Ligo sardines—but five times its size! This bag is a unique way to give a quirky and fun touch to your look.

The Ligo Sardines Bag is made of hand-painted wood, with binakul lining by Abra weavers, and silver metal chain with real leather. It comes in two colors: Green in Tomato Sauce and Red with Chili Added.

Beyond the bag, the brand also values giving back. For every purchase, 30% goes to 24 artisans of Paete and Marikina plus a generous Christmas basket of Ligo products.

All in all, there are only 24 pieces available of this limited-edition bag priced at P9,500 each.

The Ligo Sardines Limited Edition Bags are available at