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Graphic Travel: a spotlight on MISCHA

posted by in Style

The world of travel accessories is filled with the usual no-nonsense black nylon gear meant for practical storage and organization. We at TheGypsetters.Net are completely against the plain stuff and believe that one doesn’t need to sacrifice practicality for style. On that note I discovered a little gem of a brand – MISCHA.

I first met Hong Kong based designer Michelle Lai at the first ever Dom Pérignon dinner held in Manila at the stunning Old Senate hall of the National Museum. We were nibbling on the most amazing little canapés and sipping some very cold bubbly as we chatted about travel and fashion. She was wearing an adorable bejeweled clutch for her custom line in the shape of an Onigiri rice sushi.

Her regular line is composed of lightweight canvas pieces done up in graphic whimsical patterns and colors. They’re guaranteed to brighten any dreary airport layover just by looking at them! Get to know a little more about the brand and their creator in this exclusive interview with TheGypsetters.Net .

Love and Light, Stephanie

P.S. She also extended a 10% discount for all you gypsetters out there! Just type in the code GYPSETTERS upon check out

The Gypsetters Net: What made you decide to specialize in canvas and travel friendly accessories?

Michelle Lai: I started MISCHA creating clutch bags out of vintage Japanese obi and kimono for myself because I couldn’t find anything I wanted. This caught on with the glamorous women of HK.  After a while, there’s just so many dinner parties and events you can go to, and my clients kept asking for something that they could use everyday.  They already owned the luxury brand bags and wanted something that no one else had. That’s how it started, and that when I got the idea for creating my signature hexagon print in classic silhouettes. The simple shapes in light canvas and leather trims make the bags very versatile and easy to use.

michelle lai

TGN: Where do you get inspiration for the color combinations?

Michelle: Each individual collection is inspired by a particular place I’ve been to. For example, our current SS15 Botanical Collection was inspired by my visits to the botanical gardens Le Jardin des Plantes in Paris. The colors are inspired by the flora and fauna of the gardens. Last year, the collection was inspired by a diving trip to Bohol, so there were lots of colors inspired by coral, sea foam and underwater marine life. This Fall, we are doing something very exciting with the MISCHA print. You will see it reinterpreted based on Scottish tartan.

mischa global nomad

TGN: What about your designs? Any cities or destinations that inspire them?

Michelle: My travels are my inspiration for design and for life in general. I get ideas from meeting new people and absorbing the sights and sounds of a place. Japan and France are my two main points of influence in terms of style and aesthetics and you see this come through in the shapes and styles. MISCHA was created with the globetrotter’s lifestyle in mind and thus all my designs will compliment an active woman no matter what city she’s in.

mischa camo 2

TGN: What are your top 3 favorite destinations in the world?

Michelle: Tokyo and Paris are my favorite cities. I’ve been going there for work and pleasure for years and I never fail to discover something new and get inspired by the culture, history and style. For an island getaway I love Koh Samui. I do a detox there and the diving is amazing. It’s relatively peaceful and just a few hours away.

mischa botanical 1

TGN: Your dream travel adventure?

Michelle: That’s a difficult one. It would have to be a tie between the Maldives and Morocco. If you can’t tell already, I’m a bit of a beach bum, love the sun and scouring antique markets.

TGN: Name 3 essentials in your suitcase

Michelle: Sunglasses, a good book, and moisturizer

mischa bags

TGN: Favorite carry on and what’s in it for a long haul trip

Michelle: My MISCHA Jet Set Tote, my journal, magazines and moisturizer of course!

TGN: One thing you can’t live without and must always have with you wherever you are.

Michelle: A good playlist!

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The Author

Writer. Traveller. Wino. Foodie. Bohemian at heart. "You can not travel the path until you have become the path itself." - Buddha


We are two friends who were former magazine editors. Having moved onto other things, we both realized that the creative flow the publishing world used to offer us was missing from our lives. Armed with a common love of travel to the exotic and familiar, a penchant for the bohemian, an obsession with food and a lust for writing, we decided to collaborate our unique and fashionable journeys through life together in one passion project.

We are The Gypsetters.

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