Rafe Totengco

Written By bryanboy

Bryanboy Loves Rafe Totengco

Can I tell you that designer Rafe Totengco is super duper super nice?

Rafe Totengco and Bryanboy at Metrowear 2008

Rafe Totengco at Metrowear 2008, Manila Peninsula Hotel

Now. Y’all won’t believe what happened the other day. It was rather funny and embarrassing at the same time. Funny for you because I know y’all secretly love it whenever I embarrass myself hahaha!

Now. Click click click!

One of my readers, Lisa from California, recently contacted me to check if I went to Rafe’s store opening this Thursday. The answer is no.

Here in the boondocks, store openings, product launches and events are usually limited to:

a) members of the local press
b) local celebrities
c) local socialites
or d) socialites who become celebrities because they are members of the press.

OMG me and my big mouth! Hahaha!

In any case, I didn’t get to go because I’m not one of the above. But that’s OK. We live in a digital age where everyone blogs about everything faster than the speed of light so imagine my delight when I saw Bianxytorres’ blog entry. Lucky bitch! :-)

Rafe Store Manila, Greenbelt 5
Photo credit: Bianxytorres

Fast forward to late Friday afternoon, I popped by the mall to visit the store Dot Dot Dot to check if there’s something new. A lot of items I saw BEFORE that weren’t on sale are now at 30-40% off. I saw this beautiful black Gaspard Yurkievich men’s jacket but I’m gonna wait for further markdowns. In Manila, patience is the key; there’s not a lot of competition because the things I saw last month are still there.

Greenbelt 5
Photo credit: Pam.squared

I spent about an hour roaming around the area and I had to leave early due to timing constraints. My friend and I are going to watch a fashion show and I didn’t want to be late.

Rafe Bags Spring Summer 2008, Rafe Totengco, Rafe New YorkOn my way out, I passed by the new Rafe store and I thought I saw Rafe himself sitting on a bench outside his shop. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I stopped and did a double take to see if he was the real deal.

100% real fur sher.

For those of you who don’t know who he is, Rafe’s one of the most respected designers in New York. He creates incredibly well-made and pretty accessories.


People who know me and my long-time blog readers can attest to the fact that I’m very shy (my ass) and I find it difficult and awkward chatting up people I don’t personally know or people I haven’t interacted with before.

I wanted to say hi but I don’t know him… what if he wouldn’t talk to me? I’m scared!! I know I need to get over my fears… trust me, it’s no easy feat. I’ve been working on it for YEARS though… *sigh*

(BTW this is why I’m very nice to EVERYONE who comes up to me because I know EXACTLY how it feels hahaha)

Anyhoo… I walked away….

And then I thought, fuck it, I HAD TO GO BACK, say hi and ask for a photo. Nothing wrong with that, right?

So I walked back…

I fumbled around on my way, trying to look for my camera in my bag thinking shiiiiiiiiittttt omg this is embarassing.

When I pulled my camera out of my bag, the battery door was open.

It was now or never.

I couldn’t find my camera batteries and I was a few feet away from Rafe and I saw him chatting to a few ladies.

Unfortunately, it was too late so I chose never.

I had no idea whether or not he saw me but all I know is that when you feel like the ground is about to swallow you alive, the best thing you could do is RUN. RUN FOR YOUR LIFE.

I ran out of the mall faster than you could say RUN LOLA RUN and called my driver to pick me up.

In the car, I called one of my friends for support and "damage control".

Damage control as in… "hello _____. do you know Rafe? OMG will you please, please tell him I saw him but I was too shy to come up so I ran away. I think he saw me and I don’t want him to think I’m rude!"

My friend told me to relax and chill out.


I asked my driver to park somewhere so I could light a cigarette and chill. I have so many things going on my mind is all over the place. I had to go to a fashion show and I didn’t have time to stop by a friend’s apartment to change clothes… so I did it in the car. It’s been a rough day alright.


I arrived at the venue seconds before my friend did so we went there together.

We were playing musical chairs for awhile and we wanted to save a few more seats for other friends who were coming.

At one point I found myself sitting on… guess who’s seat?

RAFE’S!!!!! I died right then and there.

Photo credit: Chuvaness

Some of my other friends arrived and we finally settled in our respective seats.

The show started a little late so we all had some time to chit chat.. I didn’t want to waste this opportunity so I went straight to him, said hi and politely asked for a photo.

And…. voila!

Rafe Totengco, Metrowear 2008, Manila Peninsula


Rafe was SUPER nice and he even read one of the entries I wrote in the past about one of his bags. He’s very friendly. Maybe I’ve seen far too many movies of fashion folk being too bitchy and snarky but Rafe is OMG he’s fantastic.

BTW he saw me at the mall. Craziness! I wanted to reach out for a xanax right then and there. Haha! Oh dear.

And there you have it. Another day in the life of Bryanboy frigging dot com.

Visit Rafe’s website, www.rafe.com. He also maintains a blog (which is a fashion insider favorite… both my blog pals Please Don’t Feed the Models and Gayzofourlives LOVE Rafe’s blog) called "Can I Tell You". I love Rafe!

Email me and tell me you love me. My email address is bryanboy@gmail.com.

I love you all as always!


  1. It’s very disturbing that your ankles and your legs are just as thin as your wrists and your arms.

  2. Marissa Cooper

    You rock with that Birkin! and who’s the fat chick on the left…should’ve photoshopped her away or sth lol…and I like the guy’s shoes on the right too…royal elastics…looks good~

  3. but i asked him if his blog readers could come and he said yes (so nice of him to actually reply). but i didn’t too. i got toooooooooooo shy :-|
    so you feel shy din pala! zomghahahahaha
    i wonder how you would feel if MJ wants to meet you, say for the BB bag launch?? haha :-)

  4. Edrick, of course I get shy! All the time!
    It takes a HELLUVA LOT of effort for me to talk to someone in real life. You know, I can’t even count the number of times I found myself tongue tied in social settings. This usually happens to people I **JUST** met. Nakakahiya talaga! LOL I just chalk it down to learning experience.
    It takes awhile for me to adjust but once you know me, I’m as crazy and as loonie as I can be. Literally!!! ;)
    With Marc it’s different… we talk quite often (can u believe I’ve known him for 4 months na) so that weird “barrier” is gone.

  5. Lisa from Cali

    Sweet on meeting Rafe! It’s thanks to you Bryan that I got my first Rafe bag. I actually never heard of him till you mention him on the blog. He is more well known in the East Coast obviously. But I am quite happy with the Rafe purchase I made at Nordstrom’s a year ago. Congrats again!

  6. HAHA
    that is sooo funny
    look at the guy behind rafe
    in the picture above
    Camera Whore Much ???

  7. gosssh i soo love the photos :D
    and hey your blogs are veryyy fun to read.
    cool. 8)

  8. “RAFE’S!!!!! I died right then and there.”
    bitch on the left really wanted a picture!
    next time you see a someone you like, just jump them!

  9. Marissa Cooper

    Haha Bryanboy I’m so sorry! It’s probably the angle of the photo or sth…you should post a pic of her so we can see how pretty she is~!

  10. Cristina

    just checked out rafe’s website and am LOVING the similan sisal tote with red patent leather…looks perf for the city and the beach!

  11. hey bryan.. glad you got to meet him..
    RAFE’s actually my hubbys cousin =). MIL always gives us RAFE stuff.. theyre gorgeous! loves it! =)

  12. Bakleeta Aketch

    I remember F featured Rafe. I think that was in 2004, or maybe 2005. Not sure when. They showed in that feature the bag Rafe sent to Cameron Diaz (am I right? or was it Drew Barrymore?). Ask Daphne B!

  13. hey there. I bumped into you at Kitchen greenbelt after the metrowear. It was a high to finally meet you in the flesh (or bones, since you’re skinny as hell).
    anytime you’re up for a photoshoot i’d be happy to oblige. hehehhee

  14. Hey Bryan,
    It was great meeting you as well and thank you so much for this blog entry. You’re sending all your fabulous fans to my site and hopefully to the store to…shop, what else. There’s a convertible hobo in my store that I think would be pefect for you. It comes in metallic patent sheepskin or burlap trimmed with stamped ostrich. Quite fetching if I may say so and only YOU can work it!

  15. Rafe Totengco is really a nice guy… He sometimes reads and even comments on my senseless blogs! That’s how humble he is… No wonder he is successful and blessed…

  16. brazodemercedes

    your blog are just so fun to read! :) hopefully when I see you in Greenbelt 5 I’ll gather enough courage to say hi :)

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