It girls and editors alike flocked to the SoHo House on Thursday to see the coveted Maria’s Bag collection come to life. Just ahead of New York Fashion Week, the afternoon introduced Maria’s Bag to the Manhattan social scene.

Guests included Harley Viera-Newton, Arden Wohl, Atlanta de Cadenet, and Tennessee Thomas. Founded by former Miss Guatemala Alida Boer, Maria’s Bag gives back to their native community through the creation of uniquely handcrafted textiles. Inspired by the idea of giving back, Alida honed in her entrepreneurial, philanthropic and creative instincts to develop a business model that could empower women from every social class. She began training a small group of women in a small Guatemalan village in the art of sewing, embroidery and design. Some of the women were on hand to demonstrate the making of Maria’s Bag. 

Ultimately, Maria’s Bag is a collection that gives back to the community through more than beautiful accessories.Many of the women behind the bags are mothers who do not have jobs and use their art as therapy for themselves as well as to preserve their culture and roots. Additionally, a portion of the income from Maria’s Bag goes to a school in Guatemala to provide children with free education and meals.

[Photos by Ann Presley]