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Tef Tef

This is a post I have been excited to write for some time as it allows me to reminisce on a very special time in my life. I was in my 20’s and ready for adventure so I moved from Australia to Hong Kong for a few years. It was exciting, rewarding and most definitely life changing. I could talk for hours about my love of Hong Kong but will try to stay on track as I introduce you to a talented woman that I met there and her beautiful brand.

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Photography by William Furniss for “THE PENINSULA” magazine.


I was invited to a handbag launch in a very cool little bar known as Petticoat Lane. Petticoat Lane was unique, mysterious and at the time one of the first bars in Central (Hong Kong) to move away from Lan Kwai Fong and into Soho, which is now teaming with bars and nightlife. Sandrine, a beautiful French friend of mine, had invited me to the launch and as we walked in I knew I was in for a real treat. The most exquisite bags were presented like precious jewels on viewing tables for a private showing in this amazing baroque decor bar. I was instantly captivated. The brand was Tef Tef and the artisan behind the brand happened to be a friend on Sandrine’s. Her name was Tomoko Okamura and although we didn’t realise it at the time, that introduction opened up a business relationship that would span for over a decade.

When the epiphany hit me to start my own business, Tef Tef was one of the first brands that I wanted to work with. Tomoko was still in the early stages of building Tef Tef and so we related instantly on so many levels. I returned to Australia and starting fitting out my showroom in the Hunter Valley Vineyards and soon after Monsoon Living opened its doors. Although Furniture and Homewares has always been our focus, a stunning range of Tef Tef bags and clutches have always been heavily featured. I love them as much today as I did all of those years ago in Petticoat Lane.

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Tomoko has had many successes with Tef Tef over the years. From major luxury retailer ‘On Pedder’ featuring the Tef Tef range of bags alongside the likes of leading designers Jimmy Choo, Marc Jacobs and Lambertson Truex on their department store shelves, to smaller retailers representing the brand in her native country of Japan.

The quality is sublime. The design and detail aspirational. A Tef Tef clutch is something special and in case you were wondering, Tef Tef is an old Japanese word meaning “butterfly”.

To view the range in more detail, please follow this link through to our shop.

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Product photography by Hannah Rose.


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