Usugumo the Cat Bag | Wicker Darling


Usugumo the Cat! Based on our original Oscar the Cat design, but in new colours and featuring a sweet little bell on the collar and the addition of wiry whiskers at the nose! Usugumo comes with a detachable crossbody strap and has enough space for your phone, purse, keys, sunnies and other smaller odds and ends!

We've named this particular kitty after an oiran, whose love for her heroic cat is believed to have (maybe!) inspired the waving cat statues (maneki-neko) famous in Japan. As the story goes, Usugumo, a high ranking oiran, had a cat she was particularly fond of and carried with her everywhere. 

One day, when visiting the bathroom, her cat began to act strangely, hissing and clawing at Usugumo and preventing her from using the bathroom. Witnessing the cat's behaviour, a man presumed the cat was attacking Usugumo and swiftly drew his sword and beheaded the cat. The cat's head flew into the bathroom, where it sunk its teeth into and killed a huge venomous snake that had been hiding near the toilet ... and saving Usugumo's life.

Usugumo was devastated by the loss of her beloved cat, so to ease her loss and commemorate this heroic cat, a statue was made in the image of the cat. The statue was so lifelike and popular, that copies were made and subsequently sold in Asakusa markets ... which some say is the origin of maneki neko statues! 

FYI: Usugumo's ears have been gently handsewn to the head to allow movement/preventing breakage when the bags are shipped and posted! It is completely normal for them to move and bend. 

Product Details

Product Measurements: Usugumo is 35cm from nose to backside (this does not include her luxurious tail!), 29cm top of highest point to base of paw, and a resplendent 54cm around the belly! Usable length (for bag contents) is approximately 23cm long by 54cm.

Materials: rattan, leather, cotton

Lining/ internal shape: will fit sunglasses, smart phone, wallet, and other smaller items such as keys, tissue, lippy etc.

All handbags will arrive with a hand signed collector card and a bespoke dust bag for storage, and a detachable, adjustable leather crossbody strap.

*Please be aware Usugumo's ears are handsewn to the head to provide flexibility and movement, preventing breakages during shipping and posting. It is completely normal for the ears to move and bend.

Care Instructions

Keep me looking my best

Please treat your wicker handbag with care and common sense. 

You can increase its lifespan by:

  • Storing in a dry, shady location, in the supplied dustbag
  • Limiting exposure to grease and oils (such as moisturiser, perfume and sunscreen)
  • Avoiding crowded storage spaces, excessive moisture and excessive, prolonged sunlight (like near a window)
  • Lightly dusting it down with a feather duster or clean, dry paintbrush
  • For deeper cleaning, we recommend using a very lightly dampened cotton cloth to gently blot clean, followed by air drying in a shaded location. 

    Shipping Information

    Yes, we ship worldwide!

    Shipping on all orders is free and includes tracking and insurance in case of loss or damage during transit. 

    In stock items are collected from our warehouse once a week (usually Thursday or Friday) for shipping, pending Australia Post availability. As we're based in Australia, it can take anywhere from 1-4 weeks for your order to make its way to you.

    Your order is packaged up as safely as can be, and you can rest assured that even if the postage box shows up looking less than pristine, your bag should remain unscathed.

    Please be aware we have no say in whether Australia Post chooses to pay out insurance. If subsequent deliveries are required due to postage issues (including but not limited to: non-delivery, return to sender, or any other situation that is out of our control) the cost of postage will be the responsibility of the customer.

    Please note customs tariffs, taxes or duties are the responsibility of the recipient. We are unable to mark down the value of your purchase on custom declarations, please do not request we do so.

    Payment Plans

    Spread out the cost with Afterpay or PayPal Pay in 4.

    Still have Questions?

    Statement bags that speak volumes

    They’re pure joy in bag form, designed to spark delight and start conversations!

    Rarer than hen’s teeth

    Our menagerie of ridiculously whimsical wicker characters are created in limited-edition numbers, so they remain a rarity in the wild. Each one even comes with a hand-numbered collector card!

    Handcrafted with care

    Every bag is weaved by hand, using traditional techniques that help keep Filipino craft traditions alive, and create employment opportunities in their communities.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    For more detailed information, please view our detailed FAQs page.

    Where are your bags made, and what from?

    Our bags are handmade by our female-run, family-owned ateliers in the Philippines! 

    They’re made from sustainable rattan (wicker refers to the method of weaving, rattan is the material). Rattan is a naturally renewable palm which can be sustainably harvested, which makes it an environmentally friendly alternative to forest logging. 

    Our rattan is harvested by hand, from local farmers and co-ops - minimising carbon footprint while supporting local growers. 

    This cultivation, harvest and use of rattan provides livelihoods to people throughout Asia and helps keep traditional Filipino craftsmanship alive. 

    The bags are lined with either linen (sourced from flax), or cotton (sourced from ... cotton).

    Can you explain how your products are ethically produced?

    We aim to reduce our environmental footprint as much as possible, and to provide meaningful, fairly paid employment opportunities to our Filipino artisans. 

    That’s why our bags are crafted from sustainably, ethically harvested rattan sourced from local co-ops and farms. This supports their communities and minimises the distance the materials travel. 

    The rattan used is sustainably grown, harvested by hand, and any by-products are composted. 

    They’re then woven by talented people skilled in traditional techniques, keeping the craft alive and creating employment and micro-business opportunities in marginalised communities. 

    What are material substitutions?

    Due to unavoidable material shortages and supply delays, our ateliers may occasionally need to substitute materials during production, leading to differences between the sample and finished bags. 

    Usually these will be minor, such as substitutions to hardware on bags. 

    Where we feel a substitution is significant (such as different colour leather strap), we will contact you to confirm if you’re happy to go ahead or would prefer to cancel your order.

    Is the uneven dye or fraying on my bag a flaw?

    Because our items are handcrafted from natural materials, each and every bag will have minor differences — whether it's in the wicker, leather work, placement of finishings such as ears, eyes and tails, or in the dyeing of the raffia. 

    These are not faults, but rather a signature of hand craftsmanship from natural materials. These characteristics are part of what makes our small batch items a unique and limited edition piece of art.

    Can I request a customisation to my bag?

    No, we are unable to offer custom changes to our bags, no matter how large or small. It creates a logistical nightmare along the entire line, from us having to keep track of who has ordered which change, to the production manager, atelier, workers etc who have to track that one bag different from the rest. We respectfully ask that you don't request customisations to your individual bag, as the answer will always be a hard no. 

    Why do you retire older designs?

    One of the best things about a Wicker Darling bag is knowing it’s a (delightful) rarity to see them in the wild. 

    Unlike a mass produced piece you’ll see everywhere, they’re designed to be limited edition and exclusive. Each one even comes with a hand-numbered collectors card!

    That’s why we typically retire our older designs once they've been released a couple of times (or if the first release was particularly huge).

    We’ve also been known to release retired designs, with a fresh look, so if you have your heart set on a past bag, keep your eyes peeled.

    See what other Darlings had to say:

    Customer Reviews

    Based on 1 review
    Aliza Olson

    Excellent in every way, meets all of my expectations, even the packaging was fun. Perfection!

    Like a flamingo on a unicycle, you balance life's absurdities with a graceful flamboyance.