Phia Xao is the Hmong giant necklace often worn during the Hmong New Year or special occasions. In ancient times, Phia Xaos were made of pure silver and crafted in various sizes. Typically, the size of the Phia Xao symbolizes one's status and wealth.
I bought my very first Phia Xao in the early 2000s. I was so happy, considering it took twenty-two years following my mother's passing to get one finally. I vividly remember whispering to the heavens, letting my mother know of my newfound treasure.
While designing my shoulder bag, I wanted to incorporate the Phia Xao but needed to know how. One day, I thought about my time in the nail salon industry. I realized my clients preferred a more conservative approach. While they occasionally indulged in nail art for special events like birthdays, weddings, or holidays, their day-to-day choices leaned towards neutral and timeless tones. But sometimes, my clients enjoyed experimenting with pastels in spring and brighter, even neon, shades in summer, and as autumn and winter approached, they embraced deeper hues while still maintaining a preference for neutral shades. Even those with a penchant for elaborate nail art, including professionals in various beauty fields and celebrities, often opted for a more minimalist style. Using these insights, I decided to remove the swirl lines, flowers, and hoops from the upper corners of the Phia Xao to achieve a sleek and contemporary appearance for my Tiffanie Lee logo.
Art, in all its forms, serves as a unique mode of expression, acting as a universal language that forges connections and grants individuals the freedom to convey their innermost sentiments. That is my goal in creating this shoulder bag. I am honored to share my creation with you, and I sincerely hope you will share it with your loved ones.