TRUSS founders Elise Durbecq and Gillian Tozer met in 2013 while working at Opening Ceremony in New York. Born in Mexico City and Melbourne, respectively, the pair quickly decided that they wanted to work on a creative project together—one that combined their mutual values of beautiful design, beverages, and importantly, positive social impact, focusing primarily on the education and empowerment of women. While on vacation in Oaxaca, a (magical) city where Elise spent much of her childhood, they spotted the traditional handwoven totes at the local market. Excited by the bright colors and beautiful construction of the bags, the more Elise and Gillian learned of the bags’ woven technique and the communities who made them, the more their little project together became apparent.
TRUSS currently has over 18 styles—ranging from nighttime accessories to oversized luggage totes—and combines the work of a large artisan network spanning Oaxaca State, Leon in Guanajuato, and with the Huichol community of Northern Mexico. TRUSS prides itself on being a conscientious support system within the Oaxacan weaving community. In addition to this, TRUSS donates to the women’s foundation Fondo Guadalupe Musalem and their work to educate and empower young Oaxacan women. Fondo Guadalupe Musalem’s goal is to ensure education for indigenous girls with underprivileged backgrounds, who have demonstrated a high commitment to their education.