Made In Italy Leather Handbags

High style, flawless finish, impeccable quality, irresistible style and timeless elegance – all these sobriquets float into the mind with many more jostling for space when you talk of 100% Italian pure leather bags i.e. made in Italy from hide tanning to design to manufacturing, and. Ask any high priest of fashion or the diva of the uber chic, and they will tell you without even an iota of hesitation that when it comes to handbags, a genuine ‘Made in Italy’ leather handbag is the only thing worth carrying on your arm whatever the occasion or the time of day.

However if you are curious or simply need more convincing, here’s a look at what makes ‘Made in Italy’ leather handbags the ultimate in attracting oohs and ahs from the style gods and goddesses of the world.

Milan: The Fashion Capital of the World for Handbags and More

Everyone who knows anything about high fashion knows that the Italian city of Milan is one of the big four of global fashion (London, Paris and New York are the other three) and the veritable nerve centre of the designer world. Not surprising when you realize that august brands like Versace, Valentino, Ferragamo, Bottega Veneta, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Cavalli, Fendi, Gucci and Armani are all based in Milan. These are the names that command high premiums for their products including leather handbags. However while Milan is undoubtedly the global fashion hub, do you know where these high fashion gurus source their leather goods from? Let me tell you. Milan may be the showcase but when it comes to leather, the historical city of Florence and the rest of Tuscany which is where Florence is located, are the real hotspots. Yes, top designer brands of the world sources not just leather but manufacturing of leather goods as well from Tuscany, the steeped-in-history region of Italy that’s world’s largest centre for top quality leather processing and manufacturing.

Florence, Tuscany: The Leather Hub for Milan

If you think Florence is mostly about monumental glories of Renaissance art and architecture, you are quite right, of course, but beyond the old masters, piazzas and cathedrals of Florence, there is another thing Florence has been world famous for down the centuries. Yes, you got it right at the first guess; we are talking about real Italian leather. For hundreds of years (and long before Milan rose on the world fashion map), Florence’s tanners, artisans and leather craftsmen were dressing up European royalty. The ‘Made in Italy’ handbags that people the world over covet with such desire are rooted in that timeless tradition that once was the toast of the high aristocracy across Europe. Now of course, their mantle has been inherited by the celebrities with high star power.

100% Italian leather: The Best there Is

Why is a genuine ‘Made in Italy’ handbag is an automatic and unspoken introduction of your sophistication and high taste? We will elaborate. Italian leather is made from the best quality cowhides. The quality control over the entire process is super stringent. The leather processing (tanning, as it is called) is mostly manual and done through time tested traditional methods, often with tanning recipes handed down like family secrets from father to son. The leather is full grain (the finest quality) and as one leading designer puts it, ‘Tuscan leatherworkers treat leather like silk’. The end result is soft as feathers and smooth as butter swathes of leather. Italian leather is not just high reputation, it is impeccable performance as well as it never cracks or discolours. It is this leather that’s passed onto leather artisans for manufacturing of high quality products including handbags.

Italian Design: Unrivalled in style

Italian design and style need no convincing. Look at catwalks and fashion mags across the globe, or watch what top celebrities are wearing and you will see Italian designer labels’ predominance. Check their handbags and again, you will see most of them carrying Italian labels. In any case, even if the brand is housed at some other fashion centre, the leather will still be pure Italian and sourced from Tuscany.

Italian Craftsmanship: Unrivalled in finesse

Gucci, Armani, Prada and many more top brands have their leather goods manufacturing facilities in Tuscany is their only place of choice for best quality leatherwork. Under the watchful eyes and painstaking precision of Tuscan leatherworkers, the best quality leather goods are made. Indeed, the quality of work of super skilled Tuscan leather artisans is incomparable. That’s the reason top labels make a beeline for Tuscany either to set up their own production units, or to source from well established business houses of the region.

Made in Italy Leather handbags: Price and worth

In terms of Italian leather handbags, the best things in life are certainly not free nor anywhere in close proximity of budget friendliness. However if were to talk in terms of value for money or worth, real ‘Made in Italy’ handbags are worth every penny you shell out. Yes, spending hundreds (or thousands) of dollars on one genuine article is worth ten (and more) of those bought from elsewhere. Keep a real Italian leather handbag and an imitation from any corner of the world next to each other and you will see why the Italian counterpart is worth its weight in gold and the pretender is nothing but brass, to state it metaphorically.

If you are a penny pincher and a style disaster, a Made in Italy handbag is not for you. However if you love to get best value for your money and care about the impression you create, there is only one type of handbag that should find its way to your wardrobe (and your hands). Yes, you have got it right. You should be the proud owner of a 100% Made in Italy handbag.


Story Of Handbags: Kelly Bag

Kelly Bag

The Kelly bag, previously known as the Sac à dépêches, is style of handbag designed by Hermès International S.A, a high-fashion, luxury-goods manufacturer based in Paris.  It is named after celebrity Grace Kelly, who is credited with popularizing the bag.  As of 2010, Hermès International designs 32 styles of handbags, of which the Kelly is the best seller.


The bag has its origins in a prototype saddle holder that was introduced in 1892.  This original type of bag was known as a Haut à courroies.  In 1923, the bag was redesigned in order to make it more compact, though it still served its original purpose as a saddle bag.  In 1930 it saw another redesign, which converted the saddle holder into a travel bag.  This redesign took on the name Sac à dépêches and was the first iteration of a bag that resembles the modern day Kelly bag.

In 1954 the bag first saw public exposure in the Alfred Hitchcock film To Catch a Thief.  A Sac à dépêches was purchased among other accessories as a prop for the film, which starred Grace Kelly.  Kelly retained the accessory, and was later photographed with it while pregnant in 1956.  This picture made the cover of Life magazine, and is credited with enabling the bag to be popularized.  By the time the bag was officially renamed in 1977, it was already commonly known as the Kelly bag.  The original Sac à Dépêches owned by Grace Kelly is now considered a famous item, and is featured prominently in fashion exhibitions.


The bag itself is made out of leather, and possesses a trapezium shape.  It is able to balance vertically on four studs mounted on the bottom, and is closed with two straps.  The bottom is made of three layers of leather, and the studs and clasps are made out of white or yellow gold.

Manufacturing and Sales

One Kelly bag requires around 25 hours of handicraft by a single artisan, which makes the bag very labor intensive to produce.  As a result of this, there are often long wait lists to purchase a Kelly bag.  This has also resulted in heightened prices as demand increased over the decades.  As of 1990, a Kelly bag cost about $3500 USD; as of 2016, one costs anywhere from $10,000 USD to $12,000 USD.