Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Given that it's Fashion week in New York City this week, I thought this story was timely!
Mauro Orietta Carella, a former medical student turned handbag designer, came up with the idea of injecting A-list handbags with the kind of chemicals normally injected into A-list faces. (Source: Yorkshire Evening Post)
The Italian has become famous in fashion circles for giving stars like Madonna, Jennifer Lopez and Eva Longoria handbags as soft, supple and as lovingly tended as their own faces.
The bags are made from exotic skins like python and crocodile which are suede-lined and then injected with silicone and resin fillers to keep them flexible and crease-free. The plump, supple and smooth appearance of the leathers has earned them the appropriate name, "Botox bags".
Mauro said: "Skins like this can become hard and can dry and flake over time so I decided to treat them this way to keep them at their best forever. I was a medical student for many years and my interest was always in the skin, so I applied the knowledge I learned then to my new work."I realized accidentally the similar characteristics between human skin and crocodile skin. The crucial problem exists of how to maintain the skin's hydration and create softness."I injected skins with a mixture of silicone and resin and ten hours later the change was astonishing. My formula puts an end to stiff shiny crocodile bags and creates something soft and strong."
Mauro's handbags, made for the company Zagliani where he works as creative director, first appeared two years ago and instantly revived interest in the Italian label. From being a brand known for its classic handbags made from luxury animal skins it has became a high-fashion favorite with eager customers joining waiting lists to buy Mauro’s designs. He works in Italy with master craftsmen but his bags are now being sold by Harvey Nichols in Leeds and Mauro has visited the city to launch the range.
He said: "I am happy that my bags are being used by celebrities but I get even more satisfaction seeing women who are not famous using them. Women have such busy lives with so many aspects to them, and they always have to try to look good and be organized. If I can help with that then I am very happy."
His most famous design is the Puffa bag, which sells for £1,575 in Harvey Nichols.
The designer lives in Milan but was educated in Japan. He said: "I like to create timeless pieces and I think this is probably a Japanese influence. Customers often have to wait for my bags but they understand when I explain why. "The skins are a natural product and the number of skins we can buy is carefully controlled. It is natural for humans to use animal skins but we have to make sure the balance of nature is preserved."
Mauro likes to mix his designs with bright colors and produces bags in colors including gold, silver and electric blue. "People think they don't want color but then they see the metallic bags and end up ordering one of them," he said.
Now I don’t know if I will ever be one of the "lucky ones" to own a bag like this, let alone touch one, but if I win the lottery I would definitely consider purchasing one!
Happy fashion week!