A luxury Italian accessories brand is launching the most expensive handbag in the world, priced at £5.3million.
Bologna-based Boarini Milanesi will produce three of the opulent Parva Mea bags, which require 1,000 hours of work each to make.
Crafted from semi-shiny alligator skin, the handbag is adorned with 10 white gold butterflies, four of which are decorated with diamonds and three with sapphires and rare paraiba tourmalines, totalling over 130 carats. It also features a diamond pavé clasp.
Its design was inspired by the ocean, and the brand intends to donate £711,950 of every bag sold to causes dedicated to ridding the world’s marine environments of plastic.
Co-founder Matteo Rodolfo Milanesi told how the bag is a tribute to his father, whom he lost when he was a teenager, and inspired by their memories of enjoying the sea.
Together with co-founder and designer Carolina Boarini, he decided to produce an accessory that would help raise awareness of the need to respect the environment.
‘We used to spend every summer at sea, between Greece and Turkey, and I was happiest when we would go on boat trips between the islands,’ he explained.
‘Even though mass tourism was still a long way off, we would often see plastic bags floating on the water or patches of tar leaked by oil tankers.
‘Recently, I have seen even more plastic in the sea than when I was a child, due to the pandemic and all the gloves and face masks that are being carelessly thrown away.
‘This reminded me of my father, who used to dive into the water to collect the plastic bags and bottles floating in the sea and help me wipe the patches of tar that I found on the beach when I was building sand castles off my hands.’
Carolina revealed the choice of stones is linked to the sea, explaining: ‘Blue sapphires represent the depths of the oceans.
‘Paraiba tourmaline reminds us of the uncontaminated Caribbean seas, and diamonds refer to the transparency of water when it falls in the form of rain.’
Boarini Milanesi was established in Italy in 2016, with an emphasis on ‘less, but better’, meaning they produce fewer items but of a high quality.
Every bag is made to order exclusively for the client, with their name embossed on the leather.
The inner structure and packaging are made from vegetable tanned leather, wool and cashmere in place of commonly used synthetic materials.
During the crafting process, the client can meet the craftsman who is creating their bag via live streaming.
The current most expensive handbag, according to the Guinness World Records, is the Mouawad 1001 Nights Diamond Purse.
The heart-shaped bag, made of 18 kt gold which is encrusted with 4,517 diamonds – 105 of them yellow, 56 pink and 4,356 colourless, is valued at £2,375,850. The bag took ten artisans more than 8,800 hours to make.
Earlier this year a diamond and white gold encrusted Himalaya Birkin bag set a new world record when it sold for £230,000.
It was made by French fashion house Hermes and is said to be the most desirable design in the world and the ‘holy grail’ for collectors.
It was bought during an online sale held by auctioneers Christie’s, which raised a total of £1.75million overall. It was the most expensive lot, selling to an anonymous buyer.
The price makes it the most expensive handbag ever bought in any online-only auction. It was also the biggest amount ever paid for a bag sold in America.
Christie’s also holds the record for handbags sold at any auction – £305,000 for another Himalaya Birkin in 2017.
The market for handbags has taken off recently with some increasing in value by as much as 40 per cent in the space of a year.