Italy is known for its impeccable style which includes fashion and accessories like sunglasses, shoes and handbags. Italy has a long legacy of artisanship and a slow fashion philosophy thanks to its quality materials and talented craftsman who pass down their knowledge from generation to generation. As Italy insiders, we’ve spent years exploring cities up and down the boot to find the best local designers crafting timeless accessories. Here are our favorite Italian designers creating chic handbags with natural materials, recycled leather and more.
Milaner, a brand that produces small batch, vintage-inspired luxury goods, works with select artisans in Italy and France to create elegant designs. Their signature handwoven Vachetta leather tote bag is our go-to year-round: it comes in an oversized version for travel, and smaller models for afternoons in town. But we also love Milaner’s chic bags for summer, including the Rachel Wicker Bag and Morgan Raffia Bag. Incidentally, these handbags are named after our friends Rachel and Morgan who created The Italy Edit’s Rome Wellness Guide.
We discovered FRP Collection on Instagram and have been obsessed since we first came across its stylish designs that pair soft grained calfskin leather with crochet weaving. The brand was founded by Francesca Romana Palermo whose Nonna Maria taught her how to knit and crochet. After working with luxury brands, Francesca set off to create her own collection of accessories that incorporated woven raffia into the designs. The handbags come in a variety of pretty shades like teal and lilac and come in a number of silhouettes. We’re fans of the Emma bucket bag and the Maddalena basket bag.
Maria La Rosa
A Milanese brand founded by Maria La Rosa and now run together with her two daughters, this family-run business takes inspiration from Sicily’s artisanal techniques and applies them to create contemporary accessories. The brand’s philosophy eschews “following trends” in favor of supporting historic weaving techniques to create knit, macramé, crochet and embroidered items. Maria La Rosa has a myriad of small bags and clutches that are perfect for dinner dates or special events (like the ribbon woven Game clutch and the Tricot Game).
Iacobella is a Florentine company born after designer Iacobella Gaetani traveled to South America in 2019. There, she was inspired to create an Italian version of the Colombian “Mochila” bag, a woven design made by indigenous artisans. Iacobella is a brand rooted in sustainability and the limited-edition designs are made by by recycling unused leather scraps that would otherwise go to waste. Each piece is handmade, versatile and built to last.
Le Pochette di Martina
An ambitious brand that recycles unused materials of all shapes and sizes, La Pochette di Martina is an artisanal brand that produces one-of-a-kind pieces. The bags come in a variety of styles, from tote bags in Jacquard print or terry cloth to Mini Moon bags with silk fabrics and bamboo handles. All bags are made on-demand in Tuscany, and orders must be placed via Whatsapp (details are available on the website).
A Roman brand known for its comfortable ballerina flats, Marta Ray also produces really affordable leather handbags in a dozens of bright colors. Named after the brand’s Polish founder Marta Ratajczak who settled in Rome in 2001, the brand has three stores in Rome and one in Florence. Marta Ray’s handbags are buttery soft and easy to wear, so you’ll surely find yourself reaching for them over and over again.
If you’re looking for classic Italian handbags at an honest price, be sure to check out Amira Bags. A collaboration between Roman-born Maria Cristina Gasche and her father Uberto Gasche, a photographer, the brand is perfect for timeless essentials. Amira produces bucket bags and shopping bags in a variety of all colors, making them suitable for any season. Check out the brand’s Instagram @amira__bags for additional styles.
A leather goods workshop dating back to 1865, Tramontano represents the creativity and craftsmanship of Naples. The brand has over 600 models in its archives and made by hand, from woven handbags and silk clutches to belts, luggage and other accessories. We love how Tramontano adds an innovative spin to traditional designs, creating unexpected handbags that are fresh and timeless.