The world’s most expensive handbag bag from Boarini Milanesi has an interesting history.
When Matteo Rodolfo Milanesi was a child, he used to spend every summer at sea with his father, traversing the islands between Turkey and Greece. He says that those trips were the happiest moments of his childhood, but they were marred by a certain problem – floating plastic bags and patches of tar floating on the waters.
Research has shown that 8million metric tons of plastic find their way to the ocean every year, a number that has now doubled with the advent of the Coronavirus that has seen the world use more plastic than ever in form of PPEs, takeouts and groceries. Pre-COVID, plastic polluting our oceans and killing the life therein was a problem. In COVID times, it is fast becoming a crisis.
“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 on the sea and help me wipe the patches of tar that I found on the beach when I was building sandcastles off my hands,” says Milanesi.
His solution to this problem? A 6 million euro bag (approximately 7 million USD) created to raise awareness on the need to protect our seas, which are becoming even more threatened than usual by non-biodegradable plastics due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Matteo Rodolfo Milanesi is the co-founder of, and co-designer at Italian bespoke luxury leather handbag brand, Boarini Milanesi, founded in Bologna in 2016 “to celebrate Italian elegance, exceptional craftsmanship and the uniqueness of every client.”
The Boarini Milanesi handbag, currently the most expensive in the world, is a Parva Mea model limited to only three pieces. It is made of a semi-shiny alligator in aquamarine blue as an ode to the ocean and adorned with a diamond pavé accessory as well as 10 white gold butterflies with sapphires, diamonds and Paraiba tourmalines, which all come to a total of over 130 carats. Requiring over 1000 hours of painstaking work, this $7million handbag is designed in collaboration with co-founder and designer, Carolina Boarini.
Says Boarini of the bag’s design, “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”.
Part of the proceeds from the handbag (800 thousand euros; approximately 950 thousand USD) will go to cleaning the seas and operations in defence of the marine environment.