I f there's one handbag name you need to add to your collection it's Ximena Kavalekas. The eponymous Italian-made, Miami-based brand, which specialises in python skin is an emerging brand that has entered the market with a collection of achingly cool carry-alls that get people talking. Here's why...
Exotic skins have sparked a growing trend in the accessories industry over the past few years. Tell us about the skins you use?
Our skins are from Pythons that are farmed and treated with special vitamins to become extremely light-weight, rich in colour and water resistant.
Ximena the brand produces a selection of intensely dyed box bags. How do you decide on the colors and is there a running theme?
I choose the colours according to the season or create a colour according to how I feel! I have a variety of finishes for the skins from airbrushed to hand painted and even a 14k gold spray. The shapes for the box bags are a combination of different objects that have inspired me including a perfume box, binoculars' bag and a jewellery box.
What's the story of the box bag?
Every box bag, depending on its shape, takes four to six days to make by an artisan. The process is quite unique. I call them my little pieces of jewellery.
Who is the woman behind the designs?
I studied and lived in Florence, Italy for six years. Today I live in Miami and I'm married to a wonderful Greek man, have two beautiful kids and two adorable puppies.
There's quite a few female handbag designers based in Dubai now. What's your view on the pieces that are coming from the region?
I admire all sort of designers. Art is quite complex and unique and if you have the courage to create something and turn it into a business and on top of that you're a female, you are admirable!
What's one thing people need to know about the brand?
The brand is me, Ximena Kavalekas. It encompasses a lot of my experiences, influences, creative drive and style. Also, social responsibility is important to me. Part of our sales goes to the Fish and Wildlife Foundation in Florida. We support the Python Patrol too, which is trying to protect the Everglades ecosystem from an overpopulation of Pythons, a species invasive to South Florida.
What's next for the brand?
I don't have a plan, but I have lots of dreams. For the time being I plan to expand around the world and the Middle East of course.
Ximena Kavalekas bags are currently shipped worldwide and can purchased online at ximenakavalekas.com.