What is the Most Expensive Bag in the World?
Photo: Robert Report

When it comes to luxury handbags to invest in for life, the Hermès Birkin and Chanel 2.55 frequently appear top of mind. Then there’s rare, exotic pieces that fetch handsome amounts at auctions, like the Himalaya Niloticus Crocodile Birkin or vintage Louis Vuitton trunks.

With that said, it may come as a surprise that the most expensive bag in the world as of November 2020 isn’t from Hermes, Chanel or Louis Vuitton. You probably haven’t even heard of the brand…until now.

Enter Italian luxury handbag Maison Boarini Milanesi, which has just unveiled a €6 million (approximately US$7.18 million) bag to raise awareness of the need to protect our oceans. Dubbed Parva Mea, the bag is crafted from semi-shiny alligator skin embellished with 10 white gold butterflies and a diamond-paved clasp.

Four of the butterflies are adorned with diamonds, whilst another three are set with sapphire and the rest with Paraiba tourmalines – totaling over 130 carats. The unique design and choice of gems were inspired by the sea, reflecting the brand’s commitment to donate €800,000 of every bag sold to rid the world’s marine environments of plastic.

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The world's most expensive handbag has been created to help raise awareness of ocean pollution

The item costs €6m (£5.3m), with €800,000 (£714,000) of the proceeds going towards operations to clean the seas.

Made of semi-shiny alligator, the bag is embellished with a diamond pavé accessory and 10 white gold butterflies with sapphires, diamonds, and Paraiba tourmalines, for a total of over 130 carats.

It takes 1,000 hours to make each bag, and there are only three of them available.

The luxury Italian brand, Boarini Milanesi, that came up with the bag is concerned about the impact of non-biodegradable plastics on marine conservation.

"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," said the company's co-founder Matteo Rodolfo Milanesi.

What is the Most Expensive Bag in the World?
Boarini Milanesi co-founders Matteo Rodolfo Milanesi & Carolina Boarini. Photo: First Classe

The bag was inspired by memories of his father, who was committed to clean water and who died when Mr. Milanesi was a teenager.

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"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 said.

"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."

His father used to dive into the water to retrieve the bags and bottles on the surface. He said his dad also used to help him wipe patches of tar off his hands while he was making sandcastles on the beach.

The brand's co-founder Carolina Boarini said: "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."

As the current Guinness World Record for the most expensive bag is the US$3.8 million Mouawad 1001 Nights Diamond Purse, the US$7 million price tag on the Parva Mea effectively trumps the record for the title.

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