Tell us about yourself. “My family is of Italian descent but I was born in Porto Alegre, the capital of Rio Grande do Sul, in the south of Brazil. As a child I spent a lot of time with my maternal grand­mother, playing in her wardrobe with her jewels, dresses and accessories – I think that is where my love of accessories began and it drew me to design. I graduated in industrial design in Brazil and learnt Italian for a year so that I could go to Milan when I was 21, to do my master’s in fashion accessories at the Istituto Marangoni.”

How does your heritage play out in your designs? “I am a mix of Brazilian soul and Italian luxury handcraftsmanship. I bring the colours, the light, the mixing of materials from Brazil. I remember the colours of the landscape and the way I played with colour as a child.”

How has the use of artisanal craftsmanship become part of your design DNA? “The Italians know about luxury and it is important that the quality of handcrafts­man­ship found in Italy keeps challenging me. I have used intarsia leather inlay techniques on my handbags for six years and I love pushing the artisans I work with in Milan with new ideas.”

How has street-style photography played a role in your success? “It was perfect timing. I launched my business in 2010, just before street style started to have visibility, and I was getting the right handbags on the right people like [editor-at-large at Vogue Japan] Anna Dello Russo, [Russian ‘it’ girl] Miroslava Duma, [socialite] Olivia Palermo, blogger J.J. Martin and, more recently, [models] Liu Wen and Bella Hadid.”

Why do you think women buy so many bags? “I don’t know if women are buying more bags than they used to, but I think of handbags as your partner in crime; they know all your secrets. I think women wear heels to seduce men and they buy handbags to show off to other women. The shoe is feminine and sexy and completes your silhouette while a handbag gives you power. There is no such thing as the ‘it’ bag any more: it is now about diversity, so why stop at one handbag when you can express yourself with more.”