By  on June 27, 2011

NEW YORK — Furla has collaborated with Saks Fifth Avenue on a collection of luxury handbags comprising exotic and textured leathers.

Previously known for its contemporary-priced product, the 84-year-old company will enter the higher-end category for the first time. A departure from the core collection — where the majority of bags are priced at around $500 — the new offerings will retail from $1,200 to $1,900.

“This project really positions the brand in the design arena, somewhere we’ve never been,” said Furla’s chief executive officer Tommaso Bruso. “The reality is that there’s an affordable luxury problem. In the market, she [our customer] goes to work every day and she needs a designer bag — but one that can be used every day.”

The six-piece satchel collection will be available Nov. 1 exclusively at 20 Saks Fifth Avenue doors and saksfifthavenue.com. The styles range in size from small to large, and each bag comes with an additional strap so the wearer has the option of converting the bag into a cross-body style. In addition to two python options — one is gray-based and the other brown-based — the textured and smooth full-grain leather satchels come in black, white, brown, metallic bronze, orange, red and blue.

Bruso said it was the long-standing relationship the brand has with Saks Fifth Avenue — it was one of the first retailers to carry Furla in the U.S. in the Eighties — that really helped bring this line to fruition. The store defined what it perceived the customer wanted in terms of shapes and hardware, and Bruso was able to take this information and translate it to the brand’s design team in Italy.

“Our teams have been working diligently for the past year to bring this collection to life. The aesthetic of the handbags are modern and chic, with exceptional craftsmanship,” said Cody Kondo, Saks Fifth Avenue’s senior vice president and general merchandising manager of accessories.

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