By  on October 20, 2008

San Francisco accessories company Helena de Natalio is driven by the premise that a bag is only as good as its materials.

Following a stint in the Peace Corps working in the small Paraguayan town of Natalio, founder and designer Helen Hoppock Lubetkin moved to Buenos Aires and began working with Argentinian leather. The quality of the leather so inspired her that about a year ago she decided to launch a full-blown Bohemianinspired handbag line.

“The leather was too good to pass up,” says 29-year-old Hoppock Lubetkin. “If you have a design and you don’t have the right material, it is worthless.”

The bags are priced from around $218 to $500 at retail and are carried by more than 50 specialty boutiques, including Bettina Duncan at Fred Segal, Verve, Mint Julep and Jennifer Kaufman.

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