By  on November 15, 2010

As an avid handbag collector and world traveler, Andria Mitsakos is well aware that pieces in exotic skins bearing the Made in Italy seal come at a price. So Mitsakos, who owns her own luxury travel public relations firm, spent last summer in Italy armed with the challenge of designing her own line of exotic skin handbags, all made in Milan, without the premier designer price. The result is Dea Rosa, named for her grandmother Rose, a collection of 18 styles launching for spring that wholesales from $225 to $920. Retailers include Jamie in Nashville and Debut in New York, as well as several hotel shops.

All the styles are made from python, crocodile and select lizards — no water snake, which has become popular in the lower-priced exotic skin sector. Mitsakos says she’s able to control the prices by being conservative with the amount of skin used on each style. Each croc bag, for example, uses only one skin. The palette is clean, and the shapes evocative of the classic elegance of Italian screen sirens like Sophia Loren and Claudia Cardinale.

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