You knew he did it all, but handbag design, too? Yes, Leonardo da Vinci, the true Renaissance man, believed to have made this sketch in 1497, which was first discovered among thousands of drawings, that were probably part of the Codex Atlanticus, in 1978 by Leonardo scholar Carlo Pedretti. Little could da Vinci have known that more than 5 centuries later, his sketch would be produced into a luxury handbag, called La Pretiosa (precious). And precious it will be, sold in a very limited edition of only 99, due out this March.
According to art historian Alessandro Vessozi, director of the Museo Ideale in Leonardo’s birthplace, who helped to reassemble the drawing with fellow expert Agnese Sabato, “Leonardo designed several fashion accessories, but this bag is pretty unique. It blends beauty and functionality in a very harmonious way. The Pretiosa is the expression of modern technique and aesthetics and, at the same time, embodies a provocative idea conceived together with the Leonardo da Vinci Ideal Museum.”
The design of the calfskin bag based on Leonardo’s drawing has been refined by Carla Braccialini and produced by Florence-based Gherardini, known for their traditional leather accessories since 1885. The name might sound familiar if you know about Lisa Gherardini. She is believed to have been Leonardo’s inspiration and humble model for the Mona Lisa (La Giaconda) and lived in Florence’s San Lorenzo area, steps away from the leather markets.
The bag is a true homage to the city’s history, famous leather craftsmanship, and proof that a historic design can be interpreted into a modern day fashion icon. The bag was recently unveiled during Florence’s grand annual fashion event, Pitti Immagine 81.