Vive Ninette: Italian Island Style

MILAN–Italian creativity mixed with Indonesian craftsmanship makes for great dinner conversation, not to mention an unforgettable handbag. Especially when you consider that the bags are crafted in an atelier in the humid Balinese jungle and the leather is woven by women sitting Indian-style and chatting while they work, under the shade of palm trees.

When 37-year-old Elena “Nina” Urraci tired of her job as a child model casting director, she and her Italian surfer boyfriend Alessio decided to leave Milan for the pareo-darted shores of Bali.

“I was really over it. I was really ready for something completely new,” Urraci said.

Urraci never really detoxed herself from the fashion world.  Not too long after integrating into the European expat circle in Bali, she and Alessio decided to start a casually chic bag company called Vive Ninette.

One of the aspects of the bags that really sets the small clutches, duffels and weekend bags apart is that the batik fabrics are hand picked in local markets or traditional shops on the island.

And then there is the leather…

Since Bali is a Hindu province, the cow is sacred, and so Urraci goes to nearby Java to purchase the leather.

While the bags do not bear a glossy, finished “European” look, the natural defects show that each piece of leather cannot be replicated and that every bag is truly one of a kind.

“My bags are a little gypsy, perfect for a girl who is always on the go,” Urraci said.

–Sofia Celeste


WHO: Elena “Nina” Urraci, Vive Ninette


HOW MUCH: EUR120 for smaller clutches and up to EUR420 for weekend bags

HEADQUARTERS: Bali, Indonesia


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