The world’s most expensive handbag has been created to help raise awareness of ocean pollution.
The item costs €6m (£5.3m), with €800,000 (£714,000) of the proceeds going towards operations to clean the seas.
Made of semi-shiny alligator, the bag is embellished with a diamond pavé accessory and 10 white gold butterflies with sapphires, diamonds and Paraiba tourmalines, for a total of over 130 carats.
It takes 1,000 hours to make each bag, and there are only three of them available.
The luxury Italian brand, Boarini Milanesi, that came up with the bag is concerned about the impact of non-biodegradable plastics on marine conservation.
“Recently, I have seen even more plastic in the sea than when I was a child, due to the pandemic and all the gloves and face masks that are being carelessly thrown away,” said the company’s co-founder Matteo Rodolfo Milanesi.
The bag was inspired by memories of his father, who was committed to clean water and who died when Mr Milanesi was a teenager.
“We used to spend every summer at sea, between Greece and Turkey, and I was happiest when we would go on boat trips between the islands,” he said.
“Even though mass tourism was still a long way off, we would often see plastic bags floating on the water or patches of tar leaked by oil tankers.”
His father used to dive into the water to retrieve the bags and bottles on the surface.
He said his dad also used to help him wipe patches of tar off his hands while he was making sandcastles on the beach.
The stones incorporated into the bag were selected for their symbolic link to seawater.
The brand’s co-founder Carolina Boarini said: “Blue sapphires represent the depths of the oceans, Paraiba tourmaline reminds us of the uncontaminated Caribbean seas and diamonds refer to the transparency of water when it falls in the form of rain.”
The Guinness World Record for the most valuable handbag is currently held by the Mouawad 1001 Nights Diamond Purse, which contains 4,517 diamonds and had a price of $3.8m (£2.85m) in 2010.
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