My very good friend Maya has a part-time job that many of us can only dream of. She travels to Italy to do personal shopping for individual fashion buyers in South Africa. All you have to do is give her an order of a specific bag, accessory, shoe or dress that you would like, and include details like size, colour, style and any other preferences that you may have. Advise her on the total budget you would like to spend and she will source it especially for you. Exploring Italy and shopping? Sounds heavenly.

These are two of the handbags Maya has brought from Italy on her most recent trip this month. All the handbags she imports are made from genuine Italian leather and are surprisingly affordable.

On the left, is an Etro bag made of brown textured leather with floral and paisley prints in black, white and purple. This tote bag is worn on the arm or in-hand and is beautifully embellished with leather pop-up flowers in pink, green and yellow. It playfully features a pink and orange butterfly, green and yellow lizard and brown/beige turtle.

This summer-inspired bag, which is made in Milan, will brighten any girl’s mood simply by looking at it. Since it has a splash of almost every colour, it blends well with anything you put on and is big enough to carry all your essentials and more. This is the ideal daily-use bag for girls who don’t have time to swap handbags to match both colour and style. It can be worn with jeans and summer dresses. It is also an attention-grabbing accessory that will lift and complete the simplest of outfits.

The exotic Animal Print bag (pictured right) is made of cow hide. This patch bag has small squares of furry cow hide dyed into leopard and zebra prints which are then sewn into a stylish rectangular shape. The colour palette consists of brown, black, grey and beige hues.

Animal prints are the in thing this winter in Europe and this trend will certainly hit our shores in a few months when stilettos to match will be a must-have item. This tote bag can be worn on the arm and also comes with a shoulder strap. It is beautifully accessorised with a matching bag charm: A gold, diamante and leopard-print boot dangling on a gold chain. This bag will be the focal point of any simple black, brown or beige ensemble.

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