On her first day at the famous Marangoli Institute of Fashion in Milan, training ground of fashion greats such as Dolce and Gabbana, Australian design graduate Lucie Trinco learned her first big lesson about Italian style. “I looked like a normal Australian student,” she remembers. “I was wearing jeans, a t-shirt and Blundstones. I looked at the guy next to me and he was wearing a Gucci suit and had a matching Gucci pencil case!”

Many lessons later and Lucie Trinco has brought what she knows and loves about Italian fashion accessories back to Australia and is owner and head designer of Il Tutto, manufacturers of designer leather nappy bags. So stylish are Il Tutto nappy bags that they are a favourite of Hollywood stars including Cate Blanchett.

“I learned more during my time studying in Italy than I did from years of college,” Trinco explains. “Italian women have effortless style. They look like they don’t even have to try.

“I think the difference between Italian and Australian women is that in Italy they don’t really have a youth culture. In Australia, girls will get around in cargo pants and bikini tops. You just don’t see that in Italy. Girls go straight from being teenagers to being stylish sophisticates.”

Italy is known for the quality of its leather goods, a reputation, says Trinco, which is well founded. “All the premium leathers come out of Italy,” she says. “They have the best leathers and the most sophisticated methods of treatment. China is getting better, but they are still unable to duplicate the quality of the Italians.

“The year I spent in Italy was a time in fashion when handbags were becoming really big. Prada was bringing out these gorgeous bags and everyone was talking about the ‘it’ bag of the moment.”

It wasn’t long before Trinco fell under the spell of the Italian leather handbag. “I was a struggling student, but I saved every spare cent and was eventually able to buy my very own Prada handbag!”

So began Trinco’s love affair with bags, or more specifically, quality leather bags. On her return home, when her friends began having children, Trinco was horrified at the limited style and range of nappy bags available. “It was all bunnies and ducks!” she says. “All these stylish women were having to carry nappy bags that had pink dots!”

Trinco had been building a career developing accessories lines for some of Australia’s biggest fashion retailers. She recognised that Australian women were begging for a range of baby bags that reflected their growing sophistication in style, and Il Tutto was born.

Il Tutto bags are not immediately recognisable as nappy bags, looking more like oversize leather handbags or computer cases – which is exactly what Trinco aims for. “Corporate women can use the one bag as a nappy bag and a work bag, or when they don’t need a nappy bag any more they can use it exclusively for work. The life of the bag is extended.”

Yet style must also be practical, says Trinco. Il Tutto nappy bags combine the elegance of a designer handbag with the practicality of a traditional nappy bag, incorporating a waterproof change mat and lining that is easily removed for washing, plus an insulated bottle holder and plastic pocket for wet items.

“Accessories are so important, not just for how you look, but how you feel,” Trinco emphasises. “When you carry a beautiful Italian leather bag you just feel so special. It doesn’t matter what outfit you wear, add a great bag and you’ll look gorgeous.”

For a list of stockists, visit Il Tutto

By Margaret Ambrose

 

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