From Tuscany, Rita Merlini spent time in the USA before studying accessory design in Florence. Her specific interest is in leather. Leather and the weaving of leather is a practiced art form in Italy. Rita Merlini brings this special approach to each handbag, weaving hand cut leather strips into her design. The outcome is an organic quality that goes beyond a humble, handmade aesthetic. Ultimately her bags, being hand cut, hand dyed and hand finished with wax, embody the Japanese wabi-sabi style — beauty and simplicity, imperfections and irregularities that make them personal. Rita Merlini bags are made of natural, vegetable-tanned leather with tannins extracted from mimosa, chestnut, and quebracho plants. This gives each bag a warm, soft finish.