Valextra is an Italian luxury leather goods brand specialising in handcrafted women’s handbags, briefcases, luggage and small leather goods. The brand was founded in 1937, when founder Giovanni Fontana opened his first boutique at number 1 in the famous Piazza San Babila in the heart of Milan. Rather than setting up a traditional leather goods shop, he founded a real company destined to produce, strictly and only using the techniques of fine saddlery, leather goods of a brand new conception.

Valextra quickly became an internationally renowned luxury fashion house and its name was synonymous with a style that defied trends, with a design that was always innovative but attentive to the function of use, and with craftsmanship of the highest quality.

Curious, intuitive, dynamic, enterprising, an art lover and a great traveller, Giovanni Fontana has the gift of interpreting the era like no other. He observes, hears, listens and has the ability to transform an impression into a creative idea, always associating functionality with aesthetics.

Valextra: bags and leather goods


Supported by skilled model makers and technicians, he was able to give shape to all his inspirations. Most of his insights have been transformed into historical best sellers and some objects celebrated as design icons in various museums of modern art. This is the case of the famous ’24-hour’ briefcase, which was awarded the prestigious Compasso d’Oro prize in 1954 and exhibited at MoMA in New York.

In the 1970s: the first and unparalleled “attaché case” created for short journeys, which went down in history as the “Borsa 24 Ore”.

And again, in 1957, the “Grip” snap-on coin purse, in the 1960s, at the time of the fashion for “cigarette” trousers. In the 1960s, at the time of the “cigarette” trouser fashion, there was the famous “Tric Trac”, a purse that could hold all the essentials of the man of the time in an extremely elegant manner, and in 1964, the most sought-after aeroplane cabin bags: the “Avietta 48” and the “Sacca Estensibile”.

On several occasions, the company called upon the great names in design, such as A. G. Fronzoni, a great graphic designer, to help it make its products. G. Fronzoni, a great graphic artist and famous designer in the 1960s, who designed the “Forma O” suitcase and the “Premier” briefcase for Valextra.

When Emanuele Carminati Molina convinced his family group to buy the company in 2000, he decided to restore Valextra to its former glory while remaining faithful to the spirit of Giovanni Fontana.

Valextra: small leather goods.


In order to recover everything that had made the maison great and unique, he called back to the company the craftsmen of the time with the task of restoring traditional working methods, teaching young apprentices the ancient art of saddlery and ensuring the continuity of the Valextra spirit and style. As with Giovanni Fontana, Valextra returns to interpret the era and develop products that, through an ancient art, respond to the needs of the moment. Moreover, in a harmonious continuum, they combine tradition and innovation, absolute quality and function of use, essential lines and elegance. A proverbial quality, guaranteed by a professional craftsmanship that has been able to modernise while respecting tradition. All items are marked with a hot stamp on the inside that identifies the product, the craftsman who made it and the date of production.

On request, each item can be marked with a personal monogram. Valextra has always stood out for its important and innovative research and engineering work on the mechanical parts combined with its products. All locking systems, locks, handles and wheels are protected by international patents.

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Valextra (Italian Version)