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Miami Magazine - Inside Story

When Bergdorf Goodman is your first account, you know the future is bright. Ximena Kavalekas, a handbag designer from Ecuador who studied at Florence's Polimoda before finding love and settling in Miami, nearly fell out of her seat when the legendary store called her to carry her inventory. Three years later, her namesake collection of structures python bags is available at Net-a-Porter, Moda Operandi and local retailers Oxygene, Capretto Shoes, and En Avance; Sofia Vergara and Priyanka Chopra have been spotted carrying her styles; and now Ximena Kavalekas is collaborating with none other than Margherita Missoni on a floral embroidered version of the best-selling Mandolin 2.0. 'It's been a roller-coaster,' admits the designer, who this spring is introducing the Mimi, a collapsible bag that snaps into shape with magnets. 'It folds up like origami, which makes it ideal for packing.' Like all her other bags, the Mimi is crafted at a former classmate's tannery in Florence, alongside those for Gucci, Dior and Jimmy Choo. Local girl makes goods is right!