"I wanted a chic, minimal well-made leather work bag, that didn’t cost $3000," explains Monica."I had my eye on a big Celine tote, but it was either that or got to Europe (remember travel?!) and Europe won."
What she wanted was a bag that looked designer enough to take into important meetings with founders and CEOs as part of her role at Mecca, but was "under $300". So, Vestirsi was born.
The concept behind Vestirsi is crafting handbags with the same level of quality and care as designer labels - just without the designer price tag. For that, Monica knew she had to be creating out of Italy.
"Most bag brands today manufacture in China. We are one of very few bag brands in Australia that still makes their bags in Italy, from Italian leather. Our bags are made in the same suburb as Prada and Gucci, it’s a special leather making area where the most skilled leather artisans all live and work. So, the quality is superb, but what makes us really special, I believe, is that we sell direct to Australian women and have cut out the middle man to keep the bags more affordable."
But the vision for Vestirsi isn't just about quality, it's about female empowerment. For example, the business is fully female owned and operated, and donates 10% of net profit from every sale to women's mental health charities - the only fashion brand in Australia that does this, according to Monica.
"Probably because this is a crazy amount, and definitely affects the profitability of the business. But at the end of the day, it’s the right thing to do. Why would we not want to support other women who need help? It’s a cause very close to my heart. So, even though my accountant hates it, it’s a non-negotiable for me."
Find out more about Vestirsi here.