Roberta Di Camerino Velvet Bagonghi Doctor Bag

Price: Sold

It was 1959 and during a trip to Italy, Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco, during a stay in Rome, carried the Bangonghi on her arm. The bag became a true fashion icon. And it was immediately renamed the "princess bag".

 Created by Roberta di Camerino, it was the first bag to be made of velvet, while the metal finishes were forged even by the expert craftsmen who built the gondolas of Venice.
 It is said that to choose the name, the designer, while observing her creation, suddenly remembered the dwarf a bit 'stocky that had amused her as a child: Bagonghi precisely!

 Many years have passed since then, but the Bagonghi is still a must have for fashion victims. Every year, then, Roberta di Camerino reproposes this bag, with colors and details always different.
 But the timeless charm of this exquisitely chic accessory remains unchanged.

  • Small ‘Bagonghi’ Doctor Bag! Classic style in blue and red velvet with cut-out Meridiana design on the front.
  • Estimated production year: ‘60
  • Opening/Closure: goldtone metal upper slide closure
  • Material: a special type of velvet with an unique sheen and feel& genuine leather. The velvet is so rare that they manufacture only about 30 feet per month.
  • Color: Blue and red
  • Hardware: gold-tone hardware
  • Lining: black leather lining
  • ‘Made in Italy by Roberta di Camerino’  displayed in gold lettering inside bag
  • Handle: single leather top-handle
  • Handle drop: 8cm (3.14”)
  • Interior pockets: interior has one compartment with 2 internal side open pockets and a zip pocket


  • Condition: Pre-owned, minimal wear of use on leather trim and goldware. Some scratches and normal wear of use inside.


  • This item has been authenticated by our in-house trained professionals. Roberta di Camerino does not endorse or participate in the La Doyenne Vintage's authentication process.
  • Roberta di Camerino is a registered trademark of Roberta di Camerino. La Doyenne Vintage is neither partnered nor affiliated with Roberta di Camerino.
  • Photos are of the actual item in our possession.


Roberta di Camerino
14.5 x 28 x 12 cm

Roberta di Camerino

The perfection of the unforeseeable

Over the last fifty years, Roberta di Camerino handbags have played a leading role in the world of fashion. The bags evoke exciting stories, glamourous characters and a universe of emotion. In 1956 the legendary Bagonghi bag toured the world on Grace Kelly's arm. Other devote admirers include the likes of Madonna, Elsa Maxwell, Princess Paola of Liegi, Liz Taylor, Gina Lollobrigida, Isabella Rossellini and Farrah Fawcett.

Roberta di Camerino, one of the great Italian fashion stories, begins with Giuliana Coen. She gave the brand daylight by combining the name Roberta from her favourite song "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" and Camerino, her husband's surname.

Giuliana relied on Venetian extraordinary craftsmanship and created one of the region's major brands. This craftmanship was mixed with the Neo-baroque style that would become her famous hallmark feature. Under the warp of threads woven by antique looms, she used venetian velvets or Soprarizzo velvets in new colours. Until then these velvets had been used only for furnishings and traditional robes. She decoded these beautiful old materials and recoded it into something completely new. Also, The claps and studs found on her bags were created by the craftsmen of brass ornaments for gondolas. Roberta di Camerino's handbags proved to be a revolution, unlike anything made before.

An innovator, who wished to change the rules of fashion

She created bags made from narrow leather strips resembling shoestrings, interwoven and worked on looms. Objects that impacted the world of fashion with their unforgettable names (pirata, Casanova, Tranviere, Postiglione) and which continue to act as a reference point, both veiled and explicit, today's most famous luxury brands. "The handbag is being upgraded from the status of an accessory to that of a garment. It is always less casual, shunning the norm and refusing to tolerate anonymity.

Credit for this re-evalutation of the handbag, making it a unique, luxury item, far removed from the monotonous cliché saddle-stitched-rigid-shoulder strap, goes, as everyone is now aware, to Madame Giuliana Camerino, who has collected prizes, and awards for having created and continuing to create the most beautiful bags in the world", as Camilla Cederna wrote in "L'Espresso" in 1959. And, it was again Cederna who praised the Brigitte model: a velvet bag complete with an outside pouch in gilded metal that quickly became a best-seller worldwide.

In 1956 she received the prestigious Neiman Marcus "Oscar of Fashion" award. In the sixties, she was invited by Giambattista Giorgini to present her iconic trompe l'oeil effect pret-à-porter collections at Palazzo Pitti's Sala Bianca. Although she then went on to win numerous awards on an international level, it was thanks to the Compasso D'Oro award in 1979 that she entered the realm of creators who know how to revolutionize the quality of objects.
"All colours are beautiful and look good together, because - if, for some reason, two seem to jar when placed next to each other - all one needs to do is to add a third and harmony is created."

The consecration of her talent came in 1980 in the city of New York. The Whitney Museum of American Art dedicated an entire exhibition to her name. The exhibition documented the affection and high esteem that Americans have for her work and art (in 1975 she opened a large boutique in New York on Fifth Avenue). Artists like Salvador Dalì and Giorgio De Chirico were her friends and recognized her enormous talent. The exhibition also displayed sketches of both garments and scarves. These sketches remind us reminds once again how conceptual her design path has been.

Julie Gilhart, fashion director and senior vice president of Barneys New York, says that visiting the archive of the Roberta di Camerino brand is a truly incredible experience: "every bag that i know has already been made by her."