Camila Alves is more than just a pretty face.
The Brazilian native wears many hats--successful model, partner of Matthew McConaughey and mother of two. But these days, Alves can move designer to the top of her resume.
Modeling has taken the brunette beauty around the world, from Paris to Milan, from China to Africa. During her jet-setting travels, Alves grew frustrated that she could not find the right handbag to fit her diverse needs.
What she wanted was a bag that made was both beautiful and practical; but nothing on the market worked. So Alves, with the help of her artist/fashion designer mother, decided to create her very own handbag line. The two began designing in 2005 and, after three years of experimenting, MUXO was born.
The designs of our bags are greatly influenced by the places I love the most: New York and Brazil. Our bags embody the exotic old-world sensibility of Brazil with their rich and earthy colors, heavy detail and embellishment, Alves told IBTimes.
Even the weathered and distressed leathers are taken from materials from Brazil, like from the beaches of Bahia or the farmlands of Minas Gerais. We combined these Brazilian features with a durability and practicality that reflects the modernism of New York. Each bag is as ready for the beach as it is for a stroll down Fifth Avenue.
MUXO handbags are sold on mymuxo.com and through QVC. The bags, for men and women, range from $212 to $1800. All are handmade with the finest leather and come in a variety of styles and colors.
One of the coolest pieces in the collection is the Queen of the Sea bag - a rainbow fringe satchel that is big enough to hold a plethora of daily necessities.
What's in a name? My mother and I designed our luxurious handbag collection around the African translation of Muxo-- 'goddess of the water'--to reflect the inner beauty of all women, Alves said.
We wanted to create a bag that was as strong as a woman's will power, as sensible as her daily decisions, and as unique as she is.
She describes the archetypal MUXO girl as a cosmopolitan, modern woman.
The quintessential MUXO girl is strong, sexy, and versatile, she said. She is the modern woman on-the-go who juggles the demands of a busy lifestyle with style and grace.
Speaking of juggling, Alves seems to manage a high-octane life effortlessly. She has been dating Hollywood heartthrob Matthew McConaughey since 2006. The couple currently has two children together, son Levi and daughter Vida.
As a mother and a career woman, Alves must look for fashion that accommodates this sort of lifestyle.
I have never been a 'fashion follower' so to speak, but I have always known what I liked, what I did not, and why, she said.
I look for fashion accessories that fit my lifestyle; they need to be sexy--to keep me feeling sexy--but more importantly, they need to be durable. With two boys running around, I look for fashion accessories that will accommodate their needs as much as my own.
Alves has been modeling since she was 19-years-old, so she has become accustomed to the jetsetter lifestyle.
My favorite place to travel is back home to Brazil. I moved to Los Angeles when I was 15-years-old, but my heart has never left Brazil, which is why so much of my inspiration is derived from there.
The Brazilian beauty is familiar with life both on the catwalk and (now) behind the scenes.
At this stage in my life, I love the freedom of making my own pieces and the pride that follows when seeing the end result, she said.
Still, she is grateful for her modelling career, regardless of how hectic. Modeling took me around the world to Paris, Milan, China, Africa, and numerous destinations in between, and through my travels, I developed my keen sense of fashion.
So, without my 'life on the catwalk,' I would have never gained the experience necessary to create such fashionable bags.