turquoise orange bags

Adriana Castro Sophia Tote (left) Coco Clutch (right) from Spring 2010 Collection. Photo: Pamela Pekerman

After launching her exotic-skin handbag collection in fall 2007, it only took Colombian-born Adriana Castro two years to be recognized by GenArt with the Fresh Faces in Fashion Award for Accessory Design, covered in elite publications like Women's Wear Daily and Vogue, and worn by fashion influencers including Eva Longoria, Jennifer Lopez, Heidi Klum and the Kardashian sisters.

For Spring 2010, the 26-year-old Castro continues to use her trademark crocodile and python skins – sourced from her family farm in Columbia a.k.a. zoocriadero – in bold shades of orange, aquamarine, fuchsia, electric purple and turquoise.

"I feel that the turquoise family and the soft purple colors are the key bold shades for the season, but we're still not forgetting our classic neutrals. Subdues metallics, especially in clutches, is also key," Castro said.

"The colors and the movement of the silhouettes are inspired by my adopted home town of Miami," Castro said. "I love the beauty of the natural surroundings in Miami, as well as my native Columbia. The Latin influence is also a key element in my design process."

Unlike many exotic skin handbag brands that appeal to one specific demographic, Castro's slouchy day bags and youthful interpretation on a classic envelope clutch appeal not only to the ladies who lunch, but to their club-hopping, twitter-obsessed daughters.

"My customer appreciates fashion, but isn't too trendy. She's a girl who likes to look timeless and classic while being able to mix high and low brands, but always focusing on luxury accessories," said Castro.

For spring 2010, Castro is experimenting with new skins, including the more moderately priced eel. She also introduced the Sophia ($3,440), a semi structured tote with a nice handle drop that will easily fit over the wearer's shoulder. Two outer side pockets also denote the designer's attention to functionality.

Another standout style is the Coco Clutch ($1600), an oversized day-to-evening option with a flap and natural bull horn loop closure that comes with a detachable, matching skin shoulder strap.