11/12/2010 05:08 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Diego Rocha Opens Custom Luxury Handbag Shop In Chicago (PHOTOS)

Diego Rocha is a Brazilian born handbag designer who recently opened his first store in Chicago.

In 2003, Rocha started his business in New York where he spent countless hours perfecting his skills and creating his own collection.

Rocha headed to Chicago in 2006 because he has close connections here.

"I have family here and I've always loved Chicago because it's more laid back than New York," Rocha told HuffPost Chicago. "I'm very happy here and want to be here while."

While his bags are sold in a few shops including Macy's, Rocha was ready for a place of his own. The Diego Rocha store at 1050 N. State St. on the Gold Coast features his customized, handmade bags inspired by animals and made with high-quality skins.

"It's not just a bag, it's a part of you," Rocha said.

Check out some of Diego Rocha's hottest bags here. Photos by Laercio Luz.

Diego Rocha's Designs