The luxury accessories market is crowded with both heritage brands and upstarts vying for a piece of the pie, but in the past few seasons, a definitely trend has emerged: the best way to get into the game is one of the smallest. Greek designer Urania Gazelli is the latest in a string of women to make her debut with distinctive clutches, available for pre-order via Moda Operandi.

Gazelli has taken a page from the books of both Edie Parker’s Brett Heyman and Charlotte Olympia’s Charlotte Dellal with this line of handmade plexiglass clutches, a craft which she learned from her father in her native Greece, where all of her clutches are now made. This line features both astrological signs and playing cards, themes that have proved popular with creative, eccentric fashion people in the past. To grow, though, Gazelli will have to find a theme she can make her own.

Through August 5, you can order one of theses clutches for $1,175 to $1,565 via Moda Operandi.

Urani Gazelli Queen of Hearts Clutch Urania Gazelli Cyan Star Signs Clutch Urania Gazelli Leo Clutch

As an accessories brand, Tom Ford is still trying to get its sea legs. The line of bags and shoes is successful, but Ford has yet to have the kind of breakthrough, blockbuster hit that would send the business into the stratosphere. Handbag design is notoriously difficult to master for brands that have always been known, first and foremost, for other things (just ask Christian Louboutin), and now Ford appears to be looking for his signature, both literally and figuratively. (more…)

For the past six months, I have barely been able to go to any gathering of women in New York City without being asked for tips, tricks and hook-ups on how to get a Mansur Gavriel bag. I also regularly field these inquires via GChat, email, text message – you name it. So if you’re one of the people who has asked me how to get his or her hands on one of these bags, or you’re a person who would have asked me, had you access to my contact information, this is for you: Barneys now has online pre-orders for eight styles, including the popular black-and-red Bucket Bag, as well as the new Mini Buckets and Backpacks. (more…)

Mark Cross has an interesting thing going for it. The brand has a preppy, heritage feel, with its structured bags and traditional finishes, but the brand is also willing to use elements like studs and colorblocking to bring its bags a more modern feel. The updates are never overdone, though, and for Fall 2014, the results of those combinations are the bags that just landed for pre-order at Moda Operandi.

Two of Mark Cross’ most popular styles, the top-flap Scottie Satchel and mini-trunk Grace, have received bicolor updates that are exclusive to this presale. The vibrant, saturated shades are sometimes contrasted with each other and other times with white or tan, all of which feels consistent with the brand’s classic aesthetic. The pre-sale also includes a couple of solid bags in the same brights, which are not exclusive but still totally worth checking out.

Shop the pre-sale now through May 28 at Moda Operandi or check out our favorites from the collection below!

The fashion industry is weird in oh so many ways, but right now, it feels extra weird to be thinking about fall purchases when spring weather doesn’t even appear to be fully set in New York City. The fashion calendar rages on, though, and Bergdorf Goodman has officially opened up the first of its Pre-Fall and Fall 2014 handbag pre-orders. The selection will grow over the next months, but for right now, the selection is heavy on Fendi, Givenchy and Valentino bags, with a few notable picks from Chloe (a Baylee tote, which is arguably prettier than the original satchel version) and Alexander Wang (a gym sling made of deerskin), among others. Check out our favorites below or peruse the full selection via Bergdorf Goodman.

Although every American city has its own unique aesthetic and sense of style, New York City and Los Angeles are unquestionably the two style capitols of the USA. New York’s look is more polished and and a bit darker, while LA feels bright and bohemian, but without losing its luxurious edge. When the two meet, you’ve got the quintessential American look, which is what Bloomingdale’s has tried to capture in its new Sunset + Spring department. (more…)

For the second installment of PurseBlog Eats, we ventured down to the Lower East Side of Manhattan to pay a visit to The Fat Radish. Upon arrival, the restaurant provides an immediate sense of warmth and coziness – it’s the kind of soft-lit candle glow that feels completely effortless and genuine. The walls are decorated with hooks for customers’ coats and perfectly aligned filtered photographs. Plenty of bearded men can usually be found at the bar ordering fancy cocktails, while couples and groups sit at the dimly lit tables, sipping wine. It’s the kind of place you’ll find yourself never wanting to leave, but when you finally do, the owners’ similarly perfectly lit sister bar, The Leadbelly, is just across the street.

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Reservations: Accepted via OpenTable

Price Point: Appetizers and Snacks from $8 to $18, Bigger plates $19 to $30 and Sides $8 to $12. Cocktails range from $7 to $15.

Where: 17 Orchard Street, Lower East Side

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Ambiance: Very dim lighting with candlelit wooden tables, a fully stocked bar with quaint stools and rustic decorations.

Great for: Dates, groups and delicious cocktails.

What We Ordered: Scotch Egg, Beet Root and Swiss Chard Crumble, Roasted Dutch Morgan Chicken and the Special of the Day – Olive Oil Poached Striped Bass with Black Quinoa, Arugula and Coconut Broth

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The Must Try: The Scotch Egg, which comes with only one egg, but it’s big enough to share (unless you really like Scotch Eggs like Vlad). Beet Root and Swiss Chard Crumble, which is really rich, so it’s perfect to split between several people. The Fat Radish Plate, which is a giant board filled with fresh vegetables. If you’re into seafood, the Crab Gratin is can’t-miss.

Bonus: Rather than your standard bread basket, the restaurant offers fresh radishes. Plus, the sister bar right across the street, The Leadbelly, serves oysters, small snacks and tasty cocktails.

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If you haven’t had the pleasure of visiting The Fat Radish yet, you’ll definitely want to add it to your bucket list. It’s just too good to leave off.

Be sure to follow us via Instagram to see more of what we’re eating!

Fat Radish Website
Fat Radish Twitter
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On one hand, I can barely believe that we’re down to the last days of 2013. On the other hand, the screwy fashion calendar means that I’ve been writing “2014″ for nearly six months, and I’m really looking forward to that not being usually incorrect. To celebrate the year that’s passed, we’d like to take a look back at the PurseBlog posts you liked the best in 2013. (You guys really love celebrities, Celine and Chanel.) (more…)

If Hermes’ continually increasing profitability and Louis Vuitton’s recent shift toward capitalizing on its history with more high-end, all-leather products is any indication, the ultra-high-end leather goods market seems to have a nearly infinite hunger for heritage goods, and French heritage in particular. To help meet that voracious need for fancy purses, 19th century French leather brand Moreau has relaunched and its bags are exclusive to Barneys in the US.

French design and craftsmanship have always been markers of quality and status in fashion, and that’s why those brands are having such a moment right now. Not only are high-end western costumers constantly looking for something more special, limited and expensive than those behind them who are looking to keep up with the Joneses, but consumers in the burgeoning Asian markets seek out heritage goods as de facto indicators of their newly high social status. Because those Asian markets have become sophisticated more quickly than most, a flashy logo bag won’t do the trick; consumers are increasingly looking for pieces that are exclusive, handmade and include a sense of history on their price tags.

That’s where Moreau comes in. Originally founded in the mid-1800s in France, the brand has been revived, at least in part, to capitalize on its origin story. (There is, after all, only so much heritage to go around. It’s a non-renewable resource.) The brand’s limited, rather simple collection of bags will all be made in France, by hand, in Moreau’s saddlery. The look, as you might expect, recalls some of Hermes’ basics, but in a good way – classic, functional styles that whisper about their pedigree instead of shouting. If you’re the kind of woman whose friends’ closet are already full of Hermes and you want to pick up something new that they’ll actually ask about with curiosity, perhaps one of these Moreau bags is for you.


Moreau Bregançon Zip Tote
$3,100 via Barneys

Moreau Bregançon Zip Tote

Moreau Bregançon Open Tote
$2,890 via Barneys

Moreau Bregançon Open Tote

Moreau Chenonceau Messenger Bag
$3,200 via Barneys

Moreau Chenonceau Messenger Bag

We’re always excited when a relatively small brand that makes exquisite handbags becomes a little more accessible to those who might not get the chance to shop in one of the world’s few fashion capitals (after all, everyone on the PurseBlog team was in that situation before we moved to New York), and to that end, we have some exciting news to share with you today. Starting now, you can shop Loewe Handbags at NeimanMarcus.com.

A couple of years ago, Spanish brand Loewe (prounced Lo-AY-vay) was barely visible in the US. Once recently departed (he’s headed to Coach) creative director Stuart Vevers showed up, they surfaced in an extremely high-end boutique here and there, plus a few New York department stores. The brand’s steady success and growth has found it available in more and more places, including some notable online outposts – first Net-a-Porter, now Neiman Marcus.

The selection at NM is mostly neutrals and classic Loewe shapes at the moment, although who knows what’s coming – the number of bags on the brand’s product page doubled spontaneously during the day yesterday. Neiman Marcus also carries a sampling of the brand’s wallets, so hopefully more bags and small leather goods will be on the way as fall deliveries start flooding in. For now, our favorites are below or you can shop the full selection via Neiman Marcus.

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