Cole Haan is one of those brands whose bags I’ve always wanted to like but never really have. They always seemed directed at a slightly older, slightly less fashion-conscious customer, and while that’s certainly fine, it never gave me or anyone I know much to get excited about. Most brands who find themselves in that categorization eventually try to break free from it, though, and it was only a matter of time until Cole Haan took the necessary steps.
Those efforts first became apparent with the brand’s subway-themed, colored-sole oxfords for both men and women, which came out last season, and now it looks like some of the handbags are getting a similar style upgrade. The Cole Haan Crosby Leather Tote struck me as being particularly restrained and aesthetically relevant. The sub-$400 price point only helps demonstrate exactly why I was so hopeful that Cole Haan would eventually get a slick, modern makeover.
The cobalt-and-black color scheme reminds me of a version of the Givenchy Antigona Tote that I adore, and the unfinished edges and minimal seaming and external embellishment (save for a luggage tag that feels current and modern) keeps the bag from looking like something you’d buy your aunt for Christmas. The brand’s price points are universally excellent, so if it can keep making simple, stylish, relevant-feeling bags like this tote, I’m going to be a very happy camper. Buy through Bloomingdale’s for $358.