Fashion Week, with all its lavish parties, decked-out street style looks and high school-cafeteria-on-steriods seating arrangements, can make even someone pretty flush with cash feel like a bit of a pauper. Seriously, where (and how) do people get all this stuff? After a few seasons of the circus, you also start to ask why anyone thinks they need it, and at that point a bag like the ONE by Ampersand as Apostrophe Half Tote becomes pretty attractive.
Fashion swings from one extreme to the other like the weightiest of pendulums, and minimalism – especially in accessories, where things are easily taken to their most maximal – is a natural response to the nearly baroque levels of embellishment we’ve seen recently. Everyone’s eyes need a break from trying to figure out how they’re supposed to focus when met with a bag covered in python, studs and fur, and thankfully, this is the sort of visual break that can also help out your wallet. A simple, well-executed, sharp leather bag doesn’t have to cost a fortune because it doesn’t require the extra man hours needed to make crocodile look like leopard or whatever.
That’s why Celine’s extremely simple Cabas totes struck such a chord, and it’s likely why people are still asking me on Twitter where they can get Mansur Gavriel’s unlined, hardware-free, solid-color shoulder bags. This Ampersand as Apostrophe tote, part of ShopBop’s exclusive ONE line, carries on those bags’ aesthetic ideas. For less than $350, you get an all-leather tote that’s handmade in the US, and the unfinished edges, unlined suede interior and half-hidden, half-exposed (hence the bag’s name) stitching provide all the design details you could need. Every inch of the bag is purposeful and considered, which seems like the ultimate luxury.
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