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It takes a truly special cause to get brands as exclusive as Celine and Prada to abandon their normally sky-high pricing structures, but with Born Free, they’ve done just that. Born Free is a charity fashion initiative that combines the powers of Vogue and ShopBop to bring together 22 top designers in an effort to end fetal AIDS transmission worldwide by December 31, 2015. A big part of that effort will be a limited edition run of special pieces designed by some of the biggest names in fashion. (more…)

Bag: Tory Burch Robinson Printed Triangle Tote

Price: $375 via Bloomingdale’s

Why It’s the Bag of the Week: This Tory Burch purse is spring in bag form, and the combination of a sophisticated floral and a reasonable price means that you won’t feel guilty for buying something so seasonal.

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Bag: Rag & Bone Enfield Shoulder Bag

Price: $795 via ShopBop

Why it’s the Bag of the Week: Rag & Bone has long been great at making cool-girl wardrobe staples in nearly every product category, but the brand’s bags have never been exactly on target – until now.

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Karl Lagerfeld is, to put it lightly, an interesting dude. Not only does the Kaiser have a knack for the utterly luxurious (as seen at Chanel, Fendi and beyond), but he seems to have a parallel appreciation for low culture as well; his designs often feature inventive spins on the kinds of objects that regular people interact with everyday, recast as fashion pieces that are purposefully fantastical and ripe for discussion in the fashion press. Lagerfeld does the same at a more accessible price point in his eponymous contemporary line, where the inclusion of the Karl Lagerfeld Printed Canvas Belt Bag shouldn’t feel all that shocking.

When I laid eyes on this bag, the initial surprise I felt was not that Lagerfeld had put his name (and indeed, his visage – the tonal print is Uncle Karl in profile) on a fanny pack, but instead that his Fall 2014 send-up of the American supermarket didn’t feature one of the brand’s iconic flap bags repurposed as a belt bag. What bag is more typical of suburban superstore culture, after all, than that hands-free wonder of 80s tourism? Maybe that’s something we can look forward (“look forward”) to in the next collection; for now, Lagerfeld superfans will have to settle for this little bag. Buy through Net-a-Porter for $125.

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We get a lot of reader email asking for advice and recommendations, but the one questions we’ve received most consistently over the years are queries about what a young woman should choose for her first designer bag. Those questions are very near and dear to our hearts – Megs and I can both recount the acquisition of our first bags in vivid detail – and today, we’re here to provide answers both general and specific.

On the whole, most successful first-bag purchases are some combination of classic and recognizable. Discretion may be the better part of valor, but for almost anyone, the rush of that first fancy purchase is knowing that everyone else knows you have something fancy, at least in part. Don’t worry about being inventive or finding the Next Big Thing; just get something you love and that you’ll be proud to carry until you find your next big bag crush. Below, some of our favorites.

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