Generally speaking, high-low designer collaborations have seen better days. They were all the rage for a while – Lanvin x H&M, anyone? – but at some point, they jumped the shark. I’m not sure whether that moment was the Missoni x Target online ordering fiasco or the Neiman Marcus x Target x Every Designer In America three-way flop, but it happened, and ever since then, our expectations have been low, if not nonexistent.

Alice + Olivia’s signature brand of exuberant girlishness has been delighting the brand’s many fans for years, but for that whole time, something very important has been missing: handbags. Obviously that’s a gap in the brand’s product line that really hit us right in the heart, so we’re pretty pleased to tell you that Alice + Olivia handbags are now available for your ordering pleasure.

As far as school bags go, I think my experience in college was pretty typical of what happens at most universities, especially those that tended toward preppiness – the fashion-conscious girls carried either Longchamp or Herve Chapelier totes in bright colors, and everyone else carried backpacks. The Louis Vuitton Neverfull Tote didn’t yet exist during my days at school, although I’d assume it’s pretty popular now as well, in all of its various incarnations.

Now that the calendar has officially rolled over into August, young men and women across the country are preparing to head off to college, either for the first time or as season university professionals. Either way, everyone who’s going will need a good, sturdy bag to lug around campus, and we thought we would take this Man Bag Monday opportunity to introduce future and current collegians alike to a half dozen school bags that are also pretty good-looking, in addition to being practical.

There aren’t a whole lot of uber-popular bags from the mid-2000s that could make a comeback. Chloe tried to make both the Paddington and Silverado happen again earlier this year, to the excitement of absolutely no one. Fendi doesn’t seem interested in re-introducing the Spy, thankfully, and its Baguette bags have required major embellishments to pique the interests of consumers all over again.

It’s only been a couple seasons since Brian Atwood launched B Brian Atwood, a reasonably affordable footwear line aimed at contemporary customers and styled like his uber-expensive eponymous line, and it’s been a success, to say the least. Young customers have responded positively to the metallic finishes, vertiginous heels and comfy flats alike, and now Atwood’s taken the next logical step with his baby brand: B Brian Atwood Handbags, which just launched exclusively at Bloomingdale’s.

While I’m fully aware that Rebecca Minkoff makes a full line of handbags that ranges from clutches to weekenders, when I think of the brand, I think of crossbody bags. Perhaps its because my single RM bag is a MAC, or maybe it’s because Minkoff’s crossbodies are ubiquitous among the 20-something denizens of New York City, or maybe it’s just because Minkoff herself understands better than many contemporary designers that these are the types of bags that young women really want to buy.

Change is rough. Most people resist it, but when it comes to seasonal shifts, there’s not really any dodging the fact that you’re going to have to make some wardrobe changes in the next six weeks or so. It’ll be August by the end of the week, and then you’re just a hop, skip and a jump from September, which is when most parts of the country really start to feel like they might be shifting away from the summer sun.

Earlier this week, I came across a great profile of new handbag line Mansur Gavriel by Lauren Sherman over at Fashionista, and the bags were so good – and filled such an obvious gap in the contemporary market – that I couldn’t help but run right over here to share the good news with you guys. If you’ve ever wondered why it’s so hard to find a simple, elegant leather handbag at a non-outrageous, you’re not alone – designers Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel wondered that, too.

Handbag transitions can be hard. Not only do colors change from season to season, but so do textures and shapes. All three of those elements combine to give a bag its overall feel, and finding a finished product that can straddle two seasons is no small feat, especially when you don’t have an unlimited handbag budget. If that sounds like a problem you’re trying to solve, look no further than the Diane von Furstenberg 440 Mini Shoulder Bag.

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