Rock & Republic Nivalla Shoulder ToteEver see a handbag and immediately think, “GAH THEY WERE SO CLOSE!” in regard to the general design and finishing of the bag? That’s what I thought when I saw the Rock & Republic Nivalla Tote. They. Were. So. Close. They almost had a great bag, and now they have a kind of mediocre one. So, what COULD have made it great? Well, I’d start with the overall feel – it needs to be slouchier. I want the leather to look like it came from an old, worn-in motorcycle jacket; thick, distressed, super slouchy. The top handle looks cheap and tacked-on, as does the top trim.

A thick, soft piece of leather would do, it would be even better with some chain or stud embellishments. Speaking of embellishments – the studs need to be bigger. I want oversized. OR they need to be closer together. That’s up to the fine folks at Rock & Republic to decide. I love it when designers go industrial, but they didn’t quite hit it out of the park for me on this one. There is room for improvement, though, should they choose to try harder next time. Buy through REVOLVE for $761.

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