I got my first premium designer bag when I was in middle school. It was something I wished for, pined for, dreamed for and worked hard for. As soon as I acquired my Dior Mini Saddle Bag, all bets were off. I was hooked on bags for life. At the time I still rotated the usage of my beloved Dior with some of my other bags which included one Coach bag and a bunch of nylon LeSportsac bags—who remembers? Then in high school Rebecca Minkoff became popular and I acquired a couple of her bags as well which I worked into my rotation. Eventually, I got a second premium designer bag, an LV Speedy, and my collection sort of took off from there.

I found that the more luxury bags I acquired, the less attention I paid to my contemporary bags, even though many of them were great bags that I and others found highly covetable at the time. I guess the luxury of owning luxury—pun intended—took over in my early twenties, and even though my collection was a lot smaller back then, I only rotated through the few premium designer bags I owned and tossed the others aside. The last 4-5 years my need to carry certain bags only has worn off, and I’ve enjoyed diversifying my collection a bit more. I’ve added a number of contemporary bags to my collection (full disclosure: some were gifted and some were purchased), and I no longer favor premium designer bags over everything else.

Currently I live in a small NYC apartment, and my bags are stored in every nook and cranny of my bedroom. Some are underneath my bed in a box, others are on top of my closet in a plastic bin, and the ones I reach for most often are on the shelves built into my closet. With most of my collection stored and out of eyesight, I forget how much I have sometimes and a recent closet clean-out reminded me how grateful I am to have all of the bags that I do. Now more than ever I, like so many, am shopping my own closet and rediscovering many of my bags.

I thought it would be fun to discuss some of our lesser known and less expensive bags since we so often overlook them, both here on PurseBlog and in our day to day lives. Some of my favorite contemporary bags are from Mansur Gavriel, Senreve, Little Liffner and Manu Atelier, but the non-premium designer bag I use most is my Nunoo Gina mini bucket bag. This little Nunoo lady was gifted to me last fall, and as soon as it arrived I transferred my stuff into the bag. I don’t carry all that much and was easily able to put my small YSL card wallet, my cosmetics case, keys and iPhone inside and off I went. I got my first compliment on the bag that very same day when I walked into Reformation, which is a small store, in my neighborhood. It was love at first carry and I’ve used it as much, if not more, than some of my designer bags in the 7 months since I got it. My particular bag is no longer available, but you can check out more via the brand’s website or view select styles via Shopbop.

Which non-premium designer bag do you love most?

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