Over the last five years, contemporary bags have largely taken their aesthetic cues from the It Bags of the mid-2000s. There have been plenty of oversized satchels, fringe-y zipper pulls, stud embellishments and an overwhelming number of over-embellished options for people who love a lot of look. As the upper echelons of fashion have changed toward a more modern look, though, contemporary lines have started to tentatively move that way too. That was first evident with premium contemporary lines like Alexander Wang and 3.1 Phillip Lim, but now the rest of the gang is getting in on the act as well.

Rebecca Minkoff has played with a sleeker look for the past couple of seasons, mostly by way of petite, colorblocked shoulder bags and clutches, and the Rebecca Minkoff Sienna Tote marks a notable creep of the more streamlined aesthetic into the lines bigger bags. Like most north-south totes these days, the Sienna has the flared gussets that first gained recent popularity with the Celine Luggage Tote; the design feature has now become so widespread and popular that a designer like Minkoff would be silly not to include it in her collection somewhere.

The tote also features a front pocket, which is always my favorite element in any day bag – if there’s not an easy-reach place to put my cell phone, it’s not the bag for me. Minkoff completes this look with just a bit of hardware at the front pocket’s envelope closure, which is my favorite part of the whole bag – it’s so much more refined and modern than what you normally see at this price point. The color of this bag is not my favorite, but hey, color is a very personal-preference sort of thing. Buy through ShopBop for $525.

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  • karen

    Looks like a coach ripoff, with a touch of proenza schouler. (at least she’s laying off the balenciaga)