Ethical questions aside, “ethnic” prints are still a hot commodity in the fashion industry. Whether they’re from African, Indian, South American or Native American extraction, it seems as though designers are having an absolutely gleeful time splashing the fun, often colorful patterns across everything from ponchos to evening bags such as the Cleobella Nikko Envelope Bag.

I always encourage people to seek out native sources for their “ethnic” fashion goods, but if you can’t find something exactly like this bag, it’s cute enough that I wouldn’t begrudge you its purchase. The colors on this particular piece might be subtle and neutral, but when you look closely, the design is anything but. (more…)

I said a lot of not-so-nice things about Cleobella when I first started reviewing the brand’s bags last year (and believe me, the things I thought and then decided to keep to myself were even less nice), but somewhere along the way, the brand managed to makes little tweaks here and there to its boho aesthetic and turn itself into a brand that I almost always like. Cleobella might not cater to my personal style, but bags like the Cleobella Tristyn Tote will certainly look great on someone.

And really, I think we all know who that person is. She’s the urban girl who has wholeheartedly embraced the luxe-boho look. She’s the girl who Gretchen from the most recent season of Project Runway really, really wants to channel. She has long, loose, wavy hair and somehow, it always looks perfect, even though you suspect that she didn’t actually do anything to it that morning. This bag is for that girl. (more…)

Just yesterday, I wondered if maybe a sequin-covered Alice + Olivia hobo was a little too much shine for any one person to pull off. As it turns out, the problem wasn’t the number of sequins – it was the details of the design. Or, more accurately, that it had none.

When I saw the Cleobella Sophia Hobo today, the shortcomings of the Alice + Olivia bag became clear. A whole mess of sequins is perfectly fine, just as long as they’re applied artfully and intelligently. Unfortunately, Alice + Olivia merely covered their entire bag. The order and intricacy of those scallop-patterned Cleobella hobo are what make it appealing, even in the face of a metric ton of paillettes. (more…)

In a glutted contemporary bag market, a black leather hobo with a circa-$500 price tag can be a tough sell if it comes from anyone but your absolute favorite brand. Most women likely have a bag with a similar description in their closets already, and those who don’t probably have a favorite brand from whom they’re predisposed to buy. So what’s an upstart to do?

If you’re Cleobella, you load up the bag with personality-rich details like those that grace the Cleobella Kaya Boho Bag. Doing so may alienate part of the market, but making a basic bag with a clear point of view will be very tempting for those whose personal styles fit with the look – in this case, urban hippies with luxurious tastes. (more…)

Cleobella is the answer for boho recessionistas looking for a trendy-but-broken-in bag, one that’s of a certain quality. Their prices are generally low, as far as designer bags are concerned, and the leather is always what I like to call “Williamsburg-worn.” That is, the leather has that worn look favored by alternative hipsters one often runs into in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

However, with its studs and fringe, this Cleobella Zula Bag veers much more towards the trendy than the alternative. But is that such a bad thing? It’s definitely difficult to consolidate two trends at once, especially ones so different, like these two. This bag gets it right, though. (more…)

I’m generally not much of a fan of Cleobella’s bags – they’re very haute-boho with sometimes not enough emphasis on the ‘haute,’ and that’s not my style. In the face of the fannypack abomination that we recently witnessed, however, I’ve come up with something of a fresh perspective on the brand and on the Cleobella Cantina Minibag in particular.

The fact that this bag is virtually the same price and color as the offensive Zambos + Siega fannypack from earlier this week makes it nearly impossible not to compare them, and this bag is the clear winner. It’s part of a few trends that actually manage not to dredge up the worst of 80s style, and for that, I give it a hearty thumbs up. (more…)

When Cleobella handbags come up, I brace myself for something very hippie-esque. So, today, I was a bit surprised when I came across a recent Cleobella design.

To be honest, at first glance, I thought this bag had some kind of metallic element going on. Upon further investigation, I realized that while there is some kind of weaving going on, there is absolutely no metallic involved. Perhaps I glanced at the bag too quickly or perhaps I have metallic on the brain, so I am not exactly sure why I thought I saw metallic. Either way, there is something about this bag that screams out, “carry me”. (more…)

Is anyone else out there ready for Summer to be here in full swing? While those of you who live in colder climates have to be dreaming of the warm Summer months more so than those of us who already live in a warm climate, either way, there is something fantastic about Summer. I love planning weekend trips, BBQs and days at the beach. And of course, you can’t just take any old bag to places like the beach, you need something in particular, something perfect for this kind of occasion. Amanda covered some of her favorite summer beach bags a few days back over on PurseBlog, yet today, I have another one that I’d definitely carry. (more…)

The thing that irritates me the most is when a bag manages to do one thing wrong that ruins the whole design for me. As they say in sports, sometimes a bag manages to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Cleobella almost had a bag that was full of win on their hands here, but sadly, patchwork leather makes the Cleobella Brixton Rock Bag a loser in my book.

I was trying to think of what exactly the piecing effect reminds me of, and then it hit me – nasty, faux patchwork leather bomber jackets, often sold at Wal-Mart. And then I remember this Alexander Wang bomber jacket bag debacle, and I’m wondering where all of this ironic tackiness is going to end. (more…)

At first, I didn’t even want to write about the Cleobelle Nevaeh Drawstring Bag. I saw it and immediately dismissed it – after a certain point, writing yet another post about how much I hate neo-hippie crap isn’t even fun anymore, which is sad, because writing about stuff you hate is a lot easier than writing about stuff you like, trust me.

But then…I looked harder…and maybe this isn’t neo-hippie crap after all? Is that possible? I mean, it’s definitely neo-hippie, but is it possible that it’s simultaneously well-edited and kind of…nice? All of this is kind of painful to admit, but I’m going to do my best after the jump. (more…)

Ever since my parents went on a trip to Arizona last year, I have been dying to visit it myself. My mom and dad couldn’t stop talking about the scenery, weather, and even the fashion. So, needless to say, I’ve kind of had the Aztec theme in mind for quite some time now. This being said, I am in love with the Cleobella Sandy Clutch.

Cleobella Sandy Clutch

This clutch is different, but in all the right ways. When it comes to clutches, I feel like the over all shape doesn’t really change that much – no matter which designer put it together. However, there are oh so slight modifications on this clutch that are fabulous. The clutch is hand-woven and features pleating and cutout handles. The leather overlay and whipstitching found at the top of the clutch come together to produce a very pleasant twist. While the colors might seem a bit subtle, I for one, really like them. Whether you are looking to tap into your inner bohemian, hippie or simply looking for a bit of a change in your clutch repertoire, this could be a great option! Buy through ShopBop for $188.

Cleobella Casey HoboAfter this super-relaxing weekend, I want to carry a big hobo, something that is floppy and soft to the touch- kind of an incarnation of the word ‘effortless’. Luckily, I came across this Cleobella Casey Hobo, which was exactly what I had in mind. Now, as you look at the stock photo, you may think that this is an icky bag. At first, I thought it looked like a swollen alien belly from some bad sci-fi movie. But I had the opportunity to see this bag in person, and it does not look like that at all unless if you regularly carry your bags stuffed full of plastic. And who does that?

This bag, without the customary stuffing, lays flat against the body when empty, and the handles are long enough for the bag to be used as a cross-body if desired. The rope handles aren’t stiff but soft, with enough heft that the bag feels secure on your shoulder, but not too much that it bites into your skin if you are wearing a tank top. It’s a boho handbag in the best way possible- easygoing and the perfect thing to wear with your favorite old jeans. Buy through Shopbop for $418.