Cole Haan is one of those brands whose bags I’ve always wanted to like but never really have. They always seemed directed at a slightly older, slightly less fashion-conscious customer, and while that’s certainly fine, it never gave me or anyone I know much to get excited about. Most brands who find themselves in that categorization eventually try to break free from it, though, and it was only a matter of time until Cole Haan took the necessary steps.

Those efforts first became apparent with the brand’s subway-themed, colored-sole oxfords for both men and women, which came out last season, and now it looks like some of the handbags are getting a similar style upgrade. The Cole Haan Crosby Leather Tote struck me as being particularly restrained and aesthetically relevant. The sub-$400 price point only helps demonstrate exactly why I was so hopeful that Cole Haan would eventually get a slick, modern makeover.

The cobalt-and-black color scheme reminds me of a version of the Givenchy Antigona Tote that I adore, and the unfinished edges and minimal seaming and external embellishment (save for a luggage tag that feels current and modern) keeps the bag from looking like something you’d buy your aunt for Christmas. The brand’s price points are universally excellent, so if it can keep making simple, stylish, relevant-feeling bags like this tote, I’m going to be a very happy camper. Buy through Bloomingdale’s for $358.

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Donnachloe

    I bought my first Cole Haan bag this summer – a woven tan drawstring type on sale at Neiman’s for under 200.00! I love it! It has a Bottega Veneta look, but a little more casual maybe. I’m enjoying it tremendously!

  • Carmen

    Kinda reminds me of the signature Akris bags.

    • I think the strap and corner folds are just style that way for the photo. It seems to be a regular tote with an extra shoulder strap.

  • dnfl

    initially thought this was reed krakoff

  • XXL

    seems a little inconvenient to use but very proud of cole haan. makes me think of patients @ a psychedelic hospital! haha

  • Nice size and not so expensive..

  • witty1515

    i’ve been a cole haan fan for several years . however , in the last 2 years, their designs have been boring.

  • annorthwind

    I think the colors are very fashion forward, but this bag looks like the may other bags that saturate the market already. It has the color blocking of Reed Krakoff, but reminiscent of a Givenchy/ Jerome Dreyfuss… Why are you giving exposure to a bag that is not anything the really write about, except to say that CH is getting more fashionable, which is to say, more commercial? CH was never aimed at older, less fashion-conscious customer, they just had an original point of view and stuck to it. There are young customers out there who think classic, minimal, even conservative, well made items are fashionable. Now CH is going they way of RK, MK, RM… Oh joy, same product, different brand.