Above all else, it’s important for what a designer adds to a material to bring out that material’s natural beauty, not detract from it. Handbags are a celebration of what they’re made with – soft leather, tough hardware, polished exotics – and if a designer ruins a material because he or she just can’t leave well-enough alone, then in my mind, they’ve committed one of the cardinal sins of handbags.

Which is exactly what happened with the Cole Haan Sloane Woven Suede Tote.

Cole Haan Sloan Woven Suede Tote

Cole Haan calls this bag woven, but that doesn’t appear to actually be the truth. Instead, it looks patchwork, and kind of hastily so. I know that the edges are rough on purpose, but it doesn’t work for me. It looks old and rather inexpensive.

The distractingly wavy pattern and the unfinished materials detract from the beauty of the bag overall. Instead of looking rich and winter-y in chocolate suede and brown leather, it looks vintage (in a bad way) and previously worn. The embellishments are not done in a high-end way, and I can’t help but think that it ruins the bag. Buy through Saks for $398.

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