Before we get into the details of this review, let’s deal with the obvious: the Halston Heritage Brandy Satchel is shaped an awful lot like the Louis Vuitton Mahina Bags. With how popular Mahina has been for LV, it’s certainly no surprise that other designers have adopted the shape for themselves in hopes of scooping up customers who may not want to spend three grand on a handbag.

For those customers, this bag is certainly a stylish option, and the overall aesthetic has been tweaked enough that it doesn’t appear to be an outright Vuitton ripoff. In fact, the tactile, slightly sparkly sueded finish to the leather reminds me a lot of the Balenciaga/Neiman Marcus anniversary bags.

I’d have to examine this bag in person before I could really tell you how luxurious the material is, but I have high hopes (at least for the black – the gunmetal color looks kind of cheap). The bag has a nice slouch to it without being completely unstructured, and the gold accents around the handle are fun and different. They might make the bag a little uncomfortable to carry if fully loaded, but I’m willing to suffer a bit for a great find at a reasonable price. Buy through Nordstrom for $495.

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