Marc Jacobs himself has acknowledged that his little-sister Marc by Marc Jacobs line has fallen off a bit over the past few years. To remedy the situation, he appointed some well-known new design brass to the label – Luella Bartley and Katie Hillier – back in May, and although we won’t see any results from the new leadership until the brand’s Spring 2014 collection debuts next week, the Marc by Marc Jacobs Get A Grip Large Satchel is a pretty good indicator of where Jacobs would like to see the brand headed.

When I first saw this bag in the New Arrivals lineup at NeimanMarcus.com alongside bags from Rochas and The Row, it didn’t look at all out of place. Black leather, simple shape, inventive use of sleek, subtle hardware – it’s all here, and for a price that isn’t nearly so astronomical as the look will run you at any number of other brands. It’s a strong basic, a bag that you can take to the office without fear of looking unprofessional but that you might also like enough to carry off-duty. (If models can be “off-duty,” I suspect that we’re all allowed to use that distinction for our down time.)

At $598, the bag is on the more expensive end of the spectrum for a Marc by Marc bag, but it also lacks many of the slightly juvenile details that made earlier bags from the brand a prime choice for coeds and interns. Jacobs’ little sister appears to be ready to grow up a little bit, and not a moment too soon. Buy through Neiman Marcus for $598.

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