One of the most exciting (and underused) things that a designer can do to make a bag’s details stand out is to choose hardware that’s not standard gold or silver. Heavily customized or intricate hardware can be prohibitively costly for brands, particularly at a contemporary price point, but I think it’s worth the expense because the effect can be so immediately impactful. We’re all so used to seeing only a couple of colors of hardware.

Check out the latest version of the Marc Jacobs Werde Crossbody, for instance. This bag has been a favorite option around here for months, but this faux snakeskin option takes thing to the next level by using tonal black hardware. What could have been an average black bag is suddenly a fashion statement because of that one little tweak.

Combining different tones and textures of black is one of my personal favorite ways to dress, and this bag illustrates the advantages of it perfectly. Black on black feels industrial and cool, and the contrast of the matte faux snake and the shiny black hardware means that the bag doesn’t visually morph into a big, black blob. Proenza Schouler uses the same combination with its black PS1 and it works beautifully – hardware is the best way to make a black leather bag look young and cool, and black hardware pulls off that look flawlessly. If you want to achieve that look at a price point that won’t empty your bank account, the Werdie might just be your best bet. Buy through Net-a-Porter for $448.

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  • Mari

    NAP says it’s midnight blue… It looks black!