We talked about another Stephane Verdino bag a few weeks back, and I was wondering if we’d see him pop up again with anything interesting. I wouldn’t go so far as saying that this bag is interesting, per se, but it does look both functional and stylish, and sometimes that’s really all you need or can ask for, ya know? The Stephane Verdino Square Leather Tote has rolled handles, which give it an automatic strike in my book, but everything else looks pretty good. The leather looks thick and soft, and instead of being lined in a separate piece of material, you get the natural suede underside of the exterior material. I love it when bag makers employ this particular technique – when you use the kind of leather that we all want, there’s no reason to cover a single bit of it, whether it’s front or back. It gives the bag an artisan-crafted quality without making it look unprofessionally manufactured, which is sometimes all the adornment or personality a good bag needs. And that’s all this bag has – it’s without gimmick or shtick, which is generally what I prefer. And for the price – $315 – you probably won’t do much better. Buy through Saks for $315.
I’m not sure who this Stephane Verdino person is, but Saks has started carrying his bags, so he’s probably worth a look. Verdino’s Leather East/West Tote is particularly fetching for several reasons. The color is beautiful; it’s a bit darker and more charcoal-ish than a lot of the greys we’ve seen in the past few seasons, and I imagine it would go with many different sorts of color palettes. It’s big enough for work without being too huge to take to the mall, and the leather looks like it’s pretty wonderful – smooth but not stiff. According to Saks, the leather is Italian and the bag itself was also made in Italy, which is impressive considering the price – $495 for an Italian-made, all-leather bag is much better than you’ll do with pretty much any big-name brand. Buy through Saks for $495.