Donna Karan Pleated North-South ToteI’ve written rather mercilessly about Donna Karan handbags over the past few months, so I feel like it’s my duty to also present successful designs from the company when I see them. Which is exactly what the Donna Karan Pleated North-South Tote is – casually elegant, not over-designed, and completely successful.

Because of the thickness of leather, few designers attempt to pleat it, since pleats are predicated on the ability to make sharp creases in a material. It appears as though Karan was able to do that in this case, all without sacrificing the leather’s luxurious, soft look. The entire bag appears to be both functional and chic, mainly because the bag’s design elements are derived from the essential materials used to construct the bag, not from adding extra hardware, seaming, or otherwise-gimmicky doo-dads. It’s a basic bag that also manages to have a lot of style, and it’s light years better than anything else we’ve seen form this designer recently. Well played, Donna Karan. Well, except for the price – still too high for what you get. Buy through Saks for $1495.

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