Don’t be afraid the catch feels babe…I know you ain’t afraid to pop a posh pill…. know you’re not afraid to catch the feels with me…
If bags could sing a saucy tune, this would be their in-loop anthem! Those plush, beautifully designed totes, cross-bodies, buckets and nanos are any woman’s truest boo, bae & bff. While we all want the staple luxury bags – from Chanel Boys to LV Speedys – there is a whole new crop of under-the-radar bags waiting to announce you as the girl who’s in-the-know.
And what’s better, most of them come at such price-points that you can cop one with your first salary (or even a whole bunch of them). Here goes the list. Bookmark it and feel free not to share.
1. THE VOLON – For the original cool girl, who’s eyes are sore and watering from ODing on Gucci
Story: Brand-child of Eu Jung Jang, these objects of desire have a conceptual root in furniture and interior design. Which explains the shapes, colour-play and the absolutely new aesthetics. ‘Lunchbox’, ‘Data’ and ‘Cube’ styles have already become beaus of Miroslava Duma, Olivia Palermo and Leandra Medine.
The name: THE VOLON name originated from philosophy phrase “Le volonte de tous” of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. It means the will of all and it is the total of what one individual wants. In order to meet the very core of individuals’ need.
Born & Based: 2014, Seoul, Korea
Price: $800-$1500 (Currently on sale of upto 50% on Farfetch – which ships to India with duties included!!)
Personality type: The #Girlboss. The girl who’s not afraid to bring her fashionable self to the boardroom. Who wears a power suit but not because she needs to be taken seriously. Her life, its cheap thrills & expensive indulgences are all of her own making. She is the #IRL of Beyonce’s (Destiny’s Child days) track Independent Women – I depend on Me.
2. SALAR MILANO – For the Rock & roll chica
Spotted: I first stumbled upon Salar Milano on The Blonde Salad’s page. Instantly eye-arresting, Salar seemed like my sister-from-another-mister. Perfect bag for me – someone who loves an effeminate component in my brogues, leather jackets, parkas (all things that are classic Man Repellers). This bag was sending out all the right vibes instantly. And definitely a more accessible option to owning a Chanel Boy without missing out on the personality.
Story: The brand was founded by Salar and Francesca and is a classic Italian luxury leather experience. The brand was born in Milan and was immediately recognized by Vogue Italia as one of the best emerging brands.
Design: The rock-meets-pop aesthetics is the quintessential style of the brand, articulated by embellishments like studs, fringes & grommets. Coupled with the tradition of exquisite Italian leather craftsmanship. Their iconic bags are sported by global style icons Olivia Palermo, Emily Ratajkowski and Kristina Bazan.
Personality type: the woman who inspires SALAR is liberated from trappings of what is feminine & what’s not. She’s hip-hop minded, kind-hearted, designed with literature & inspired by art, moving with soul.
Born & Based: 2010, Italy
Available at: Farfetch
Price: $350-$599 (Again on sale at Farfetch going for as little as $299! Order Now!!)
3. OKHTEIN – The girl whose dictionary has no word called over-dressed
Spotted: A discovery while procrastinating work & instead browsing Farfetch, this bag instantly stopped my unaffordable flights-of-fancy mid-scroll. I was wondering which brand to pin these design aesthetics to (…Prada?) when I spotted the name. And due diligence followed.
Story: Egyptian design duo siblings Aya and Mounaz Abdelraouf launched their brand Okhtein – meaning, appropriately, “sisters” in Arabic. And let’s face it as men need their bros, we need our girl gang. Since winning the accessories category of the DDFC/Vogue Fashion Prize for 2016, Okhtein has seen its designs worn by a host of A-listers, most recently Gigi Hadid, Olivia Culpo & Beyonce!
Design: The ode-to-roots design philosophy is expressed with bold gilded embossed metallic ornamentations. The bags themselves come in sharply modern shapes & solid coloured leathers.
To incorporate more handmade embroidery and straw into their leatherwork Okhtein collaborates with several local NGOs that work to provide assistance to skilled female workers who have faced considerable financial hardship.
Personality type: The woman who loves originality and has got an eye for scouring out all that will be in vogue, a year in advance. The original cool child, she’s a maximalist & minimalist both. She’s perpetually treading in her own Wonderland & believes in blowing her own damn mind first. Giving no fucks about what’s latest or on-trend, if this bag took a human form it would be Jessa from Girls. Bow down.
Born & Based: 2013, Cairo Egypt
Priced at: $500-$1000
4. LES PETITS JOUEURS – For the livewire! The girl whose life seems to be proving Murphy’s Law every minute
Spotted: Being the it-piece on street-style icons on instagram, this instantly appealed to my Lulu Guinness and Yazbukey loving soul. Here’s the lowdown. Les Petits Joueurs is an almost-omnipresent luxury handbag brand that creates statement bags with its quirky, pop motifs. Italian founder Mariasole Cecchi launched this label after one of those quirky incidents we all wish for.
Story: One night before a party, she customized an old bag by gluing LEGO® blocks to it, which instantly caught attention of the other partygoers. Les petits joueurs handbags are handcrafted in Italy and Brazil from fine leathers and are often produced in limited runs.
The expression “LES PETITS JOUEURS” (in English “the little players”) is a french euphemism to define people that don’t want to take risks, clearly a pun-play on the phrase with the offbeat creations. Mariasole takes great pride in working with the most traditional artisans in Florence, Italy, where all of her designs are made completely by hand.
Design: Embellished with whimsical pop symbols like a studded lightning bolt, black and white panda faces, brightly colored poms poms, and sequined rainbows. The brand has recently extended its aesthetics to men’s line. Available in 145 countries, LPJ is currently placed in 200 of the most prestigious stores, including Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Browns, Luisa Via Roma, and 10 Corso Como.
Personality type: The girl who loves to serve cheek, sass and humor. The word of note here is ‘girl’. Free-falling through the rabbit-hole, she acts on every impulse, satiates all her curiosities and breaks every rule, stereotype and balls while at it.
Born & Based: 2013, Florence
Priced at: $200-$1200
So ladies, go out there, do the new! In other words be a shameless bag-whore, but not a bag-bore.