19 February, 2018
Style

Fashion Meets Function: The Only Bags You’ll Need

19 February, 2018

Perfectly practical

 

In a city like Hong Kong, where our days choose us and we are just along for the ride – with work, gym, school, meetings, drinks, dinner and repeat – we need a handbag that fits our laptop and gym kit, that is also evening elegant.

After being in the handbag business for almost nine years, nothing brings the strangeness of the fashion industry into stark relief like stumbling across an $80K bag, and then comparing it to another which is similar, but at a much lower price. So, I’ve rounded up my picks for the perfect (and practical!) backpacks, totes, top handle and shoulder bags, at a range of price points!

Top Handles in White

Up until recently white was synonymous with “plain”, but by now, everyone knows there is nothing chicer.

Fashion meets Function: The Only Bags You’ll Need

HIGH END: Sylvie Large Chain Embellished Leather Tote by GUCCI

You’ve probably seen the emoji with the heart eyes. It comes in both human and cat form and, when used correctly, it communicates the kind of stormy eyes adoration that’s so difficult to describe in words. Enter the Sylvie Leather Tote by GUCCI! It is white, strong, sleek, elegant, feminine, striking and everything I could want a day bag to be – just beware of your denims staining this one!

Cost: $41,900
Available from: Net-A-Porter

HIGH STREET: Satchel by TORI BURCH

At a more affordable option – and 38K cheaper – I am kind of loving this satchel. The shape and structure is on point, and I am seriously feeling the finish with the sleek black edging of the panels against the white leather!

Tip: To get a high-end look – opt for a Hermes-esque looking silk scarf; twist it around your top handle to up the glam factor!

Cost: $3,900
Available from:
Shopbop
 

GET THE LOOK: Saffiano Effect Tote Bag by MANGO

Fashion meets Function: The Only Bags You’ll Need

Cost: $399
Available from:
Zalora

Totes in Exotics

Exotic handbags are still a driving force in the handbag world. It’s nearly impossible to go wrong with exotic materials – all you need is quality leather in beautiful colors and simple shapes.

Fashion meets Function: The Only Bags You’ll Need

HIGH END: Very Zipped Tote by LOUIS VUITTON

I’ve never been the type to swoon, but if I ever needed a fainting couch, now is the time. The elegant touch of python and the piping detailing on the edges is so cool it hurts. This may be one of the greatest totes I have ever glimpsed. Wouldn’t it also just match with everything?!! This is one of those situations where I say “Buy it because I said so”, kind of like a mum would tell a kid – so just do it! 

Cost: $31,000
Available from:
Louis Vuitton

HIGH STREET: LIANE by LAYKH

As prices in handbags skyrocket, shoppers continue to look for luxurious yet practical options. Laykh uses the same leathers as a Gucci, LV and Hermes, which are consistently subtle, elegant and totally luxurious. Finding something fresh in fashion feels harder every day, so at least with this bag, you won’t buy it and then immediately realise that four people in your circle already have it. Simply pick your leather, colour, style and your bag will be with you within 10 days!

Cost: $6,400
Available from:
Laykh

GET THE LOOK: Zalore Trapeze Shape by ZALORA

Fashion meets Function: The Only Bags You’ll Need

Cost: $199
Available from:
Zalora

Backpacks in Black

So that you’re not reminded of your awkward middle school wardrobes, my picks for backpacks also function as top handles and cross-body’s! 

Fashion meets Function: The Only Bags You’ll Need

HIGH END: Leather Backpack by THE ROW

Years ago, the Row put backpacks back on the handbag radar with the buzzworthy $265,000 Alligator Backpack – ever since backpacks have been popping up all over the fashion industry. The top handle saves this backpack, as without it, it could have looked like a large aggressive duffel bag. With its elegant stitching detail, it can also function nicely as a hobo bag.

Cost: $35,000
Available from:
Net-A-Porter

HIGH STREET: Darron Convertible Back Pack by REBECCA MINKOFF

I was so impressed when I saw this bag and its price. It is not the typical backpack shape, but maybe that’s why I like it so much! The small sleek top handle makes it chic to walk around with, and the detachable strap means that it can either function as a backpack or a cross body: genius! What has really sold me is the texture of the leather, this cowhide is mature and grainy. It’s durable, and is a bag that is meant to be “used”!

Cost: $2,690
Available from:
Revolve

GET THE LOOK: Leather Mixed Backpack by MANGO

Fashion meets Function: The Only Bags You’ll Need

Cost: $199
Available from:
Zalora

Shoppers in Navy

I love anything Navy. Like your perfect pair of jeans, the color is versatile and dependable.

Fashion meets Function: The Only Bags You’ll Need

HIGH END: Lockme Cabas by LOUIS VUITTON

By now you must have noticed my love for LV (I’m obsessed with the current artistic director of the woman’s collection, Nicolas Ghesquire!). His quest for authenticity and timeless innovation can be seen in the simple pinch of red edging that instantly breathes life into what would have otherwise been a basic neutral bag – bravo!

Cost: $21,200
Available from:
Louis Vuitton

HIGH STREET: Large Isabella Tote by Annabel Ingall

This shopper just took me by surprise – at first glance it didn’t stand out, but upon a closer inspection, I adore the subtle yet sexy detailing. The stitching shape of the handles and the gold studs against the navy add an elegant pinch of funk to what would have been otherwise a generic bag.

Cost: $3,560
Available from:
Shopbop

GET THE LOOK: Metallic Detail Shoulder Bag by ZARA  

Fashion meets Function: The Only Bags You’ll Need

Cost: $299
Available from:
ZARA

lianna paris - bag straps

For a quick upgrade…

If you’re looking for the easiest bag upgrade, Lianna Paris has got you covered. The brand was created when its Parisian designer decided to give a second life to her iconic bags by adding a fun, bold strap. It’s no surprise to see this is one of the easiest way to add a bit of personality to your investment bags, whilst also making them more practical and functional! Really, it’s a win-win.

Cost: Straps start from around $600
Available from: Lianna Paris

Featured image courtesy of www.fashionmenow.co.uk via Pinterest. Image #1 courtesy of Net-A-Porter, image #2 courtesy of Shopbop, image #3 courtesy of Zalora, imge #4 courtesy of Louis Vuitton, image #5 courtesy of Laykh, image #6 courtesy of Zalora, image #7 courtesy of Net-A-Porter, image #8 courtesy of Rebecca Minkoff, image #9 courtesy of Mango, image #10 courtesy of Mango, image #11 courtesy of Louis Vuitton, image #12 courtesy of Shopbop, image #13 courtesy of ZARA

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