Discover... Rennes

Posted on August 01, 2013 by Rachel Kwei | 0 comments

I'm excited about discovering Rennes. Based in the US, it's creator Julia makes everything herself. According to the site, she drafts, cuts and sews every piece. Bags are made to order so you need to allow 1-2 weeks sewing time and despite the handcrafted nature of the product, all the bags are very reasonably priced. 

I've fallen in love with the Mini Chateau Duffle bag. It comes in three very versatile colours - denim nubuck leather, black and (my favourite...) dinosaur taupe. And while this is not a clothing blog, her dresses really caught my so check those out too!

Rennes mini château duffel dinosaur taupe
Mini Chateau Duffel in Dinosaur Taupe US$400

Rennes Gretel Tote white, natural, black
Gretel Tote in Crackle White, Natural and Black from US$270 

Rennes tote bags Sophie, Riley, unlined tote
L-R Sophie Tote in Terracotta US$300,
Riley Dot Tote - Cream Dots US$250, Unlined Tote in Black US$290 

Posted in Discover..., duffel, leather tote, Rennes

Discover... Ellen Truijen

Posted on July 22, 2013 by Rachel Kwei | 0 comments

It is hot in the city and sometimes carrying around a leather bag just makes you feel even hotter as it sticks to bare arms or creases up your light weight summer fabrics. So this week I wanted to share the 'Cotton Candy' range from Netherlands based designer Ellen Truijen.
There are five styles in the range but the stand-outs for me are the Butterfly, which is a compact cross-body bag in a versatile tan colour with great yellow straps, and the Firefly, which is a larger tote bag, again with a cross body strap and double handles but in a dark denim style which is possibly be more suited to autumn.  

Ellen Truijen Butterfly crossbody handbag
Butterfly - 26x26cm
Ellen Truijen Firefly handbags
Firefly 38x44cm
Visit the Ellen Truijen website for stockists and to check out the rest of the Cotton Candy range plus their gorgeous collection of leather bags. 

Posted in cotton, cross body bag, Discover..., Ellen Tuijen, tote

Discover: Carré Royal

Posted on June 15, 2013 by Rachel Kwei | 0 comments

This new-to-me French brand has actually been around for over 60 years - where have I been? I came across Carré Royal recently and was really impressed by the quality and style of their product, not to mention the reasonable price points. Perhaps the fact that I've only recently discovered the brand is a good thing - it's not on everyone! Here are a few of my favourite pics from their collection:

Carre Royal zipped bag coated canvas
Zipped bag made from special stain-resistant coated canvas €195

Carre Royal large leather wallet
Large cow hide leather wallet €122
Carre Royal portfeuille coated canvas wallet
Portfeuille special stain-resistent coated canvas €70

Carre Royal leather wallet
Calf leather wallet €98 

Posted in coated canvas, Discover..., leather, tote, wallet

Discover - Knomo laptop sleeve

Posted on June 01, 2013 by Rachel Kwei | 0 comments

I wrote about Knomo recently in the post about weekenders here. I first came across Knomo a couple of years ago when I was looking for a bag for work. I wanted something big enough to carry documents but with more compartments than your average tote and, specifically, zip closures to keep things safe from uninvited hands (very important for travel!).
I ended up getting the Lola bag in tan (which people regularly compliment in terms of style, size and colour). It's got lots of interior pockets, including a long zip pocket, and a handy exterior zippered pocket which is great for things that need quick and easy access like phones, lip balm, your Oyster card or boarding passes. As a bonus, that is, I wasn't particularly looking for this, it has a lightly padded pocket for a 15" laptop so perfect for work. My only gripe is that sometimes this section gapes open, especially when its not got a laptop in it, so it could be improved with some way of holding it closed. 
Overall, Knomo has a really good range of bags for work and for travel without the masculine feel of other brands. There's a variety of colours and sizes perfect for people
who don't want to stick to the safety of black.
Best of all, they are reasonably priced and each bag has a unique identifying number so that if your bag is found by someone, they can call Knomo who, if you've registered your bag with them, will return it to you.

In this post, I wanted to highlight the laptop sleeve as something hugely practical especially if you don't want to carry a big laptop or tote bag. It's made from durable, quilted nylon and can be used with the shoulder strap, top handle or carried inside another bag. Very reasonably priced, it comes in three colours - blue, black and red but blue is definitely my pick.


Posted in Discover..., Knomo, laptop sleeve, large bag

Discover: Nat & Nin

Posted on April 16, 2013 by Rachel Kwei | 0 comments

The daughters of Parisian leather artisans, Natahalie and Ninny launched their brand Nat & Nin in 2005 bringing their childhood dreams to a reality. Their ambition was to create reliable, quality bags and their range is colourful and simple but stylish. The designers carefully select chemical free, premium top grain leather resulting in beautifully soft bags that have delicate and smooth textures.
I was introduced to this brand by a friend of mine who'd bought a bag from their spring summer 2013 range on a weekend trip outside of London. It's the perfect example of the type of brand that that people (including me!) seem to love - it's 'independent brand' enough to make people feel as if they are getting a 'one-off' piece but without the 'established/well-known designer' price tag. The Nat & Nin collection offers a range of soft, unstructured bags with an unusually large number of colour options.

'Scarlett' €225 available in 10 different colours
'Alison' €200 comes in 7 different colours
'Maestro' €110 available in seven colours

Posted in Discover..., French, Nat & Nin

Discover: Clare Vivier

Posted on March 08, 2013 by Rachel Kwei | 0 comments

I was really excited when I came across the Clare Vivier brand. I was immediately struck by the classic-but-with- a-twist designs making them practical enough to use day in day out without being bor

ed. Beautiful Italian leather in gorgeous colours with bright, contrasting zips add a splash of colour. Clare Vivier bags are very reasonably priced for a product that you will be able to use year in year out. 

Based in California, Clare Vivier products are all handmade locally and often made to order. The good news is that Clare Vivier ships internationally and if the product is available at the time of order it will ship within 2 days but if it is to be made to order it will ship within 10 days. Monogramming is also available on some products which make lovely, personalised gifts (or just special treats for yourself ;-)) Here are some of my favourites…

Posted in Clare Vivier, clutch, cross body bag, Discover..., duffel, messenger, monogram, wallet