Spring has sprung

Posted on April 03, 2013 by Rachel Kwei | 0 comments

I was in Paris on this gorgeous sunny day and spotted a very sweet florist. Finally it feels as if spring is around the corner... please, let it be so!

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Alternative to... Louis Vuitton Neverfull

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

A hugely practical bag, the Louis Vuitton Neverfull is lightweight and large allowing you to throw everything in and tote it around with out a care. Some people love them, some hate them but they clearly offer a lot of utility for their owners. This would have to be one of the most copied bags around, including being very popular with the counterfeiters so here are a few alternatives if you like the practical style of the Neverfull but want to be a bit different (and spend less money!)

Edhopper Shopper, Essentiel Antwerp
The Edhopper Shopper from Essentiel Antwerp has the same shape as the Neverfull but is a little bigger. It's got an exterior zip pocket and comes in two colours. Essential Antwerp doesn't ship outside of Belgium, France, Luxembourg or The Netherlands so if you are not planning trips to any of these places you can buy online from Zalando.

Edhopper Shopper by Essential Antwerp £110

Kennedy tote, Joie
US based brand Joie, known for it's laid back California-luxe style, also has a good range of coated canvas bags in around the same size as the Neverfull. The Kennedy tote also comes in spicy orange and has an interior zip pocket.

Kennedy tote by Joie US$158

Mansur Gavriel tote
These beautiful Italian leather tote bags from, another US-based brand, Mansur Gavriel, are my favourite leather alternative to a Neverfull. They come in a range of fantastic colours, some with an interior resin coating in vibrant contrasting colours which make for an interesting design twist.

Mansur Gavriel totes from US$210

IllBeCa Harrison Street Tote
The Harrison Street tote is a good looking bag but what makes this tote unique is that it's got some great features - adjustable handles, an external pocket and a unique removable nylon drawstring pouch ideal for protecting the inside of your bag as much as keeping everything together inside. Not only is the bag really reasonably priced, as the whole IIIBeCa range is, they donate 3% of the wholesale price to three different charities. So you can justify your purchase by knowing you are doing some good! Comes in five great colours for summer.
 Harrison Street tote by IIIBeCa US$178

Marjorie, Ally Capellino
This bag is part of Ally Capellino's Conservative range of bags. Truly a classic investment piece that will withstand the test of time, it's made from Italian vegetable dyed leather and made in London. One of the great features of this bag is that it not only has the mandatory interior pocket, it also has double magnetic flaps on the inside covering the interior of the bag to keep your things that little bit more safe and secure. It comes in great colours too - the gorgeous and refreshingly different sea blue (definitely my pick), grey and, a more timeless, dark brown.

Marjorie by Ally Capellino £448

Posted in Ally Capellino, Alternative to, coated canvas, Essentiel Antwerp, IllBeCa, Joie, leather tote, Louis Vuitton Neverfull, tote

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

Pour la Pomme: what's it all about?

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

Pour la Pomme celebrates independent designers and small producers who create bags that are more special and unique than are found in mass market stores.

The name originates from a tongue in cheek New York Times article, published in 1945, where the writer Anita Daniel claimed that the notion of men being superior to women was entirely based on the fact that men do not need to carry handbags. The luxury of having several pockets in their clothing meant that men could carry all their necessities on them while women couldn't possibly endanger their slimline silhouettes with bulging pockets making handbags essential for women.

According to the article, buying handbags for women was a way for men to fuel the dependency and their own superiority - remember, it was 1945. Daniel jokes that 'the first thing Adam purchased for Eve was a handbag. It was his sweet revenge for the apple." And hence the name, Pour la Pomme. 'For the apple' just doesn't have the same ring to it, because, doesn't everything sound nicer in French?

It seems that even since the 40's, women have had a passion for handbags and were reliant on them to cart their lives around. The creation of 'It bags' may be a thing of recent times but not everyone wants to be a walking billboard for a bag where everyone knows the brand, how much it's worth and what season it's from! 
In this blog, I will share my discoveries of brands and independent designers I think are interesting, shops and things from places I find on my travels, and maybe sometimes the occasional idea and inspiration for travelling better.
Hope you enjoy! 

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