Back in January of 1993, a company launched that would go on to become one of America’s leading handbag brands. That company was Kate Spade. Founders Kate and husband Andy Spade left the über-successful business in 2007 and have now gone on with two former Kate Spade colleagues to launch Frances Valentine, a design house with an eye for playful, feminine style. She is so committed to it that she’s even changed her last name from Spade to Valentine (though it’s worth noting that the latter is a family name; her grandfather's middle name, to be exact)! That’s some dedication. I once saw the two of them speak at an Amex forum and was very impressed with their story, so it was lovely to talk with her personally about what to expect from the new NYC-based studio. If you saw my post on the best beach totes, you know I’m already a fan!
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I just got back from a trip to Mexico, and even though it was only for a few days, you know I brought more than a few bags. Hey, when you pack well, you can do that! If you prefer an even more streamlined suitcase, though, just one or two of the below will do. Take this striped Sophie Anderson handmade cotton tote (on Forward by Elyse Walker for $425). You can carry it on the beach or when you’re farther inland, as a daily shopper bag. If it gets dirty, just throw it in the wash and get back to relaxing!
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I’ve combed the Internet far and wide to find you the best frugal bags the web has to offer. Guess what? There’s so much to pick from! I managed to narrow them down to a hefty nine favorites, each with something different to offer. I found them; now you go get them. And speaking of shopping smartly, Tibi’s sample sale kicks off on Monday, so be sure to strike their site for deep discounts on Pre-Fall, Fall, Holiday, and some Resort pieces, all at up to 70% off.
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Or should the question be, “What’s in the rest of the bag?” Because when the strap is all you notice, it might seem like the strap is all that matters. Not quite, although a strap can make – or break – a bag. Success lies in the perfect balance. When your bag’s strap is striking, its body needs to be neutral and measured, not too much of anything, so the spotlight remains where it should. Then again, it can’t be too much of nothing, either. I’m not interested in boring bags! Here, straps with the right stuff and bags to match...
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Stripes: No longer relegated to sports or prepsters, the fashion set has claimed them for our own. And trust we have really run with them. This season, almost every major designer has gone stripe-happy, but I can say with confidence that none have done it as well as Gucci. Can I just say Gucci, Gucci, Gucci is all I dream about? Every. Single. Day. Never would I ever think that stripes, chains, and bows could be so well-executed. But here they are, along with my other favorite stripes of the season!
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