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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By the time Friday rolls around (and it sure took its time), you feel tired and frazzled, but much like the weekend, another bag is always waiting to offer you a sense of renewal. Plop down that less-organized-than-it-was-on-Monday work tote and get yourself one of these ladylike top handles. You can’t help but feel sophisticated and put-together with polished accessories like these – even if you’re in your sweaty yoga pants.
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For those of you who didn’t think such a list is possible, think again. As for most of you who know a substantial list of under-$100 bags is feasible but are savvy enough to remember that no one said anything about those bags being chic, cute, covetable, or remotely expensive-looking, well, here’s one to change your mind! We’ve scoured all the stores to find a tightly edited group of 10 bags that are all that and more. Long live the frugal Snobs in all of us!
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