Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The People's Republic of Freakin' Amazing Handbags

If you would have told me last month that my new favorite handbag was going to be for sale at Banana Republic, I would have laughed in your face. Hard.

Not that there's anything wrong with BR, I mean who doesn't love a good cashmere sweater set for under $200 bucks! But let's just say the upper echelon stylings of Gap, Inc. have never really spoken to me. Maybe a bracelet here, a super-bargain blouse there, but it's definitely not the first place I think of when I need my shopping fix. In fact, no phrase tends to curb my consumer fervor more quickly than hearing one of my friends coo, "Oh, lets check out what they have at 'Banana'!"

Hang me.

But this season, out of nowhere, a big heaping gob of style has apparently come and steamrolled the accessories design team for Banana Republic. Because they have, dare I say it,... some pretty fabulous stuff!

I'm not sold on their footwear, but by golly the handbags are great. I know this because, well... I bought one. (Don't tell Monica Botkier!) There are clutches, and chain-strap shoulder bags, but in particular, the Cambridge Pleated Tote in purple suede had my name all over it. The leather is stellar, and the details on the bag (braided handles, well-placed pockets, darling pleats) add a sense of luxury that even had my most stylish gay friends saying, "There is no way that came from 'Banana'!!!"
Which, of course, filled me with a great sense of accomplishment.

So kudos to you, Banana Republic! Your new bags have more than earned their place in my lust-worthy, must-have hall of fame. My money (well, my $260) is yours. If you have another great accessories season like this one, I may just be willing to pledge my allegiance.

Though I will never agree with your brand's moniker choice. Tropical fruits and governing systems just don't belong together. Not even if you do have really great cashmere.