If there’s anything I wouldn’t have anticipated about my sartorial tastes as I’ve aged, it most certainly would be that I’d find myself a proponent of a) minimalist uniforms; b) neutral palettes; and c) fewer, but better-made pieces. Despite glamming it up for photoshoots on The Height of Style, my workweek wardrobe is becoming a plug-and-play game of wearing as few pieces as possible (why I love dresses and black tights), with focus on great fits, elegant colors, and comfortable shapes that mean I can move, breathe, and commute by foot without popping a seam (no one likes starting their day with that).
Similarly, I require accessories that look polished, but are fabricated to get better with wear—accommodate notepads, boards, a laptop, bad weather, my dropping them by mistake while running late to a meeting–you get the idea. And while I’ve been through totes of various brands, fabrications, and colors, I hadn’t found—and maintained—what I’ve truly needed in my life: a roomy, sturdy, black leather tote with no frills but plenty of elegance (precisely due to the lack of anything unecessary). In Cuyana, I found my bag—personalized with a delicate gold monogram, too!
At the foundation of Cuyana’s brand is the philosophy of “fewer, better things.” This accessory and clothing brand offers simple, beautifully-designed accessories and apparel crafted to resist trends. Co-founders Karla Gallardo and Shilpa Shah travel the world to find the best leathers, the best cottons, and the best silks with which to construct their line, partnering with suppliers and manufacturers with heritages in quality construction techniques. By consolidating production and cleaning up the supply chain, they are able to offer a premium product at an affordable price—with their supple leather bags predominantly running in the $100-$300 range. These are bags designed to be the pieces that can be worn for many years, passed between generations—and really loved.
In the season where giving and getting can quickly devolve into “more”, Cuyana offers better—more personalized, more meaningful gift options for those you love—or for the gifts you should give yourself. Perhaps, like me, you are drawn to classic leather totes—available in styles from open top, to zip-top, to tall (great for our readers!) to oversized, in a beautiful palette of smooth and pebbled Italian leathers—I chose the Classic Leather Zipper Tote, monogrammed ($205) in black pebbled leather. It’s a plush and roomy carryall at 14″ x 19″, with subdued gold hardware. Perhaps you are looking for stocking stuffers for all the wonderful lasses in your life—in which case, the Italian Leather Tassel Keychains ($55) are charming little deliveries (and monogrammable too). Or perhaps you’re shopping for Mom or Nana—in which case, an oversized scarf made of glorious, 100% Scottish Cashmere ($295) or a Classic Alpaca Cape ($195) is a beautiful bet for an memorable, indulgent surprise.
But whether accessory or apparel, it never hurts to have a hint as to what your recipients (or you) would like to unwrap—so giving the right better gift is possible. By clicking on the ‘Send a Hint’ button on any product page, you can send an email missive to anyone of your choosing with a demure suggestion as to what you’d like to find under the tree.
With a bag so gorgeous as the Classic Leather Zipper Tote, maybe a girl needs a matching wallet?! (Hint, hint!)