I have written before about my aviator sunglasses “problem”. Well, I also seem to have a thing for buying multiple tote bags. I attribute this to living in New York, where, thanks to an extensive public transportation network, I don’t need to own a car, but I do need a wardrobe of various-sized bags that act as a proverbial trunk/boot to accommodate the day’s needs. My collection ranges from classic and capacious canvas numbers to a smart leather Shopper (£395) by Detroit-based brand Shinola. The latter features two deep-enough-for-a-water-bottle interior pockets, a removable zippered pouch and a lot in between, all tending towards the slouchy.
Oddly enough, my latest tote love also has a Detroit link. Created by architecture-turned-interiors major and Detroit native Jessica Park, Ampersand as Apostrophe was introduced to me several months ago by a particularly stylish friend. She walked into a party carrying a smallish super-chic tote in a gorgeous shade of metallic navy that I later learnt is the Half tote (from $440). It comes in a range of colours and finishes (including metallic and patent leathers) and has a handy removable zippered pouch. Structured with just the right amount of slouch, its overall look is elevated and elegant, aided by the fact that it must be hand-carried, as the handles are too short to fit over the shoulder (a positive, in my book).
I now own two – a matte Croc Noir and a very of-the-moment matte white – and when I carry either, compliments abound. At a recent meeting, discussions were put on hold while two women at the table took screenshots of my bag. There’s a larger full-sized version (the Sideways, from $594), too, but the Half has just enough room to hold a laptop, wallet, cosmetics bag and, of course, a couple of pairs of aviators.