Tag: Designer Accessories

Brand To Watch: RÉNA IMAN, Luxury Handbags With A Purse

Rena Iman Clutches

One of my favorite handbag vloggers, Minks4All, posted an Instagram Story a few months ago with a bag charm featuring a small gem. I loved its simplicity and looked up the brand, RÉNA IMAN. I was inspired by the design, and more importantly, the cause each bag and bag charm supports:  stopping domestic violence.

RÉNA IMAN is a socially-conscious luxury brand that makes luxury affordable, simultaneously joining the fight to end domestic violence and provide aid to its countless victims. A percentage of every purchase goes back to a local and national charity to collectively help change the lives of women and stop violence against women.

RÉNA IMAN handcrafted leather goods are designed by an amazing woman, Reana Muhammad.  When I spoke with Reana over email about her first hand experience working with domestic violence survivors, she said, “Seeing how resources were limited to low income families a lot of them gave up on trying to leave and lived in fear for years to just keep a roof over there heads.” She knew she had to do something to help.  “I never wanted another women to have to face death before she was able to walk away for her abuser. ”

To help this very serious cause, RÉNA IMAN donates to the Virginia statewide coalition for domestic violence and sexual assault, and a national domestic violence and sexual assault charity.

Each product has been named after a strong female figure in her life. The handbags are minimal and classic with simple, sleek lines. Each bag charm is chosen by the customer for a personalized touch using semi-precious stones.

This is a cause I care a lot about because I was a victim of domestic violence over 10 years ago; I went to a local domestic violence resource center and they helped me find the support I needed.

Luxury with a purpose is something I can get behind.

Shop Rena Iman

The RÉNA IMAN Collection:

Shop Rena Iman

Wishlist & Try On: Chanel New Mini Classic Flap Bag

Chanel New Mini Classic Flap Bag
Current retail price: $3300
Style Numbers: A65050 (with 4 holes), New Mini A69900 (with 2 holes)

There are two different versions of the Chanel New Mini Classic Flap: two holes and four holes. By that, I’m referring to the holes at the top of the bag for the strap to loop through. With 4 holes, it’s easier to shorten the chain and wear it with double chains on the shoulder. Due to the absence of a double flap, the New Mini can fit more than the small sized Chanel flap. The 2 hole New Mini Classic Flap ends up being the perfect small crossbody bag.

Chanel Black Quilted Patent Leather New Mini Flap Bag.jpg

I’ve tried all styles of Chanel bags and I’ve decided the Chanel New Mini Classic Flap Bag is the Chanel bag I want.

A few weeks ago I went to the Chanel boutique inside Nordstrom’s flagship store in downtown Seattle. I usually try to go the boutiques every month or two to see what’s new for the season.

I just want to look, never speak to an SA because I know I’m not planning on buying anything that day. SA’s usually ignore me because I’m not actively engaged with them.

But this time, I wanted to ask a few questions. I’ve had my eye on a Caviar card case, and wanted to see one IRL. I looked around for a little while before asking to see a Black Caviar and Red Caviar Classic Card Case, which are priced at $400 each. They were beautiful.

Truth be told, I’ve never purchased any luxury items brand new from a boutique. All of my luxury bags, small leather goods, and accessories were purchased pre-owned or at sample sales.

I’m hoping the Chanel New Mini can be the one—though I’d be happy with pre-owned.

But they’re really hard to get. Not only does Chanel only make a few hundred a year, but they are very hard to find pre-owned because people keep them forever. Because Chanel minis are not considered part of the permanent line (small classic flap, the M/L, the jumbo and the maxi), they are released as seasonal bags. That means the Chanel New Mini is a seasonal bag and is only released in batches whenever Chanel feels like it.

I told the SA I wanted to buy a Chanel New Mini, knowing I wasn’t actually going to be able to walk away with one.

I wasn’t anticipating the SA catapulting into her rant about “wishlist” items. She asked me what I wanted, what color, leather, style, etc. It almost felt like a test to see if I was a serious buyer.

“Classic New Mini, the Rectangle one, in Black Caviar,” I stuttered. Somehow, in the face of this Chanel Sales Associate, I forgot my encyclopedia of Chanel knowledge. I reminded myself that I probably knew more than she did, and kept talking. “I would prefer shiny silver or shiny gold.”

She wrote down what I wanted on a piece of scrap paper with my name and phone number, which felt a little unprofessional.

The next thing out of her mouth was the worst seven words I’ve heard all year:

“It could be up to two years.”

Ugh.

That’s so dang long, but also two years to get my finances in a place where I can afford a Chanel bag, go on vacation, and donate to the causes I support.

I left the store feeling a little deflated but also hopeful that someday, maybe I’ll own a brand new Chanel bag.

I’ll keep looking on the pre-owned market, but the exact bag I want is few and far between. I’ve seen a few in the Chanel Addicted Buy and Sell Facebook group, but it makes me really nervous to buy from someone in a group. The bag could be fake, or I could get scammed.

Update:

I got to try on a Chanel Patent Leather New Mini Classic Flap today! I wasn’t expecting to love the patent leather, but the shiny gloss made it look so beautiful.

I’m 5’1″ and it feels like the perfect crossbody size. It only has a single flap with the Classic Chanel CC turn-lock on the front. SWOON. Should I get it? I really want one in Caviar leather (pebbled leather that’s more durable), but AHHH.

Chanel Black Patent Leather New Mini Classic Flap Bag | CoffeeAndHandbags.com

Chanel New Mini Classic Flap Bag | CoffeeAndHandbags.com

How to score a Chanel New Mini Flap bag:

Buy pre-owned from Yoogi’s Closet, Fashionphile.com, or TheRealReal.

  • Establish a relationship with a Sales Associate.
  • Keep track of release dates for Chanel Minis in the seasonal collections. The best place to do this is in the Chanel Mini Purse Forum Thread and the ‘Shopping’ thread in the Chanel section, which always have threads for the upcoming collections intel there on release dates.
  • When you find out an approximate release month for special releases, call your local Chanel store or go in to ask about new arrivals. Often SAs don’t have information about exact dates or what’s included, so just make sure they have your number to call or text you ASAP if they get a shipment in.
  • If your area has more than one Chanel boutique, call all of them to ask if your wishlist bag is there! Chanel may offer to search the ‘system’ for you to see if the bag you’re after is available in any of stores nearby, but proceed with caution because they do sell very fast.
  • Be persistent. Try calling between 10:00am and 11:00am before the store gets busy to see if they’ve received what you’re after in that day’s delivery.
  • If what you want comes in, go to the store ASAP to buy your new bag. The official policy is not to reserve items for customers, but most SAs will hold the bag for you for a couple of hours, especially if they know you.

Good luck!

Do you like the New Mini flap bag? Do you have one?

cheers,
becca risa luna @ coffee and handbags

Bag of the day: Proenza Schouler PS1 Mini Crossbody

Good morning!

COFFEE OF THE DAY:
Almond Milk Vanilla Latte at Olympia Coffee Roasters

BAG OF THE DAY:
Proenza Schouler PS1 Mini Crossbody


Proenza Schouler PS1 Bag Review of the day

tldr; not flashy, very functional, great small crossbody.

I went out for the day to run errands with my PS1 Mini Crossbody, which I reach for a lot more than I thought I would. when I first got this bag, at the same time I got my PS11, I wasn’t sure if I would use it. it’s a fairly plain design, whereas I usually like bags with an edge, like shiny studded hardware on my Balenciaga City or a flashy, it bag like my Gucci Marmont.

Though the PS1 a luxury designer bag, it’s not a well-known bag. it’s inconspicuous.

When I consider buying a designer bag, I think of my motive for the bag at large: what kind of message does this bag send the world? Will someone look at it and know it’s a luxury bag? will “bag ladies” know that I’m in their club? will a “fashion person” see me, my “modern chic” all-black-everything outfit, and my bag, and want to hire me based on how I’m dressed (please universe, let this happen to me some day).

We carry these things as utility to carry our stuff but also, for some of us, as a statement to the world, as if to say “hey, I can afford this.” sometimes I worry people judge me for it, like, “I could never spend $900 on a handbag”.

If you are into handbags, you’ll know it the PS1 immediately, but a normal person walking down the street won’t. sometimes, I don’t want to risk the judgement.

Or worse, like getting robbed. is that a thing you worry about or is it just my neurotic personality? if I’m carrying a mass media known bag with a huge luxury brand logo, I worry about theft.

The point is—I don’t have to worry about that with this bag.

Plus, the PS1 Mini Crossbody is just a really good bag. the flap top opens with a flip of a flat buckle and inside is pretty spacious for a little bag. I can comfortably fit my “minimal handbag” things: keys, iPhone 7 Plus, lipstick, port and polish pill box, Apple EarPods, and there’s still room for a few other things. the PS1 Mini Crossbody fits way more than a Chanel WOC, YSL WOC, or an LV Favorite PM.

Since this blog is called coffee and handbags, I better touch on the other subject too.

The almond milk vanilla latte was great. I don’t want to get very technical about coffee, because I’m not a trained barista or anything, I just love to drink it.  I measure how much I like a coffee drink based on if I finished it or not. sometimes, lattes (and espresso drinks in general) have a tendency to be too bitter for me, so I don’t finish the drink.

Disclaimer: I’m sorry to all the hard-working baristas out there. I know you worked hard to steam my foam into a perfect crema but I just can’t. it’s not you, it’s me.

So, the cafe. Olympia Coffee in West Seattle is my favorite local coffee shop—I go there at least once a week for their award-winning coffee beans, life-changing pastries from bakehouse 55, and for the ambiance.

The cafe has these luxe-yet-faux-marble tables that each have a custom gold inlay. I’m pretty sure they’re just some kind of countertop that looks just like real stone but isn’t? I have major table envy, which I wasn’t sure was a thing. I keep imagining this design on small tables outside on my front patio. something simple, but with a touch of modernity to bring it into 2018.

That’s all for today.

with love,

coffee and handbags

 

Proenza Schouler PS1 Mini Crossbody & Latte at Olympia Coffee Roasters | CoffeeandHandbags.com

Proenza Schouler PS1 Mini Crossbody & Latte at Olympia Coffee Roasters | CoffeeandHandbags.com

Olympia Coffee Roasters in Seattle, WA

Love Your Handbags? Then You Need This Handbag Hanger NOW

You might be asking yourself, “why would I need a special hanger for my handbag?” To protect it, of course!

A few weeks ago, I got into a lengthy discussion with Malibu-based handbag repair store Purse Rehab, who recommended hanging handbags on a HANGER.

Wait, what?! This was contrary to my knowledge. Wouldn’t hanging a bag would stretch the straps or make them sag?

“Not if you use the right hanger,” Purse Rehab told me over Instagram DMs, “if you use a special acrylic hanger, you can protect the rounded shape of your handbags instead of stretching them out.”

Then I discovered LuxeBagCare on Instagram.

Luxe Bag Care’s website reads, “Protect your investment with the LBC Acrylic Handbag Hanger. It supports your bags’ straps, maintaining shape and integrity, and keeping sides crease-free.”

After DMing with LBC and finding out that the founder of the company, Robin, lives in my HOMETOWN, she sent me two hangers to try out!Acrylic Handbag Hanger by LuxeBagCare

I’ve always stored my bags on shelves, in their dust bags or in their boxes. It’d be a hassle to find the bag I wanted to use. Sometimes I’d even forget about bags because they were tucked away in their dust bags, hibernating from me. You won’t use what you can’t see, ya know?

This Luxe Bag Care Acrylic Handbag Hanger means that I can store my bag in my closet, ready to be carried at a moments notice. I may not hang them all the time, but it’s nice to have the option to hang in my closet to reach for.

Bonus: I carry it in my bigger bags to use on chairs at restaurants instead of hanging them awkwardly on the corner of the chair.

One of my favorite things about the internet is that I’ve been able to connect with some pretty amazing entrepreneurs. I DM’ed with Robin, Luxe Bag Care’s designer and creator, to find out that she molded and designed the hanger, then had it sent to China for manufacturing. She does the marketing, packing, and shipping all by herself. These are my favorite kind of businesses to support because you know she did it with passion and love.

Get yours: https://luxebagcare.com

Louis Vuitton Black Epi Simple Card Holder Review

Louis Vuitton Epi Leather Simple Card Case Review | CoffeeAndHandbags.com

Louis Vuitton Epi Leather Simple Card Case Review | CoffeeAndHandbags.comLV Epi Leather Card Holder | CoffeeAndHandbags.com

Louis Vuitton Simple Card Holder

What I love: I’ve been carrying this card case for about 2 years now. I downsized from a Balenciaga bi-fold wallet that doubled as a clutch because I started only carrying small crossbody bags. I only carry about 6 cards at a time—two in the front slot, two in the back slot, and two or three in the center. Not being able to carry a ton of cards means I don’t end up carrying around 4 coffee frequent buyer stamp cards and rewards cards to places I go once a year. Instead, I’m mindful about what I carry and I know where my card case is at all times.

But how do I carry cash? Well, I don’t. If I need to, I have a separate zip pouch for cash or I fold it and put it in the center compartment of my card case.

My other favorite feature? I really like how low-key this card holder is. It doesn’t scream Louis Vuitton, which isn’t the look I want all the time. The Epi leather isn’t flashy but if you know LV, you know Epi leather.

How does the LV Epi Card Holder wear?

Like I said, I’ve been carrying it with me for over 2 years, which means it’s been in every purse and traveled to 10 countries with me. Given that, I’d say it’s wearing incredibly well. I believe that it’s unreasonable to assume that something you carry every single day is completely indestructible and immune to wear-and-tear, even if it’s a luxury item.

After two years, the only visible wear-and-tear is a popped stitch at the top corner. I took it to LV, who said they would send it to France to be repaired for $30. I thought that was a fair price given how much I use this piece, but I haven’t pulled the trigger on sending it to France yet because I don’t want to stop using it.

Louis Vuitton Epi Leather Simple Card Case Wear-and-Tear Review | CoffeeAndHandbags.com

Louis Vuitton Epi Leather Simple Card Case Review | CoffeeAndHandbags.com


What’s in your bag? Do you like the look of this card holder?