Tuesday 23rd January 2018
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Logo free or die

The other day in my post about rain boots, I mentioned my aversion to wearing anything that is too obviously branded. This is a notion that has resonated with some of you, and I’m not surprised. Too much logo frippery just gets in the way of good  design, and makes the whole enterprise seem to be about aligning yourself with a brand and their vision of style, instead of creating your own. And where’s the fun in that?  A couple of you asked specifically about where to find good logo-free bags, and so—since there is much ground to cover—I will present them here to you in series form. First up are satchel/cross body bags: I like this one from Ernest Alexander, a menswear line that just recently expanded to include items for the ladies. In a season full of rich burgundies, that could possibly be the richest burgundy yet.

If there was even just a teeny tiny bit more of that  dark brown in the mix on this Madewell bag, things might have gone south in a hurry, but as it is, everything works out pretty much exactly right.


Clare Vivier bags are just a little slice of heaven. They’re are simple as you please, but also really, really chic when you wear them: I know that “excellently slouchy” is one of my more overused expressions, but truly, that’s what this little number is all about. It also comes in a quite nice bright red.

On to something more structured: Opening Ceremony’s L.A, Bag, which’ll lend a big old happy slash of color to whatever you throw it on with. Its sister, the  New York Bag is—natch—black, and therefore more versatile, and a touch more elegant too. But not nearly as much fun.

One must set the bar high when it comes to a hobo bag, as there are just so many drecky ones out there: bad shapes cheap construction, ill-placed tassels.   But J. Crew‘s is so pleasingly old school, and comes in such a nice range of colors—I’m particularly fond of this rich blue.

Hide is a new obsession of mine: their bags are a perfect hybrid of cool and classic, and if I could own every one they make, I think I would. This messenger bag, with the clean zipper on top and scarcely another piece of hardware to be found, could not make me happier if it tried.

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Posted on October 9th, 2012 13 Comments

13 Responses

  1. Bex says:

    Great bags, thanks! My 6th grade teacher told our class if we are advertising someone else’s brand, they should be paying us. That has stuck with me and I avoid visible branding whenever I can.

  2. I feel the same about bags and logos. I really love bags from Tila March, but they are not widely sold. Although a quick search now just told me that they’re now being sold at Barneys, so yay!

  3. LMM says:

    That Hide bag is my new dream bag.

  4. Kiki says:

    Love these. Thanks for finding all these luscious logo-free bags!

  5. mslewis says:

    I love all of these, especially the red one. I have a red bag that I wear all the time, with everything. It makes me happy.

    I was on a day trip last Saturday with a large group of seniors (I lead them on a casino trip)and one of the ladies wore one of those loose-fitting pants/baseball jacket outfits that was covered in the Gucci logo PLUS a purse AND hat with Gucci all over them. I think she thought she looked fashionable and chic but I could barely look at her without laughing. It was all fake, of course and everybody knew it but she thought she looked good and that’s all that mattered. She was a source of merriment the entire day. I just don’t understand logo lovers.

  6. Cara says:

    Also check out boyybag.com

  7. Cate says:

    I also hate wearing logos! On anything! But it is particularly hard. On some Kate Spade bags she used to just emboss her name so it wasn’t that visible. This is an Italian brand, Coccinelle that I discovered 10 years ago in London. They have an online store. They’re not as minimalist as they used to be, but there is one that isn’t bad, and in the capsule collection by Alexander Terehov there are two really nice ones. http://www.coccinelle.com/experience/coccinelle/en/goodie_bag/alexander_terekhov_spring_summer.asp?tskay=84DF456A#

  8. Cate says:

    Also, two questions, (a) how come more bags don’t have good interior pockets? There’s usually just one, but you need a place you can put your smart phone, keys, lippy and wallet without having to dig through the mess accumulated at the bottom.
    And (b) How come more companies don’t make fun patterned linings? Prints that will disguise the foundation spill and the pen leakage and also make your junk more visible in the depths of your bag? A nice leopard print would be fantastic and a cheering moment for you every time you open your bag

    • edie says:

      I suspect the minute you add the great interior pockets, you jack up the price $100+. More labor intensive etc. etc. I myself won’t buy a bag without pockets–outside, inside–I really need them. My test is can I manipulate the bag and extract my Metrocard holder with just one hand, since there is invariably something in the other one. The original Marc Jacobs Stella and Sofia bags were perfect, for me. I still use them. No logos. And Henry Beguelin is nice for no logos, but not for the bank account.

  9. Kelly O says:

    It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who doesn’t particularly like being a walking billboard. I saw someone yesterday who had on a pair of glasses (reading, not sun) that had “Marc by Marc Jacobs” in big gold lettering down the side. Otherwise perfectly lovely frames, but that lettering just detracted from it somehow. I mean, I have Kate Spade frames, but they don’t have any logo on them.

    (I don’t put my daughter in character things right now for much the same reason. She doesn’t care, and if I can help stave off consumerism for a few more years, I feel like I’ve won.)

  10. c.w. says:

    Like everyone else––no logos please!! The Hide bag is beautiful, but I’m not crazy about purses that have the little “hand” handles plus the shoulder strap.

  11. Rebecca says:

    I went out and bought the JCrew bag on my lunch. I LOVE it! Love your blog but my wallet doesn’t 🙂

    • Cate says:

      Rebecca– How are you finding the bag? I looked at it, loved the design and the many pockets (!) but was worried about the weight of it. How’s your shoulder doing with it?