Exotic, Indian Inspired Bags for Summer

Yay! So, summer has now unofficially arrived. Whether you are here in the city, at the beach, in the country, or far away (perhaps at some fabulously exotic locale), this time of the year is really all about loosening up, having fun, relaxing, and adding a bit of fun and whimsy (to one’s daily routine, AND one’s daily uniform). There is perhaps no easier way to do this, than by simply changing one’s bag. I don’t know about you, but all of a sudden for me, a leather bag, (as chic or handsome as it may be), seems just a tad too serious at times, and I find myself drawn to those things that are a bit more eccentric, colorful, and freewheeling.

Stephanie Von Watzdorf carrying her Tuk Tuk Tote

Enter Figue (www.figue.com), a “travel inspired artisan-centric luxury collection with a global gypsy-meets-jet-set spirit”. Geared for “women who travel, or dream of traveling to exotic locations”, it was founded in 2013, by former Tory Burch design director Stephanie von Watzdorf. A Parsons grad who was awarded the Golden Thimble award by Calvin Klein, Stephanie has an impressive resume that includes stints at Yves Saint Laurent, Giorgio Armani, Ann Taylor, and Ralph Lauren. In 2004, she joined Tory Burch where she worked in design development and ready to wear accessories until 2011.

In addition to ‘core items’ such as tunics, kaftans, shirtings, dresses, denim, and one of a kind, embellished, reclaimed military jackets, Figue sells jewelry and bags, and their elaborate, intricate, Indian inspired Tuk Tuk totes (with hand stitched leather handles, cotton twill lining with interior zip pocket and optional drawstring closure) are truly sensational and collectible, if not highly addictive.

I have been sort of obsessed with them ever since I saw a picture of their first one several years ago (it reminded me of a few vintage bags I happen to own), and I’ve been a pretty faithful customer since then. Happily, each season, they add new versions (different colors and embellishments). I have to say that they are really all so fabulous (and quite different), I have a hard time deciding which one to buy, and I have to stop myself from buying them all LOL. They are not only practical (the medium and large sizes are extremely roomy and in the case of the latter, can function as a weekend bag), but are real look changers. And the best part is that whenever I carry one, even if I’m here in New York, I feel as though I’m on vacation, somewhere far far away.

These are their current offerings, which are available online and in their stores, in New York and Easthampton (268 Elizabeth Street, 212 380 7970; 55 Main Street, 631 527 5111):

The multi Tuk Tuk tote with Indian inspired navy and ivory jacquard fabric, multi colored pom poms and tassels, finished with ivory beading, white leather accents and silver accented mirrors (the medium size is $595 and large is $695).

The navy Tuk Tuk tote (it has a somewhat nautical feeling) features navy and ivory jacquard Indian inspired fabric, navy pom poms and tassels, navy beading and gold accented mirrors (the medium is $595 and large is $695).

The red Tuk Tuk tote features red pom poms, white tassels, beading, gold coins and mirror (the medium is $595 and the large is $695).

The black Tuk Tuk tote has black pomp oms, beading, gold coins and mirrors (medium size is $495; large is $595).

The one that is perhaps the most different is the Evil Eye Tuk Tuk tote which features black and white pom poms, gold coins, mirrors, and protective evil eye at center ($395 for small cross body style; $495 for the medium size, $595 for large).

FYI, they are offering 30% off through Memorial Day weekend. Betcha can’t buy just one!

Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

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