Of a Kind

This might be the moodiest, broodiest heart ring I’ve ever seen, c/o Wendy Nichol. —erica

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Couple Up: Madonna and Sean Penn

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Oof, were these two trouble. Their nickname was S&M, for chrissake, and during their time married in the mid-eighties, his rap sheet was possibly as long as his list of IMDB credits. I mean, they look like they’re up to no good, right? Course that was also their appeal. —erica

Madonna: A blacker-than-black Wendy Nichol bag, a lace-up shirt c/o The Kooples, and striped shorts from Thakoon Addition. 

Sean Penn: A slim Todd Snyder polo, a leather jacket by Nudie Jeans, and charcoal Rag & Bone pants.

Dip into the “Couple Up” archives.

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Of a Kind

Have you seen a better festival-season bag than this Wendy Nichol one? Don’t even try to lie to me. —erica

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Next Level: Circle Bags

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Can there be such a thing as a purse up-and-comer? A Hailee Steinfeld of the bag world? Well, if so, this is it. Here, four majorly cool versions as round as the coins you keep in them. —erica

LEVEL I: Wendy Nichol knows how to keep things just-interesting, with army leather, braided details, and that fun-loving tassel.

LEVEL II: The fur on this little guy would be a lot much if Carven wasn’t so damn good at keepin’ things simple.

LEVEL III: The way the canvas on this Collina Strada bag peeks through makes it completely special, but it’s hardly loud.

LEVEL IV: What could you possibly carry in this Jasmin Shokrian creation while maintaining its pancake-flatness? WHO KNOWS. But dare you to try.

There is so much “Next Level” to be had! Do it!

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Next Level: Bucket Bags

We might not do well with unstructured time, we do respond very favorably to unstructured bags. And while there’s something a little freewheeling about a drawstring bucket situations, they also look crazy-sleek. Here, four to reach for. —erica

LEVEL I: Wendy Nichol keeps things simple, letting some braiding and tassels do all of the work.

LEVEL II: Neutrals, three ways, supplied by the aptly named Building Block.

LEVEL III: This Shelter bag + a dusty convertible + some weird vintage sunglasses = the perfect Route 66 road trip.

LEVEL IV: Holy crap, Baggu. Blue pony hair? How will anyone ever top this?

There’s more “Next Level!” So much more…

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A Cordial Invitation to an Arm Party With ORA

This designer leads by example.

When Lanya Snyder began ORA, her line of amped-up, gold-flecked friendship bracelets, in fall 2011, she gained some early, avid supporters. Among them were Wendy Nichol, of the way-cool apparel co. that goes by the same name, and Jen Mankins, the owner of Brooklyn’s super-hot Bird boutique—who loved the bracelets so much, she scooped up every last one. The bracelets’ appeal? Well, besides the childhood-nostalgia factor, their simple form, compelling color palette, and teensy beads mesh well with anything else hangin’ on your wrist. Here, with the help of family and friends, Lanya shows off a few of her stylin’ ways. —jiayi ying

Don’t miss out! Grab a set of the silky, gold-beaded bracelets that ORA made for us right here!

Lanya’s sister’s ORA stack.

“That’s my younger sister’s arm. She’s always liked bright colors, so a lot of our prototypes, as well as ones from the classic collection, are on her arm. She doesn’t mind mixing gold and silver, so she’s wearing a lot of different beads that we’re working on, too. She just piles them on there and never takes them off.”

Lanya’s set, photographed here with a stone from her crystal collection (yes, crystal collection).

“What I think is nice about the bracelets is that you can wear them by themselves or pile other jewelry on with them. I like a little bit of gold—a little bit of something—on my wrist, so as I was making these guys, I started sourcing different metals—gold, rose gold, white gold—to make them a bit nicer. I’ve had some of the bracelets on since January—I’ve been in the ocean with them, and I shower with them every day. That’s how I like to wear my jewelry.”

Pals Audrey (left) and Mara with a rainbow of ORA bracelets each.

“Audrey and Mara are wearing colors from the classic collection. You can play around with the beads—stick them together or spread them apart. As for the name ORA, I choose it because it holds different meanings to me. In Hebrew, it means light, or her light—I’ve always liked the idea of one’s aura. And then ore is a derivation of gold—which we work with a lot!”

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Of a Kind

Listen, I love the both of these, but the shocking pink in the one on the right speaks to me. —erica

sarazucker:

wendy nichol, a handbag and accessories designer that i hate to love because i can’t afford her beautiful pieces, has turned this past summer’s funky textile trend on its head with a new line of carpet bags. specifically, she collaborated with bespoke textile studio vanderhurd to create clutches and bag made from indian dhurrie fabric, which is traditionally used for rugs and upholstery.

prices for the limited edition collection range from $600 to $2,000.

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I am a sucker for anything Native American-inspired, and when you throw some utilitarian accents into the mix, I’m pretty much sold. So you can imagine my joy when I discovered this teensy Wendy Nichol cross-body bag that can also be worn around your waist. Also: Doesn’t it look like the dark, brooding cousin of the pouch belt Manimal designed for us? —rachel

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A Case for…Reasonably Sized Shoulder Bags

Recent epiphany: It is not necessary—or at least not necessary every single day of the week—to carry three magazines, a pair of flats, a scarf, eight lip products, and the receipts for everything you’ve purchased since June on your person. In light of this revelation, I’ve become obsessed with purses the size of paperbacks, and these eight are ones I admire not only for their pared-down chicness but also for the positive effects they promise to have on my posture. —erica

1) Khirma Eliazov camera bag: If only the point-and-shoot inside was so sleek.
2) Wendy Nichol leopard satchel bag: Yes, yes, leopard is very of-the-moment, but this shape is timeless. As in, you’ll actually carry this sucker next year.
3) Sang A grid bag: Embroidered leather gives it a texture somewhere between a pot-holder and a pie crust. Please note that those are both very positive associations.
4) Manimal purse: The fresh, slightly girly spin on fringe overcomes any hippy-dippy vibe.

The term handbag originated in the early 20th century, referring to smallish luggage carried by men.

1) Tila March Bonnie bucket: The buckle makes you want to flip this bag on its side—to inspect it at every angle.
2) Clare Vivier Le mini sac: This is the kind of purse you long to find at a vintage store but never do.
3) Collina Strada Victorian: Floral-printed canvas? Um, genius.
4) Meredith Wendell boxy python: If I had the power to, I would name this wonder “shades of greige.”

Shoulder bags first became popular during World War II (with more women going to work) and didn’t have a comeback until the seventies—thanks to Jackie O and her namesake Gucci hobo.

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Of a Kind

Wendy Nichol pony clutch wallet. Color: snow leopard. I kind of hate this word, but I think it’s appropriate here: swoon.

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