Thursday, April 14, 2011

Nella Bella F/W 2011

When I headed off to the fall / winter 2011 presentation for Nella Bella, I expected high quality vegan bags in classic shapes with neutral colours. You know, typical handbag fare for the retail chain stores where I was first exposed to the brand. What I didn’t expect was leaving that night desperately wanting another “classic” bag.

My anticipation for the forthcoming collection isn’t really a surprise if you know that along with being a stylish social butterfly, I’m also a business owner, mom and wife. As a wearer of multiple hats, I’m always interested in fashion that fits my lifestyle. I’m not talking about the boring tote or shapeless carryall that just happens to fit my every belonging. I’m the kind of girl who loves items that help me through my hectic day, but of course, the right look is my number one priority. Nella Bella merges style and functionality so seamlessly that I actually fell in love with the pieces FIRST. When I discovered their abilities to transform, well, the lust morphed into a must.

Number one on my list is the London. This medium sized tote is Nella Bella’s biggest multi tasker of the collection. It offers 11 different functions including a simple clutch, a fanny pack that I would actually sport without shame and of course a full size bag. The secret is the small detachable zippered case and interchangeable straps in multiple styles, all included. You can use pieces separately and together to go to London and back with one chic bag. It really is the perfect everyday bag. Most importantly it’s just $125 and also comes in a range of colours, textures and patterns. Having more than one is totally justifiable.

For working days, I’ve got the Frankfurt on my wish list. It’s a larger streamlined tote in their textured pebble finish that would easily fit my laptop, presentations, wallet and more without the formality of a briefcase. The best part is, of course, that it works beyond work hours without looking like you perpetually just left the office. It comes in fresh fall colours including stone, salmon and cream, along with basic black.

Both London and Frankfurt are quite sleek and I often have extra, not-so-stylish accessories I carry around if I’ve got mini-me in tow or when I’m in the city from day to night. Nella Bella’s founder, Tarek Al-Azbat, is a well-travelled gent and it shows in the details of his designs. The Munich, Hamburg and Moscow bags all zip open to get just a little more roomy while still maintaining style. I'd take any of those styles for a spin during my daily travels.

These are just a few of my favourite Nella Bella styles, but this collection really holds something for everybody. Even hip urban guys are covered through their debut of Nella Bella Man, a small collection of messenger and convertible knapsack totes for the boys. Nella Bella is found in a range of local boutiques and select national chain stores at prices ranging from $55 - $130. The new pieces won’t likely be in stores until late summer so in the meantime, I’ll be dreaming up additional ways to sport my London.

This post is contributed by Tamika Auwai - fashion junkie, splurge-a-holic
and the Founder of
Shop Socials.

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