Is it possible to have a bag that’s cooler than you are? My street cred increased substantially when I started carrying around the Tour Tote by SNAP design. You see, I live in New York City, but I’m a Southern girl (Athens, GA, baby!) at my core, so I constantly have to negotiate the internal tug-of-war between my current persona (Big City Trendsetting Fashionista) and the persona of my upbringing (Small Town Working Class Thrifter). Fortunately for me, in the neighborhoods that I frequent, the two have melded together to create a blended identity that is more commonly known as “hipster.”
Though hipsters are largely denigrated in the media that is marketed to them (apparently irony is tres chic), one thing I find attractive about this niche population is the way they dress. Maybe it’s because I'm inundated with it, or maybe it’s my own aesthetic sensibility. Whatever the case, I aspire to dress like a hipster from time to time. And when you dress like a hipster, you have to have hipster accessories. That’s where the Tour Tote comes in.
SNAP design is a small, Portland-based, woman-run company that sells handmade items, including multiple bags—tote, shoulder, laptop—with interesting, minimalist stitching on them. A lot of the patterns follow a variation on mod styles, and the deep color variety (navy, mustard, ruby red, sage, olive) is an appealing alternative to the current '80s neon trend. The purse is made out of vinyl (good news for vegetarians!) and the lining is cotton twill, both of which make this sturdy bag able to handle the elements, as well as repeated use. It’s also a nice size (h: 12.5" w: 11" d: 5")—big enough to carry everything you may need, but small enough not to be awkward.
I replaced my messenger bag with this purse almost immediately. It’s a decision I don’t regret. Now people actually look at me when I walk through Williamsburg, Brooklyn. And although the Southerner in me hopes for a smile, a wayward glance at my new bag is good enough.