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Bag review: Kooba Alex tote

Kooba Alex tote aubergine

I’ve loved Kooba handbags pretty much since their inception, so when I received the Kooba Alex tote from the Fall 09/10 collection, I was thrilled! My chat with Kooba designer and creative director Abbe Held is soon to come, but for now I’ll tell you all you need to know about this must-have bag!

I received the aubergine (plum) color – the bag also comes in black and cognac. The color bleeds a bit so I would advise against wearing it with a white shirt (I learned the hard way). It’s made of glazed, distressed leather and it has a beautiful sheen that remains even as you break it in. The bag is super roomy, which I love, because I only like to carry one bag for the day and need to be able to fit everything inside it. Currently I have my usual bag essentials, and am also able to fit a pair of sandals, hardcover book, umbrella and bottle of water inside. And it doesn’t at all look bulky or feel heavy on my arm! Kooba’s leathers are sturdy yet lightweight, and the crraftsmanship is so well done that you don’t have to worry about it falling apart at the seams.


The bag is slightly structured and slightly slouchy so you no matter which you prefer, you get the best of both worlds. The shape is sort of pentagonal, with a top magnetic snap closure and side gussets that meet at the top, with three large brass snaps on either side. The only thing is if you stuff the bag full like I do, the snaps at times pop open. However, you have to be carrying A LOT of stuff for that to happen. And the snaps are positioned to let the bag expand in the event you want to pack it full.

There are two adjustable shoulder straps with old English brass buckles and brass patterned studded flaps down both edges of the bag, on the front and back sides. The studs are perfectly balanced so it doesn’t feel like a trendy piece that will be out of style in a few months, but rather a nice design element on a classic bag. Inside the bag there are tons of pockets including an interior zip pocket, two slide cell phone pockets and and a pen pocket. The inside is fully lined in satin and includes an interior key clip.

Bag dimensions: 13″ high x 20″ at the widest point x 5″ deep
Shoulder drop: length adjusts from 9″ to 13″

I’ve been carrying the bag since I received it and have no plans of changing it anytime soon. It really meets all of my bag needs – it’s large, compartmentalized, slightly edgy, and sturdy. And the color really looks great with everything I wear!

Buy it through LunaBoston.com or on Kooba’s website.

Special thanks to Kooba for the bag!

Kooba Alex tote interior logo Kooba Alex tote detail shot Kooba Alex tote side view Kooba Alex tote aubergine Kooba Alex tote aubergine Kooba Alex tote green Kooba Alex tote tan Kooba Alex tote black

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