When I was a freshman in high school, I proudly traded in my Jansport backpack for the book-hauling accessory all the cool kids were lugging: the tote bag. I never looked back. From the canvas version I carried throughout my college years, to the monogrammed leather beauty I toted to my first real “adult” job, my trusty tote was the perfect good-for-everything accessory.
That is, until I entered my late twenties and my back. started. to. hurt. The fact that carrying books, your wallet, your lunch, and more all on one shoulder is objectively bad for you is not really news. But, after years and years of being unbothered, suddenly you start to feel it. I wondered: was it time to switch back to a *shudder* backpack?
I was hesitant. At the risk of sounding vain, I work for Bravo, where the most fabulous Real Housewives are constantly traipsing in and out of the office. As much as I genuinely want to be comfortable, I do insist on being stylish while doing it. Any old frumpy backpack just would not do. I swore I wouldn’t quit until I found the perfect one.
Enter Cuyana. If you haven’t heard of Cuyana, it’s about time: The fashion and accessory brand, beloved by celebrities and regular people alike, lives by the motto that less is more. They put so much thought and research into every piece they create, by the time it hits their site, you can guarantee it’s absolutely perfect — and the only one you’ll ever need.
Cuyana’s leather backpack is just that. Available in two sizes (I carry a laptop, so I’m partial to the large), the accessory has all the convenience you could ever want: plenty of room for all the essentials and then some, two outer pockets for your keys and need-to-reach-quickly items, a zip-pocket inside … But enough about the function — it’s not so difficult to find a well-functioning backpack. What’s actually difficult — almost impossible — to find is a well-functioning backpack that’s also incredibly chic. That’s what sets Cuyana's version apart: the simple, sleek, timeless style. It comes in four goes-with-everything colorways — pebbled leather black, caramel, and blush, and a croc-embossed black — all decked out with elegant gold hardware. And, you can personalize your rucksack with gorgeous accessories from a le sud tassel to a leather charm. Oh, and the ultimate bonus: it has a sturdy, large (removable!) top-handle so you can still sling it over your shoulder and carry it like a satchel, should you so please.
But here’s the best part: the craftsmanship. I know spending over $300 on a bag can seem steep, but your Cuyana backpack (in fact, anything you buy from Cuyana) will last you forever. If you add up all the cheaper bags you’ll have bought and tossed in that time, it practically pays for itself. Plus, it's so versatile, you can take it absolutely anywhere. Besides bringing it to work every day, it can also transition to an after-work happy hour; I carry it every time I go shopping so I can keep my hands free to browse; it's the perfect size for an overnight bag; and it's the perfect small carry-on for travel.
You can check out the bag I'm obsessing over, and some chic accessories, below.
Cuyana Leather Backpack
Cuyana Large Leather Backpack
Le Sud Tassel
Leather Bag Tassel
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