Growing up, I loved back-to-school shopping; buying razor-sharp pencils and a new bag is a high that I still seek out each August. This season, invest in the grown-up version of a Jansport backpack: a sumptuous leather tote that will last you through the coming year — and twenty more after that.
Oiled Leather Tote Bag by Carmel Goldental, $285
Israeli designer Carmel Goldental creates bags with a practical bent — but that doesn’t mean they can’t look good, too. This multi-purpose leather tote bag is oiled to a deep, sultry brown and has two conveniently placed interior pockets for your keys and phone (no bottomless pit here!). Bonus: the shoulder straps are detachable, so it can be worn as a tote bag, a crossbody, or carried as a handbag.
Italian Leather Tote With Zipper by Nell Harper Leather, $195
Jess and Alia of Nell Harper Leather have a mutual fondness for top-notch materials and pride themselves on a keen attention to detail. Their handmade, heirloom-quality bags are the proof: They’re composed of Italian, vegetable-tanned leather and solid brass — sure to become more beautiful with age. This caramel tote is their all-time best seller.
Who says leather totes need be classic brown or black? Twin sisters Jenny and Katie Grigoratou of Morelle describe their design style as “unusual and maybe a little bit quirky.” This functional, ruby-red shopper is made with raw-edged Italian leather and is large enough to fit all your everyday essentials: laptop, notebook, even a coffee to-go cup. Find more colors and styles — including classic butterscotch leather — in their well-curated shop.