Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Momma'sMater's got a brand new bag!

My latest coup de foudre. Pretty much finished my window-shopping on Saturday, ready to head back to the apartment, I decided to enter the slightly-intimidating but beautifully intriguing shop I'd noticed on Alberni, just off Burrard. Just down from Tiffany's, across the street from L'Agent Provocateur, with the Hermès store kitty-corner, Wolford's and Ports nearby, not my usual price points. But I could see beautiful, clever, simple leather inside, and I need a new bag -- I love my red doctor's bag, but I wanted something a bit more suited to springtime.
I tried several styles of bags by M0851. The company is Canadian with all goods made in Canada (a plus for me) and stores in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, New York, and Paris (I might take my bag to say bonjour to its Parisian cousins). And I needn't have been intimidated. Once the very friendly but not at all pushy Raymond (a customer who liked the product so much he now works in the store!) showed me several of the bags, their lightness, the quality of the leather and the finishing, the practicality of the design, I was sold, but wasn't yet buying, if you know what I mean. I was sure I'd have to start a savings plan for one of these, but was very pleasantly surprised by the price range. The company does no advertising other than their website and word of mouth, a primary reason owner/manager Kimberley gave for the very reasonable cost. As well, their minimalism means you're not paying for hardware or embellishment and the limited colour range perhaps keeps production costs in line as well.
Of course, I ended up choosing one of the more expensive models because I liked the idea of the flap for security and I love those convenient outside pockets (water bottle, small umbrella, camera). The bags in this Noeud (Knot) line are designed to have either one knot or two -- one allows enough length for the bag to go cross-body while two yields a length that tucks very comfortably under a shoulder -- and if I'd been more thoughtful with my photograph, you'd see that the shoulder strap is lovely and wide for even, comfortable distribution and grab.
My big challenge was choosing the colour -- I rejected the possibility of the mushrooms, taupes, or greys and see-sawed between a versatile mid-blue and this tomato, but finally decided to go for the splash and I'm glad I did. To help me choose between all the possibilities, Kimberley hauled out her own convincingly worn-in bags so I could see what they looked and felt like after years of use. That's not all -- she emptied her own purse and insisted I fill it with items from mine and walk around with that weight -- she really wanted to make sure I would be a satisfied customer.
And it worked! The next day Pater and I were back in scoping out a possible birthday gift for him as he really needs a new this-is-not-a-briefcase case (he approved of my bag as soon as he saw it, recognizing the quality, versatility, and promise of many years' use). At least, that was the pretence I had for getting him in the doors -- if he happened to take note of their lovely line of minimalist, architectural leather wear and how well some pieces might suit me, well . . .


  1. Oooh, fabulous bag!!! I love that you can wear it crossbody, and the minimalist style! No heavy hardware, yay!

  2. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! Patricia

  3. Thanks Pseu and Patricia -- I really love it!

  4. Know this line well, several members of my family have the wallets; I've been in the Paris and Toronto stores. Exquisite, soft and light! Wonderful, perfect for YOU! Enjoy it to bits.

  5. If a bag comes in red there is no other colour. Perfect choice. LOVE-LOVE-LOVE it!!!

  6. Beautiful beautiful bag! And the color is just fabulous! I think I need a red bag, but unlike you would probably have been drooling over the mushrooms, taupes, and grays as well.

  7. Stunningly gorgeous...another reason to love Vancouver.


  8. Fab bag! that is such a practical style too.

  9. Duchesse: I didn't look at their wallets but I bet they'd be perfect! I do hope to enjoy it to bits, and from what I saw it will take a long time for it to get there. . .
    LBR: This red can look quite pink, so I wasn't as easily convinced as with my dr. bag, but I love that it's more spring-y -- really needed that seasonal hole filled.
    Mardel: I admit that I do see one of the more neutral bags somewhere in my future -- but I was paying attn to something Duchesse said recently about the need for a more colourful bag for the spring.
    Christine: Yes, it's neat that it's a Canadian product.
    Imogen: Having just come in from a day spent all over town picking up and dropping off, I really know how practical the tote is -- it's so well organized without being overdone -- I was able to find what I needed without all sorts of digging.

  10. Beautiful!

    And I can't imagine you being intimidated by a store :) I've never gone into the Tiffany's near me, though, for that reason. Maybe I just should!

  11. Jillian: Tiffany's wouldn't bother me so much because there's enough visual distraction there (at least in the Vancouver store). The M0851 shop, with its clean lines and sleek flooring, made me feel as if I'd be really visible -- not sure why that would be intimidating, but I guess maybe 'cause I anticipated the prices being too high.


I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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