My Holiday Crush

Dear NoteBrooke,

When I first received notice that I might have an opportunity to do a meet-and-greet at the Gigi New York pop up shop, I made an immediate beeline towards the brand’s website and spent the greater portion of the afternoon pouring through images of luxury leather handbags and chic little I-sort-of-really-want-all-of-these accessories.

In the interest of full transparency, let me just cop to the fact (In case you haven’t already guessed – hey, #IamwhoIam) that y-e-s, I’m a total designer purse fiend, adhering to the adage that while couture clothing can often be supplemented with thrifty finds from Zara, Asos and H&M, handbags (finger snap, flick of the wrist) serve to complete the entirety of a woman’s wardrobe.

In keeping with the vein of pragmatic purchasing, and more accurately – years of holiday begging — I’ve accumulated a decent sized collection of purses from a couple of distinguished designers. But, as a result of that, I’ve also realized, anticlimactically enough, that I’m definitely not alone in my desire to rock a Givenchy Leather Mini Antigona.

It fact, nearly every time I grab my bag and make a quick jaunt uptown or downtown (that is to say, anywhere on the island of Manhattan), I manage to spot at least one other girl toting the exact same bundle of potential buyer’s remorse on her forearm.

Enter Gigi New York.

Upon arrival at the brand’s chic, sleek pop up shop, I became instantly enamored with their vibrant display of luxury leather goodness.

For a fashionista, visiting the Gigi space — especially during the holiday season — is the equivalent of, let’s say, a hyper child entering FAO Schwartz at the pinnacle of its splendor, second floor foot piano and two hours of toy time included.
From richly embossed totes to pebble grain crossbodys, and everything in between, including some of the cutest clutches that I’ve ever F’ing seen (F bombs start flying when I become increasingly passionate about something!!), I circumnavigated the parameters of the place like a straight hawk, ensuring that I got a good gander at Gigi’s generous selection of inspiring – and timeless — options.

With richly colored hues, flattering go-to shapes, and a wide range of enduring styles done right (Think saddle bags, hobos, and totes just to name a few), I immediately observed that the quality of Gigi’s leather was not only visibly pristine, but that it felt better than many of the designer duds that were sitting at home on my closet shelf, chipping away at my ever dwindling credit score.
And yet, their pricing is undeniably reasonable and fair.

So…what gives?

A family owned business, the President of Gigi New York, Tom Glazer, explained that the company sources its leathers from virtually every corner of the world, France and Italy included (!), and that Gigi shares its tanneries with a number of renown global brands (we won’t name names, I suppose, but if you’re reading this article, chances are that you can already think of a few!), which means that — even for me, a self-disclosed bag snob — I’ll be doing a lot more buying/wearing of Gigi goodness and significantly less conventional designer digging.

In the photographs above, you can see that I’m rocking my beloved Grace Satchel in grey embossed python. Its shape, size and color offer up a fierce compliment to my otherwise ordinary enough outfit. It’s also worth noting that with my wedding now four months away (Mother of God), I’m consistently able to fit three planners, two magazines, my wallet, and my regular handbag essentials into this chic beast.

And SPEAKING of day planners (you know, the beautifully embossed books that you often see in my insta pics) it turns out that they, too, were made of leather that was sourced in Gigi’s family-run factory located on Long Island. Cool, right? Prior to the birth of Gigi New York, Tom Glazer’s Father was the book designer/typographer responsible for producing many of the notebooks, calendars and journals that are currently stocked in major retailers worldwide.
So in the spirit of affordable, personalized, and timeless holiday gifting, I’ll be picking up some monogrammed accessories (because Gigi can personalize virtually all of their products) ranging from office supplies to travel necessities, and one or two of those F-bomb worthy clutches to elevate my own winter wardrobe, as well.

The pop up shop is located in the heart of Meatpacking, in a phenomenal space at 875 Washington Street, and in store personalization is available every Monday through Thursday until the thirtieth of December.  If you’re not in New York this holiday season, you can also check out the whole line at Gigi New York (click away).

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