Coffee Break: Rebecca Minkoff MAB Mini

11After Tuesday’s discussion on “designer bags,” I was intrigued to see that some people considered Coach or Dooney a designer brand while others scoffed at the idea and suggested only a $1000+ bag could be designer. Maybe I missed it, but I didn’t see much said about the “emerging” designer bags,which can offer quality, style, and fashionista cred — all for less than 4 figures.  I would include Rebecca Minkoff in this list (along with other brands like Botkier, Treesje, Kooba, and more) — although for Minkoff, “emerging” almost doesn’t do her justice, as the MAB mini is all but a classic here in NYC. They’re beautiful bags and with fresh colors every season — I particularly like the fun lining. This lovely specimen (black with hot pink details) is on sale at Endless — was $615, now $397.82. Rebecca Minkoff Zip Mab Mini Satchel


  1. For those in New York City, Rebecca Minkoff is having a sample sale this week.

  2. surrounded by lawyers :

    Random question: you know those clear umbrellas that are “deeper” than usual, so that you can walk around in a sort of demi-bubble? Like you’re in a little snow globe? They seem better than a typical umbrella for protecting from wind and keeping hair dry, and under some degree of control.

    I want one but can’t find one in stores. Where can I buy this kind of umbrella?

    • Target sells them online, so does Amazon. Enjoy!

      • surrounded by lawyers :

        Thanks, AIMS! :)

      • Thanks! I’ve longed for one of these, too!

      • BigLaw Refugee :

        I bought mine on Amazon – in addition to the perfectly clear ones, there are some adorable ones with polka dots that still let you see but are also cute. :)

    • I like my totes!

      • surrounded by lawyers :

        Yep, just ordered that one, or very similar, of the same brand. My issue was that I didn’t know what these were called, and so couldn’t do a search! But now I know: “bubble umbrella.” Thanks!

    • I’m so in love with mine! I got it as a gift, but I think my friend found it on Amazon. It is wonderful for keeping my hair dry.

    • divaliscious11 :


    • I have one from ModCloth (it seems like you want the plain one, but I’m putting it out there in case your or anyone is interested! It’s the same style umbrella, but with gold “rain drops” on it.

      I love it and it has the odd ability to elevate my mood on rainy, dreary days!

    • How do they hold up to the wind? I live in a very windy city and am tired of my umbrellas flipping out every time I try to use them (and no, those special “windy” umbrellas don’t really work).

      • mine hasn’t broken, but it can be harder to control in the wind because the wind sort of gets trapped in the bubble.

      • I have yet to find an umbrella that works well in the wind. I have given up and go with a hood.

        • Ha – I was thinking of just commenting to ask if anyone in Chicago has ever bothered to spend more tan $8 on an umbrella and found one that didn’t break in a week. I’m on team hood as well.

          • If you buy London Fog umbrellas, and are so inclined, you can send their broken ones in for repair/replacement.

          • I actually picked a wind-proof one up very randomly in the Water Tower Sharper Image store and it has lasted for years in Chicago. Years! It’s amazing. Afraid I don’t know the brand, though.

      • I’ve used this Brookstone umbrella with wind flaps for a couple years now. It was definitely worth the $30.|C4CategoryProdList1FDT|8883973

  3. my favorite “emerging designer” is foley + corinna, who incidentally is also having an nyc sample sale this week. i stopped by the vip sale last night and many many (office appropriate and fun colored) samples of the mid and large sized city tote were $75 dollars

    • Ooh, where is this?


        Bags range from 90 – 175 depending on size, all samples at $75 and really, the samples are in perfect condition and a great value (except a few are ink stained). I would have bought 10 yesterday if I didn’s already own 5 city totes… I came away with a cute cross body evening bag.

  4. Re: the Coach and D&B debate.

    For me and I think maybe many others, the distinction in terms of whether something like these brands is a “designer” brand has little to do with the idea that “only a $1000+ bag could be designer.”

    For me, what takes Coach, et al., out of the running for “designer” status is my perception, justified or not, that those lines are calculated to appeal to a certain demographic of people who may want to have a “designer purse” but aren’t necessarily interested in fashion in particular. I can’t really explain it better than that. So, as concerns lower priced mid priced designers, I actually like their stuff waaaaaaaaaay more than some LV or Burberry branded bag, which may be more expensive, precisely because their bags actually feel like a coherent design philosophy is behind them, and it’s not just about selling stuff in malls across America. A good case in point is Kate Spade — loved her stuff initially, can’t really say I am that interested now that she sold the brand and it’s become the ubiquitous thing that it is. I don’t know about others, but I just don’t want the same thing a million other people have. And, that has nothing to do with price — as my most cherished bags are one of a kind creations picked up travelling that no one I know has or can get :)

    • I totally agree. I have a few Coach bags I still like, but they are solid leather and not the C-print that screams “I’m Coach!”

      My favorite tote is an obscure brand lambskin black tote I got in Italy. I’m sure I couldn’t find it again. And it’s not that I get compliments on it because it’s really just a very simple black tote. But I’ve used it nearly every day for 7 years and it still looks brand new. Plus the straps are LONG so I never have to worry about whether it will fit over my shoulder when I am bundled up for the cold.

    • It really just boils down to how each person defines the word “designer”. I consider Coach a designer because their appeal to the public is built, in part, around the “image” of the brand name. Most people buy a Coach instead of a Levenger or a Tumi because its “designer” in that its name is recognizable and has a sort of “prestige” in some circles.

      I think some people don’t consider it “designer” because (a) they can afford better, and (b) Coach bags are everywhere and frequently faked and knocked off. Oddly, those same people still consider Louis Vuitton bags designer even though they also are everywhere, frequently faked, frequently knocked-off. So for them, the sign of a designer bag is one above a certain price point (and usually not a price point above what they can afford). I consider that definition a bit self-serving, but hey, this is not life or death, so whatever makes you feel better about yourself and your bags (hopefully not at the expense of others) is kosher.

      • Part of it might be the price point as well: I see LV and Coach in a similar light somewhat, as in those are the bags more likely to be carried by people who want others to know they are carrying a certain kind of bag (at least the logo ones anyway), but the difference in price means that Coach is the kind of brand a teenage girl can save up her babysitting money all summer and buy, whereas that’s a bit harder for LV. For those who want to feel like they have something that is difficult for others to buy (not me at all, but they definitely exist), LV is more exclusive, though it is just as frequently knocked-off and counterfeited, if not more so.

      • Anonymous :

        Agreed. I think this equally applies to clothes as well. To me, a BCBG or DKNY dress isn’t designer, but a Theory suit is. To some, Theory isn’t designer, but Michael Kors handbag or Prada stiletto is. Designer for most people just equals a splurge. It’s the pieces in your wardrobe that you prize and that make you feel good about yourself.

        • Isn’t it just a little gross, though, that expensive things can make us feel good about ourselves? What does that say about us?

    • My everyday bag is from Massimo Dutti, it is a classic saddle bag in cognac leather. Very undertsated, no logo, no sparkles.
      I have yet to see someone carrying a similar bag.

  5. Anonymous :

    Aww this is the first time you’ve featured something I own! Well, sort of – I have a prior incarnation of the featured bag (black leather and brass hardware, no pink trim or zipper detailing, and a different lining). It is a great bag and very useful (deceptively roomy!).

    • i stopped by the minkoff sale yesterday too and was so tempted to grab one of these. do they wear well? I love leather that becomes soft over time

      • Anonymous :

        I don’t really know how to answer your question and this is why:

        My bag is older (2008?), it is very soft and wears very, very well :) However, one thing that Minkoff is known for is using different leather textures and so it is impossible to say universally that her bags are soft, or stiff, or glazed, or shiny, or matte, or pebbled, etc. etc. – it is really specific to that particular season/color.

        • didn’t they recently also switch from producing in the us (i think?) to production in china? I remember reading a rant about this somewhere, I’ve never bought a RM bag but love the styles. Andddd now i realize how crazy I was to spend yesterday (my only day off in months) sample sale hopping, but not buying much…

          • She produces some in the US and some in China. You have to REALLY know the brands/styles to know which one is which. For instance, I believe the matinee bags are all made in china now, along with many of the newer styles.

            If you want a bag that wears well be sure to get one of the thicker, “chewier” leathers that doesn’t scratch. The thick leathers work best on the Morning After style anyway!

      • I love Rebecca Minkoff! I have three of her bags, all different styles and types of leather. I bought a Morning After bag a few years ago, and I think the “traditional” leather wears very well.

        My other two RM bags are shiny or studded, so I expect that they will not wear as well, but they are 1-2 years old at this point and holding up just fine.

  6. divaliscious11 :

    Haven’t read the other posts, but I don’t think the perception of Coach/Dooney as not being designer bags has anything to do with price point. It has to do with I simply associate those bags with teens. I bought my first leather coach bag at 16, and while I still have it, and a few others, I carry them rarely. I think when they went to bubble gum colorings, I stopped taking them seriously. I love Louis Vuitton, but I feel the same way about the Multicolore/Murakami collection.

    • divaliscious11 :

      Meant to clarify this was the source of my opinion, others may differ….

      I love Botkier bags and they usually have a lower price point than coach. that said, a dear friend had a new coach bag this summer and I loved, couldn’t believe it was Coach from a design perspective, and couldn’t find it in the store. Would have been the first time they got some of my money in a decade…

      • Both Coach and Dooney have some impressively mature and restrained designs out at this point and their quality seems good. I only own one bag from them, though, so my personal experience is limited.

        I don’t think quality is a reason something is “designer” though – the worst experience of my life was a Fendi that started deteriorating the moment it was out of the box.

        • I think about Kate Spade in this way, too – I am not a bag person, especially, so when I replaced my purse after 7 or 8 years I chose a KS bag because it was well-made, looked like a grownup purse (ie, plain, not trendy, but beautiful materials and a good design), and on deep discount at Marshalls it felt like a pretty good deal. It’s not a “designer” bag, but is a brand that I think of as perfectly good quality for what I want – a purse that I can use for years that will work in a variety of settings.

          (I’m a shoe person, in my defense.)

          • Love my bags... :

            While this is most certainly a “designer” bag, it is one that if you have the $$ and are truly looking for an investment piece, is worth splurging for. I received it as a passing the bar present and have used it constantly for the past few years – it still looks great! It is gorgeous, classy and very functional for work. It has quite a few interior pockets and just the right length to fit legal size documents. I carry it everywhere and always get compliments on it. I know its on the high end as far as its price point but for anyone looking to splurge, it’s worth considering.

            I have it in black…


          • I certainly wouldn’t consider Kate Spade a “premier designer”, but I do think its a designer, especially in certain circles.

            I also have several of her bags and find them to be workhorses – they go with everything, are never overpowering, and manage to be subtle and upbeat at the same time. I’m a fan.

          • lawyerette :

            omg that chanel bag is gorgeous! and I actually hate the super chanel-looking bags

          • to love my bags…….. that Chanel is gorgeous and classy. Well worth the investment. I may treat myself this for a christmas present.

          • Wow – that Chanel bag is GORGEOUS. I have been thinking about getting one of the smaller quilted bags with the chain, for dressier functions. Just recently came to appreciate the look (from an episode of Cover Affairs, embarrassingly) and am thinking that it will be wearable for many many years and is a good alternative to the sometimes-annoying clutch.

  7. Threadjack. Any experience or opinions on PrestonSearch legal recruiters?

  8. Thread hijack – my sister (UCLA/FIDM grad) has an interview for an entry-level position for a start-up company in the fashion industry in LA. The company has been very successful since its launch. Any ideas on what is appropriate interview wear? She though business casual but with a fashionista twist….? I’m not sure. Any input much welcomed.

    • Is she applying for a job on the business side of fashion or the creative side? If she’s on the business side, she’s right, I’d go with business casual, but more fashion-forward than you would typically wear for, say, an interview at an accounting firm-I’m thinking a stylish business casual dress, patterned tights, great shoes, and maybe some stylish jewelry. If she’s applying for something on the creative side, I’d say she has even more leeway and can wear pretty much whatever she’d wear on a “normal” day.

      • Oh, and FWIW, I live in NYC and used to work on the business side of fashion (think marketing) but recently changed careers to a more corporate environment (which is a big part of why I read Corporette, but rarely comment, since I don’t know a ton about what most ladies ask!)

        • Thanks much – it is a very very entry level position, so I am thinking purely admin (dont know on which side vis vis business/creative). I do think they are selling the job as one where she could quickly move her way up to Assistant Buyer if things go well.

          • As an idea — since blazers are very in right now, I would wear something fun/business casual-ish but with a nice blazer on top. This kills 2 birds with 1 stone since a) they’re very much of the moment & b) they will make her look competent & professional.

          • Check out the 2 designers featured here for what I mean:


            PS: I want their blazers!

  9. Just a shout-out to Target for this purple sweater dress for $30:
    I got tons of compliments on it and it accommodates my expanding tummy (and is not as frilly/fluffy (and unprofessional) as many of the maternity dresses out there). Loving it!

    • I really like that dress. How long is it? I’m 5’5 and would want the dress to fall on or directly below my knee cap. Target doesn’t provide measurements, unfortunately.

  10. I have the greatest Coach handbag I got when in law school. It is SOOOO soft and leathery, and it never seems to wear out. I have to try and figure out whether to get it re-tanned, because I literally wore it down by carrying it EVERYWHERE!

    Now that I am working in the City, I think I have to find someone who can do it for me, especially now because some guy threw up at the bar on it last week during the Jet’s game. Does anyone know somebody in Manhattan that does these things?

    Also, does anywone know where I can go for a quiet drink in NYC with my girlfriends where there are not all of these men standing around staring at us? It is VERY distracting to have to look around and see these nerdy guys staring at me.

    • I’m not in NYC so no specific suggestions, but I hope you, Nancy and Laura find a GREAT spot for a quiet cocktail!

  11. Doesn’t she post/troll as Nancy all the time?

    • threadjack :

      yep. apparently all the men in NYC/boss are always doing “weird” things to her.

  12. Also, what about Foley and Corinna — I have a couple of different styles and love them.

  13. academicsocialite :

    Do any of you have Orla Kiely bags? I know for many of the law/corporate types who read this blog may use them for only weekend wear, but I’m in a creative field and am carrying my tote to an interview later today. I’m hoping it’s appropriate so that I don’t have to run to Target on my lunch and get something more business-y. I know they aren’t “designer” but I do see a lot of women carrying them on my train to work (in NYC). This is similar to the one I have:

  14. Please, please, please, can we stop talking about bags as an “investment piece.” Your bag is not an investment–there is no appreciable return on the money spent, it, in fact, loses value as soon as you start to use it (much like how your car loses value the moment you drive it off the dealer’s lot).

    Thus, it is unlike a retirement account, a piece of real estate, stock in a company. It may be pretty, functional, serve the purpose of impressing others, etc., but it is not an investment.

    • Love it, res ipsa. Love it.

    • Agree 200%.

    • Sorry, I disagree. I see my bag as one. I spend $$$$ on it now. Over the next decade or two, it looks fabulous, will make me look pulled together, is a great, functional work bag, makes me very happy and I avoid spending $$ on various other bags in the meantime. Lots of utiles in there. Who knows, I may be able to sell it for $$$$ in the future, it is that great of a bag, but in the meantime there are plenty of returns.

    • i'm nobody :

      Disagree. You can make large bank on vintage Chanel.

  15. Love my bags... :

    Point taken. It’s not an investment per se but it is a piece that I am able to justify spending money on because like jcb said, I will have it forever, use it to death and not spend money on other bags. I guess I call it an “investment piece” because similar to a piece of jewlery or classic watch, pieces such as these do tend to hold their value, if cared for properly. To me, this thinking justifies the higher cost.

    JCB – I also have a larger, quilted, more traditional bag. It’s a great bag and I constantly use it for formal occassions although I don’t feel as if it is appropriate for a black tie event. Word of advice – get it in the caviar leather over the lambskin. It won’t show every scratch and knock like the lambskin does.

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