In our biweekly series, editors share "the item they wear to death," whether it be a basic white tee or a super-trendy jumpsuit. Prepare yourself (and your credit card) for some guilt-free shopping.
The first time I went to Paris, I was fresh out of college and embarking on a Euro trip with two friends (we bounced from London to Paris to Barcelona). The three of us stayed in hostels, researched the most budget-friendly places to eat, and only window-shopped down Champs-Élysées. Paris was lovely, but expensive for a post-grad. I fantasied about the day I could just waltz in and purchase something from one of the designer or vintage shops without draining my debit account.
A few years into my first job and a real credit card later, I had room in my budget to splurge on a designer bag. (I had decided on a bag over shoes because I walk everywhere in NYC and designer shoes would just get destroyed.) The bag would be my first expensive, treat-yourself-kind-of purchase as a working woman. There was one option I had been tracking for months and the only bag I wanted: Givenchy's Antigona, size small, in black. I forget how I learned about it—I most likely saw it on a celebrity or in a magazine—but I had a feeling this sophisticated handbag would not fall out of fashion as quickly as most. The cute bag was also one I knew none of my friends had and the thought of owning something different than the more obvious designer monogram totes excited me.
Around this time, my sister was planning her own European vacation and one of her stops would be Paris. When she informed me she had plans to shop and asked if I wanted anything, I knew exactly what to request. I asked her to bring me back the Antigona design from Givenchy. There were several styles at the store and bless her soul, she tried on a variety of them, sending me texts so I could see what they looked like. I stuck with my choice of a classic black—the most versatile—and decided on a pebble leather material for durability. When I finally saw it in person, I felt giddy like a child on Christmas Day and the Antigona became the second most-used bag in my closet. (The first being my sad work tote, which I'd like to forget about.)
Despite its compact appearance, the Antigona actually holds a lot of stuff. Over the years, I've learned it can carry objects like a water bottle, an umbrella, a book, workout clothes, or even a change of sneakers (a necessity during New York Fashion Week) without so much as ever losing its structured shape. The handbag, which has a detachable strap, can also be worn multiple ways, though my favorite is across the body. It has survived being dropped on the floor and being soaked by the occasional rain (and snow) storm. The pebble leather even conceals all the scratches the bag's accumulated, and aside from a little wear on the straps, the handbag looks almost brand new. It's my default black bag, whether I'm traveling, attending fashion events, or going out with my friends.
I love bringing this bag to New York Fashion Week:
The deers in Japan weren't as interested in my bag as they were the crackers, but that's okay:
I have yet to find another black satchel that I love more. With that said, would I recommend you invest in an Antigona of your own? Absolutely. And, you don't have to travel to Europe to find the style. Select from the options, below.
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