At the beginning of this year I met a lovely lady called Marcia who had a very distinctive and beautiful bag. She was with a friend who also had this bag and then editor of Afro Noire magazine Debbie Marie also had this bag. They were all carrying an O Bag and they had all customised them to reflect their own personal style. My interest was piqued and I stalked Marcia and O Bag Factory London on Social Media for a few months.
Marcia discovered O Bags on a trip to Italy and a year later she had turned her passion for the bags into a business as the authorised retailer in London.
In July I made my first time to the O Bag shop. It is in Crouch End. I live in south London so it is some distance but the shop is so beautiful that it was worth the visit. Marcia and her team were holding a blogger event and it was my first opportunity to see the range in full.
The premise behind the bag is similar to that of Build a Bear. You choose the components that you want to create the bag of your choice. The body of the bag is EVA – a sturdy plastic which you can clean so if you need to put it on the floor of the tube or the floor of a restaurant you can clean it and restore it to it’s pristine condition. The bags come in different sizes and shapes and there are handles in different lengths and colours. On top of that there is an inner bag with a zip which changes the bag from a shopper to a secure zipped up bag. You can further customise the bag with trims. From furs to stripes there are are large assortment of options that match and or contrast with the handles and inner bag.
The bag, trim and handles are attached with a screw mechanism in holes through the bag. The concept is genius on many levels. Handles are normally that part of the bag that wears first – O Bag gives you the option of changing the handles which not only reduces wear and tear but also completely changes the look of the bag. Same applies to the inner bag. The EVA is completely practical and practical as well as being aesthetically pleasing. The bag can be whatever you want it to be. It is the ultimate ‘bag for life’.
A couple of months ago I was all about the white bag, mainly because I wanted a purple bag but they did not have the shade that I wanted. It was more berry then purple. Also because the white O Bag is a truer white then any leather bag. The colour is brilliant and would work perfectly with my mainly black and purple wardrobe.
I was meant to return to the store but life got in the way and then it was September and I woke one morning to a tweet from Marcia and her team. My signature purple colour was in stock. Not only that – there was PATENT PURPLE handles. Oh … and it just happened to be in my birthday month.
I could have ordered the product online, but actually if you can get to the store it is really worth the trip. Online, you get an idea of the shapes and the colours but it is nothing like seeing the bags in person. You get to try the colours, shapes and sizes to see how they work with you. For example, I LOVE the Chic shape.
It is a beautiful north south shape HOWEVER, I am short and round and it does not look as good on my as the standard and mini shape. The impact the switching the colour of the handles has on the bag is also much clearer in person than online. The team really dress the shop so you can see a range of classic and contemporary colour combinations giving you a chance to look at colour combinations that you may not have considered – like purple with yellow handles.
Also the colours are so much more vibrant in person but there are also subtle tan and caramel shades that you really need to see in person. There are a range of smaller accessories, watches, bracelets and sunglasses in corresponding shades.
Despite being tempted by a variety of colours in store, I left with my purple bag with patent purple handles. Aint she pretty??
The colour is the perfect shade of purple and the handles give a a beautiful tone on tone effect. These are the short handles – perfect for putting the bag in the crook of your arm. I will be returning to the store to pick up some longer handles so that I can wear the bag over my shoulder which will be especially useful when I am carrying my laptop.
The O Bag is a very welcome addition to my purple world. If you are in London I would definitely recommend a visit to the O Bag Factory London Store.
Take a look at the O Bag Factory website to get an idea of the vast range of options but then take my advice and head to the store if you can. Happy shopping!!