For the past 18 months, women have lived in a state of flux. We work wherever we can, from carrying our laptops from the dining room table to the office to an Airbnb. We offer babysitting services, walks and grocery store tours, always with hand sanitizer and masks. Since the pandemic seems here to stay, unpredictability is the new normal. And luckily, Cuyana has designed his new System tote to make our lives easier during this time and beyond.
Cuyana launched in 2011 with classic leather handbag who developed a following cult. Over the past decade, even as the brand has grown into clothing and jewelry, the brand’s bag designers have continued to create innovative bags tailored to the lifestyle of women. And when the pandemic turned our lives upside down, they started to think about what kind of bag this moment called for. “We see ourselves as ethnographers, studying the women we serve,” says Shilpa Shah, co-founder of Cuyana. “And we believe that a good, carefully designed accessory can improve the lives of our customers.
The brand new System tote integrates all this knowledge. It starts with a sleek leather bag made from supple Italian leather that is perfectly sized to carry everything you would need for a full day of work or a full weekend with your family. But the tote can then be customized with two additional features: a laptop sleeve and a sleeve that doubles as a shoulder bag. The laptop sleeve snaps snugly into the center of the bag, protecting your computer while creating a smart divider within the bag. The pouch snaps onto the side of the tote, serving as an additional pocket, but can be easily removed when you need something smaller to carry. (You can mix and match the colors of your tote, laptop sleeve, and clutch, from classic pebble leathers to snake and crocodile embossed leathers.) And finally, there’s a strap that can transform your clutch or the whole bag into a shoulder bag.
Shah says the idea of the bag was to create a unique place for you to keep everything you need for the week, while also making it easy to transition from one experience to another. And while testing the system, I found out that it does exactly that. I spend most of my mornings working in the cafe, so I carry the fully loaded tote along with my laptop and sleeve. When I pick up my daughter after school, I leave the tote in the trunk of my car, but I carry the 6 x 9 inch pouch as a shoulder bag when I drive to the playground. On weekends, I leave the laptop in its pocket at home and fill the tote with snacks, water bottles, magazines, and bug spray for a day at the park. Since my wallet, keys and masks are always safe in the tote pocket, I never have to worry about forgetting these things.
Of course, not everyone is a working mom like me, and this bag is designed to fit different lifestyles. “Each woman will use the bag differently,” Shah explains. “But we made the system flexible and versatile, so she could customize it to suit her needs. And you don’t have to buy the whole system, just the parts that fit your life.
When the pandemic eventually ends, we are still unlikely to return to the regularity of a nine to five day at our workplaces. Our lives will continue to be a mix of working from home and stopping off in the office, blurring the lines between professional and personal. System Tote by Cuyana is designed for this new reality, where every day is slightly different from the last.
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