I didn’t expect to find a uniquely classy bag I could afford at this point, but trekking to Citygate in Tung Chung, the 30-min last stop on the orange train line from Hong Kong central, made it possible. I’d ventured out to visit a friend based near the fishing community of Tai O (a charming, rustic place) and on my way back to the city I scored this absolutely charming, illustrated Anteprima tote at Citygate, for 30% off at the final price of $HK 976/approx. Php5200.
“The brand was conceived by Izumi Ogino in year 1993, in hope of creating a brand for a modern woman with an appreciation for timeless luxury and contemporary style. A woman who can exist anywhere in the world, her flair transcends borders.The ANTEPRIMA woman, as created by IZUMI OGINO. She has captivated the fashion world since the label’s debut – as its name means in Italian – at Milano Moda Donna in 1998.” – ElementsHK.COM
I liked the brand Anteprima the first time I laid eyes on the boutique in Singapore. It’s a brand that absolutely gets me. Anteprima basically means “a preview” or “debut” in Italian but it was created by the effortlessly beautiful Japanese designer, Izumi Ogino in the mid 90s. She absolutely loves Italy and works mostly with materials from that region and always presents her collections in Milan. Izumi’s dainty but modern creations remind me of a more delicate Asian take off from luxury brands that know women inside out. These brands get that it’s not about being full-blown regal 24/7, it’s also about being elegantly chill in those moments when you need to be. Brands like those aren’t afraid to get playful in terms of design and know how to do it properly, NOT AT the expense of taste, like for example Chanel or Kate Spade.
Anteprima is mainly known for its famously pretty and dainty “wire bags” as well as shoes and dresses, but those were off the budget for me. Read more to get the full review, a closer look at the bag’s features, and my musings on this bag that I’m quite happy to own.
What I absolutely liked about this tote, second to the pretty illustrations, is the fact that it’s made of print laminated natural shade canvas that isn’t like Tide white. That makes it a perfectly stylish day out bag able to resist splashes of rain, food, drinks, and dirt. The brand name’s perfectly placed hardware tag and the classy tote shape stops it short of looking like a baby’s survival bag.
The mouth of this terribly pretty tote snaps shut in the middle with a concealed but STRONG magnet button on top (so strong you will hear it snap together). If the open tote without a zipper bothers you there does happen to be a semi-secret zippered pocket with a concealed zip tag for easy access to things like keys, change, a medium size wallet, or mobile phone.
My new Samsung Galaxy S3, which is in no way a small phone, fits inside that zippered pocket with space to spare. I love how you never find out there’s a pocket there right away. I only realized there was a secret pocket when I got home, I don’t recall noticing it in the store.
Last but not the least…what thrills me no end is that my Beansprout illustrated utility pouches (review here) go so well with this bag, its color, its concept…as if they were meant to be together.
Have you ever discovered a luxury fashion brand that isn’t as top of mind as the likes of Louis Vuitton, Dior, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Chanel, Givenchy etc. but is still of certain worth and high quality? Tell me about those brands in the comments, I’d really like to know!