Monday, May 21, 2012

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Nicole Lee U.S.A. Gemma Handbag Collection


It was only a few months ago that I first discovered Nicole Lee handbags.  I saw.  I wanted.  I bought!

Nicole Lee U.S.A., a sponsor for the MTV Video Music Awards, is a handbag company that has also branched out into fashion footwear, jewelry, and accessories.  Although based in L.A., Nicole Lee is sold in major fashion markets worldwide.  Their designs are fun, never boring, and show a lot of attention to detail.

After I purchased my first Nicole Lee bag, I visited NicoleLeeOnline.com to see what else I had been missing.  I fell in love with the Gemma Bowler immediately.  Then when the brand offered to send me the hobo style Gemma Buckle Shoulder Bag from the same collection to review, I could not decline.  It is even in the same Pale Green as the Nicole Lee bag I had purchased months ago.  It had to be fate!

(Click any photo to enlarge)

I have to start off by saying that I wear all silver, white gold, and platinum jewelry.  For this reason, I usually stay away from bags with goldtone hardware.  I have slowly eased myself into the idea of pale gold hardware because there are some handbag brands that are currently only offering bags with goldtone accents.  Luckily for me, the Gemma Buckle Shoulder Bag is accented with pale gold.  The only exception is the chain that clips the coin purse onto the bag.  It is a more yellow than the rest of the hardware, which makes it very prominent.  This is my only criticism of this bag.  Perhaps the designers made this decision to make the chain and coin purse pop more, but I would have preferred it to be light gold like the rest of the hardware.


Of course what first attracted me to the entire Nicole Lee Gemma Collection is the unique design of the chained coin purse tucked into the slant pocket on the front.  I found this to be a very innovative way to bring functionality into the design.  It was not until I had the handbag in my hands that I realized there was a hidden magnetic snap that helps to keep the coin purse securely in place.  To the casual observer it just looks like the coin purse is tucked snugly inside the front pocket.


I am a huge fan of prominent hardware on handbags.  I love the chunky zipper pull on the coin purse, the buckles and rings on the sides of the bag and the 8" drop handle, and especially love the zipper trim around the bow.


The faux leather on this bag is soft, buttery, and almost drapes like fabric.  The only thing missing is the smell of leather.

That's enough about aesthetics!  Let me show you what this 15"W x 11"H x 3"D bag has to offer for storage.  In addition to the zippered pocket on the back of the bag and the coin purse, this handbag also has a zippered pocket on one interior wall plus two open pockets on the other.  There is one large and one small open-top pocket.  Like with many bags, the smaller one is too small to hold my Windows phone, but it would certainly hold a smaller mobile phone.  If you carry a larger phone like me, the other pocket is more than enough room to accommodate it.


With all that Nicole Lee U.S.A. handbags have to offer, I was thoroughly shocked to find that the majority of the bags retail for under $100.  To learn more about Nicole Lee handbags, visit NicoleLeeUSA.com and Nicole Lee on Facebook.  If you like what you see, also be sure to checkout Nicole Lee's other handbag lines . . . Roxbury and Nikki.  In addition to their retail website, you can purchase Nicole Lee handbags at specialty stores, such as Arden B, Bakers Shoes, Charlotte Russe, and more, and at larger retailers, like Marshalls, T.J.Maxx, eBags.com, ShoeBuy.com, JCPenney, and Target.

Thank you to Nicole Lee U.S.A. for providing a complimentary product sample for us to base this review upon and for providing a gift code for our contest prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck in the drawing!