I want to start out by saying that I am not a vegetarian or a vegan. I have tried out a raw vegan diet before, and truth be told I didn’t last a long time. I really do want to try it out again in the future – definitely not as extreme as eating exclusively raw foods – but as of now, it’s not for me. That being said, I’m not ignorant to how badly animals can be treated.
When I decided to buy a new purse, I originally wasn’t very selective about whether the bag would be made of real leather or not. I didn’t want to purchase an over-priced leather purse, so at the time I was considering brands such as Everlane, which supports transparent pricing. I found Angela Roi by chance through Instagram and fell in love with the quality and sleek look of the products. It was only when I discovered it was vegan leather that I seriously started considering that material as an option. The line proves you don’t need animal leather to own a good quality purse, and whether you are a vegan, vegetarian, or love meat, you can appreciate this. I for one look forward to supporting this vegan brand.
Angela Roi bags are created with EPUL (Exquisite Polyurethane Leather), which is processed multiple times in order to attain the soft and smooth texture that characterizes the line. In addition, they use gold plated hardware, high quality zipper closures, and magnetic snap-button closures. The lack of an animal by-product in the making of these purses does in no way imply a lack of quality or craftsmanship – they excel in their details.
GRACE CROSS-BODY ($215)
I absolutely love everything about this bag: the pebble texture, the large A/R logo in the front, the handles, the gold detailing, the size, the raised logo in the front. I’m generally one who tends towards soft pebble leather, and Angela Roi really exceeds expectations in this arena. I have seen other vegan brands, but have never truly been impressed with the material or styles, and thus overlooked them quite easily. One of the most surprising aspects about this bag – especially if you’re used to conventional purses – is that the vegan leather make is of excellent quality. The whole bag overall oozes good quality: from the real gold hardware down to the vegan leather, there is nothing that looks cheap. From the materials to the details, you get what you pay for. Take the gold plated zipper hardware for one. If you have purses that give you annoying issues with zipper enclosures, let me say I have not encountered these difficulties with any of the bags- you can slide the zipper back and forth very smoothly and easily, another reason to appreciate the craftsmanship and attention to detail.
The Grace Cross Body bag comes with two straps, one adjustable. I always leave both on for convenience of use depending on what errands I have, and to be honest I love the look with both on. The thicker strap is the least used of the two, but it just adds this edgy appeal that is a must in my eyes. The longer strap is my usual go-to, since I like to either hang the bag on my shoulder or utilize it as a crossbody. The bag also has a fabric interior with a couple compartments, one of which is zipped. This helps take care of your smaller items you don’t want falling to the bottom of your bag, such as your keys or lipsticks. Aside from the plus of having additional storage with these compartments, I believe of all the purses I own or have owned, this one takes the cake for the perfect size. I can fit all my lipsticks (and I have a lot of them mind you), wallet, sunglasses, water bottle, etc all very comfortably without it getting cramped inside. It’s the most perfect purse for everyday wear, great for wearing during the day to run errands and transitioning flawlessly to night for fancier outings. The aesthetic is so simple yet makes for such a beautiful and efficient statement piece. I definitely have my eyes on more colors – the lavender looks lovely.
ELEANOR SATCHEL ($220)
Let’s take a moment to obsesses with the classic appearance of this bag. I actually found this out recently, but the inspiration for the purse comes from a real female figure we all know of: “Created in the image of woman who is strong, intelligent and rightfully opinionated, Eleanor Satchel is our most intricately detailed design. The bag is named aptly after the longest serving first lady “Eleanor Roosevelt” who was never a shy one to voice her opinions.” They successfully captured her spirit in the bold, sharp, and elegant aesthetic of the purse. It has girl boss written all over it.
My first impression of the Eleanor Satchel was that the material was quite stiff. I wasn’t sure about how I felt about it, whereas with the pebble leather of the Grace Cross Body, it was love at first feel. Even though this was my initial impression, Eleanor grew on me quite quickly. The bag is indubitably stiff, but this is what also helps it retain its sharp structure, which in turn gives it such a a clean, bold, and classy appeal. It’s very difficult not to fall in love with the unique design, complete with accordion fold sides and sharp edges. The gold raised logo on the front also adds a nice touch. Aside from the luxe aesthetic, it has 3 compartments and thus fits a good amount of items. The middle section uses a zipper enclosure for more secure storage. Once again, the gold plated zipper hardware is not only a beautiful addition but works effortlessly. As opposed to the fabric interior of the Grace Cross Body, the interior of Eleanor is all vegan suede, which continues to add to the luxe appeal of this bag. One compartment has a phone pocket, and the other a zipper pocket inside. The bag has top handles that do not detach, and comes with an additional detachable strap as in the case of the Grace Cross Body. My only issue with this bag is actually with the top handles, which feel quite rubbery. I had them hanging in a rather weird position, and have found that the handles are now bent more towards one side. While I appreciate the fact that they are thin and add to the elegant look in this way, they are not as sturdy as I would want, which juxtaposes with how sturdy the rest of the bag is.
I highly recommend this luxurious bag, but do keep in mind that it is best suited for fancier outings rather than everyday wear. Although it is spacious enough to fit most of your essentials, it is not as convenient or easy to do so as compared to the Grace Cross Body bag. As you can see in the images, two of the three compartments cannot be secured, thus items can be more easily lost/stolen. The layout of this bag is a double edged sword for me because although it doesn’t make for the most secure configuration, I also like the idea of three separate storage areas, which can make organizing more intuitive. The middle compartment does have a zipper which is more secure, however due to the rigid nature of the structure, it’s not easy to stretch and fit in all of your desired items into any of the three compartments. When you are going on a date or holiday party and do not need to fit so many items, this purse will definitely be a statement piece worth taking along. If you don’t get compliments I will be surprised! For everyday effortless chic, I would stick to the Grace Cross Body.
These purses aren’t as expensive as brand name leather options, but of course they are of quality make and aren’t cheap either. I do, however, have a tip for you if you’re looking to save a bit. I purchased the Eleanor Satchel from Petit Vour (click here to be redirected), a green beauty and ethical vendor which gives you 20 points per dollar spent in the store. That’s pretty insane- most stores do 10 points per dollar, if even that. They carry many wonderful lines such as Rahua, Gressa, Ilia, Odacite, etc, thus you can knock out your green beauty needs and get more back for your purchases. If you purchase the Eleanor Satchel, for example, you will get 4,400 points. That’s $40 back to spend in the store. Considering 2,500 gets you $25 off and 5,000 gets you $50 off, spending $30 more will take you to the $50 mark. This means the next time you need a Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation from Gressa, instead of purchasing it for the full price of $62, it will cost you $12. It also means you can get a free Hydration Shampoo from Rahua, and so many other options! I do want to note, however, that you will not get a dust bag through your purchase at Petit Vour, which is unfortunate given how expensive the bags are. Another tip to note, Angela Roi recently had a sample sale, where they offered their bags that had negligible dents/scratches/imperfections at a discounted price. Hopefully these tips will help you out if you decide to purchase one of these beautiful bags!