I've lost count of how many Kipling handbags/bags/purses I own. They last forever and I can just put them in the wash and they come out good as new. I don't like some of the newer, 'funky' designs, but I recently discovered their leather purses and handbags, which are lovely (£££ though).
Just last week I bought a Tilsa backpack in 'icy mint' (white), from Amazon, which was reduced from £55 to £25. My Christmas present to myself
I have 4 Kipling bags, mostly from the Rock Heaven or City ranges, these designs are more funky and modern and less "twee" IYSWIM. They have metal hardware and a metal monkey rather than the little furry ones which Im not keen on (bit childish??)
They are practical, stylish, robust and just a little bit different. Would recommend to anyone : )
I have had a Defea bag and you can get loads in it. I replaced it with a Katie as I wanted the same size bag in a patent finish, and that's really nice. I got a matching purse. The Kipling bags are very good quality but I don't like the fabric much! I also have a small one which I use on holidays.
I'm a fan too. A friend has a purple Defea and gets an incredible amount of stuff in it - says she's even used it for overnight stays. Most of mine are from the City range as they're just a bit more interesting. Quite like some of the Vintage designs at the moment too.
I always take one on holiday because they're super-light and just so useful in terms of masses of pockets, etc, but not boring if you look around at the latest styles and finishes. I have other bags of course, but when I switch away from a Kipling really miss the 'organising' features like key clips, pen slots (sounds a bit nerdy, but still) for a while.
I always take off the monkey - whether fluffy or metal. Not a great monkey fan.
I suppose the Radley range are a sort of competitor but to me there's something deeply dull and unappealing about Radley - perhaps because they're English and Kipling are European I just imagine that Kipling are funkier!
. We went to London yesterday( to see the Bagpuss show and the lights) and we walked up Regents st where there is a Kipling shop. Woo Hoo. They had a sale on with lots of reductions, 30% off. I got an Imara in cerise, which is a really great colour. A late birthday present I like it a lot but it's not as big as I would have liked. It says you can fit an A4 folder in it but I would dispute that. A4 notebook maybe but not a folder. I might save my pennies for a defea.