Where My Bags and I Have Been By Danielle Bertoli

Written by creator Danielle Bertoli, @struckinsideout.

I’ve always been a lover of vintage leather goods. I remember when I was a little girl my parents would take my sister and I into Brooklyn to visit my great aunt and uncle in their beautiful three-story brownstone. We always looked forward to these trips, not only because Aunt Flo and Uncle Petro were like grandparents to us, but Aunt Flo let us roam around her bedroom and try on her things.

We wore her animal printed shawls, experimented with her ritzy makeup and perfumes, threw on her large flappy hats, and paraded around the apartment showcasing her bags. I have a few polaroids of myself as a five-year-old wearing bright red lipstick, a leopard sheath scarf snugged tightly around my neck, and three of my aunt’s leather bags draped over my shoulders. My eyes were closed, I had a big toothy smile, and my hands were lifted into the air. I felt fabulous.

My Aunt Flo had a classic yet eclectic style. I felt rich traipsing around her brownstone adorned in leather purses from the 1920’s. I couldn’t wait to be older to have an overflowing closet like hers, where every piece had a story attached to it. Every item held significance. Whether they were from her travels visiting family in Greece, her first job as a secretary in Bay Ridge, or her days as a young newlywed, she loved telling us how she acquired her leather bags, floral print sundresses and suede boots.

I think of my aunt often as I have many of her belongings in my apartment. To this day, I still love pulling out one of her vintage bags for a weekend getaway or night out with friends.

In recent weeks after coming across Latico, I’ve noticed how similar their bags and wallets are to my aunt’s collection. They’re timeless, classic, and eclectic. They’re pieces that will withstand the tests of time and are both modern and mature. They’re great for the everyday yet can also be worn as a staple item to enhance an outfit or look.

I received my first leather bag from Latico this past December and since the package arrived, I haven’t swapped the Bianca Tote/Crossbody for anything else. It’s quite simply the perfect bag. It’s buttery smooth, has multiple storage pockets, pen holders, a built-in wallet, and enough space to carry all your essentials – which if you’re like me is a necessity since I tend to leave my apartment with an excess of items. God forbid I should run errands without a journal, book, water bottle, lip balm, emergency kit, sunglasses, SPF, or sweater. Nonetheless, that’s who I am and it’s part of my story for why I purchase the large bags that I do.

What I love most about Latico, besides the fact that they remind me of the leather goods that my Aunt Flo cherished and shared, is that they’re a family run business that focuses on delivering quality products. They work with full grain leather, which is more costly than other types of leather, yet they’re still affordable. They also won the 2020 Handbag Design Award, which is a huge accomplishment for being such a small business.

Coming from someone who’s been blogging for almost ten years and is just recently starting to witness the fruits of my labor, I understand how much time, dedication and craftsmanship goes into building a brand that you love and care for. Every item that Latico sells is unique. Even though you’ll be receiving a new bag after making a purchase, the worn patterns and shapes woven into the leather look as though there’s already a story to be told from it. Even though your new Latico bag may appear to have a few stories in its pockets and crevices, you get to make new memories with it. And who knows, maybe one day you can hand it down to your niece or grandchild with a few tales to tell them.

When I wear my Bianca Tote/Crossbody, I not only feel comfortable because of its durability, I’m carrying a bag that looks stylish and chic. I can throw it over my shoulder. I can take the straps off and wear it on my wrist. I don’t need to worry about spilling something on it or ruining it by wearing it too often. It’s a bag that’s well made and not easily tarnished. It can travel with me anywhere and everywhere I go. It can carry almost anything and everything. And it’s become my go-to companion for coffee dates, work meetings, dinners out with friends, or long weekend getaways.

I love Latico because it reminds me that our possessions have as much value as we give them. My Latico bags hold value because they remind me of my aunt and that helps me live more in the present moment by making lasting memories wherever I am. Like Aunt Flo, I want to one day give my favorite leather goods to the youngest in my family and I hope like her, I have as many interesting and exciting stories to tell about where my bags and I have been.

Danielle Bertoli, @struckinsideout is an influencer & created her blog and podcast, Struck Inside Out, to bridge the gap between our collective human experiences. It's her passion to write from the heart on personal struggles, to shed light on our shared journeys and help people feel less alone. She teaches writing workshops and is publishing her first book by the spring of 2022

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