what's in the bag: rachel zoe nico messenger bag

Rachel Zoe Nico Messenger Bag, $525 at Neiman Marcus - Somerset Collection.

On Monday I'm styling a fashion editorial for one of our local magazines, which means I'm spending this week sending out sample requests and pulling product from local stores and designers. It's like fantasy shopping - I get to take whatever I want, without spending a dime. But just like Cinderella when the clock strikes midnight, the dream ends after the shoot, when everything has to be returned - le sigh.

Yesterday while I was pulling at Neiman Marcus, I fell in love. A bright red, structured bag caught my eye - I literally gasped. As I ooh-ed and ah-ed in the middle of the store, I learned the beauty in my hands was the Rachel Zoe Nico Messenger Bag. I added it to the pile of goodies I was borrowing for the shoot, and when I got everything back to the home office, I decided to take Nico for a little test drive. Just how much of my stuff could this baby handle?

As it turns out, quite a bit.

The interior compartment is roomy, with a zip compartment perfect for storing little essentials. The front slip pocket is ideal for things you need to get to quickly. The only thing missing, really, is an interior cell phone pocket, but I would honestly end up keeping my phone in the front pocket for easy access, anyway. All in all, this is a gorgeous, highly functional bag - the leather is high quality and will age beautifully, the gold hardware is the perfect complement for the scarlet color, and it has room and style to spare. Too bad for me this pretty baby is going back to Neimans next week...

My "essentials" - Marc by Marc Jacobs wallet, vintage brown leather wallet for protecting my checkbook (yep, I still carry one), Ray-Ban aviator sunglasses, Christian Lacroix notebook, Wallpaper City Guide: Stockholm, The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides, my favorite pen (taken from the hotel where my husband and I spent our first anniversary), keys, my three favorite red lipsticks (from left: Poppy King for J.Crew, M.A.C. "Russian Red," Benefit "Flirt Alert"), and Nivea "Milk & Honey" lip balm.

All the essentials tucked away in Nico.

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