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The Nancy Gonzalez Chain Challenge

4 23 2012

Nancy Gonzalez Chain Collection, 212 872 8820

No bag is as quintessentially Uptown as Nancy Gonzalez. It’s exotic, sophisticated, discreet and conveniently timeless. So what happens if we ask a few downtown girls to add Nancy Gonzalez to their accessories mix? That’s precisely what we’re doing with this week’s Nancy Gonzalez Chain Challenge.

Meet Hilary and Lexi. These Nolita-dwelling roommates work in tech (Hilary at Lyst and Lexi at The Barbarian Group) and have yet to tote their laptops & iPads in the safe confines of Nancy’s exotic skins. Like our Valentino Rockstud Challenge, our goal is to discover which bag(s) work best for their busy days and nights while seeing just how Hilary and Lexi work the latest styles from Nancy’s quintessentially Uptown aesthetic into their boho-downtown edge.

Join us each afternoon as we follow Hilary & Lexi during this week’s Nancy Gonzalez Chain Challenge.


Crocodile Chain-Strap Tote, Shiny Green, 212 872 2880 Nancy Gonzalez Chain Shoulder-Strap Front-Flap Clutch


Last, last, lucky last.

What I am werqing today:

White MiH Paris jeans (buy these), denim shirt from Aritzia, Alaia slices of heaven on my feet, a lot of dry shampoo, the same jewelry I always wear and an emerald green Nancy Gonzalez tote.

Or Beyond Yoga leggings, a home-state pride hoodie and nikes and big gold hoops, but only because I forgot to take them off, not because I am a wanker (pretentious).

So I dragged myself up and out of bed to catch a worm this morning, and, by catching a worm, I mean going to the gym, so I decided why not take NG ! The green complemented the grass patch under the bear on my sweatshirt, so I felt not only virtuous for working out, but also incredibly put together. I think my fellow gym-goers noticed, and my newfound confidence was reflected in my workout.

Then off to work and chose my outfit deliberately tempting the weather deities. It is forecasted for rain, and you know how when you bring an umbrella it never rains? Well, I decided wearing white pants and sandals might work the same. So far so good, but I’ll keep you posted.

I left the emerald green tote I am toting today as the last bag to challenge myself with because, honestly, I wasn’t sure how to use it. We sat across from each other on the couch, giving each other the eye, sometimes holding hands and generally sniffing each other out because… it just felt too mature. For me, I think it was the chunky croc chain handles, it just seemed like such a mummy bag. While I am still not the biggest fan of the top-handles, I am the biggest fan of this bag in every other sense. This is my favorite color, I adore emerald green, now put that on croc and it doesn’t get much better.

Now, the structure – this is a working girl’s bag. Everything you want fits — documents, laptops (13″ only), various radiation emitting electronic devices, 2 cell holders, 2 cell phone holders (baller!), 3 internal compartments (one with a size for secret and private things) and most importantly for me: handles that are long enough to carry the bag on your shoulder or on your arm. I hate when shoulder straps aren’t long enough to sling over my shoulder. Personal purse pet peeve.

And that brings us to a close of our #NGchallenge. Truths: I would figuratively die for any of these bags. They each had the ability to transform an outfit both because of the color and material. The thoughtfulness and consideration that went into the design of each of these bags is evident and the signature of true luxury — the finishing, pockets, organizational compartments, concealed magnetic closures in all the right places, etc. They are expensive. They are expensive to the point where I can’t say it is worth splurging on for everyone (I wouldn’t want to be accused of being financially reckless) however, if you are in the position to invest in a bag and you want true quality, I would suggest these without a doubt.

 —— shameless self promotion —–

If you want to see more of my monochrome madness, you will just have to follow me on lyst.

ps. Follow Bergdorf Goodman on Lyst
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Crocodile Chain-Strap Tote, Shiny Green

212 872 2880 


Wilfred off-the-shoulder top, Kookai skirt, Havaiana flip flops, TopShop beanie,  Yellow Nancy Gonzalez Clutch

Today I’m working from home and grabbed this yellow clutch when I popped out for a breakfast meeting across the road at Cafe Gitane, and then again when I dashed out to pick up coffee downstairs. I love the neon color. Like, really love it. The bag can be carried as a clutch, or its chain can used to transform it in to a shoulder bag. I love both looks; but for day use, and to complement my casual vibe today, shoulder was most appropriate. I’d definitely opt for the clutch option come nighttime, though. And I’m always in to a bag that gives you different style options…

Obviously not a bag I’d be using from office to home, as it only fits a smaller version of my wallet, my keys and my iPhone. Regardless, of all the bags in the Nancy Gonzalez collection Hilary and I got to play with this week, this is my favorite. Because it’s so small, the color doesn’t seem obnoxious, but rather eye-catching and fun. I love bright pop colors (my nails are regularly some kind of aggressive neon color), and this bag was generally adorable. Practicality be damned!
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Nancy Gonzalez Chain Shoulder-Strap Strap Clutch, 212 872 8820
212 872 2880


Nancy Gonzalez Large Chain Clutch, 212 872 8820 Large Chain Crocodile Clutch, Cerulean Matte


I am wearing my favorite white t shirt from Aritzia, black cashmere skirt from Crumpet, black Lanvin booties, Gabrielle Frantzen necklace and cerulean blue Nancy G baller clutch.

So yesterday I tackled my chromophobia with a not-so-mellow-yellow clutch, like a boss. If you remember, I paired the bag with all black and a UPS truck, becoming a verifiable fashion scofflaw and causing writers of fashion anthology everywhere to records this momentous occasion. (see below if you need a visual)

Today, I took it to the next level. Yes, it is now on another level. A level where you might die. This level might be everything. It is sick. Today, I am wearing white, black, blue and orange, all at once. I was inspired by Orangina and I can’t even explain why as I don’t drink that stuff. So I took my pop drink self (some might argue tart is a better description) to a breakfast meeting, followed by this photo shoot with Terry Richardson (this may or may not be true) and now dashing off to a day full of meetings.

As with yesterday, this bag had to carry the essentials – iPad, notebook, wallet, phone, snacks, and lip goss  - which it did brilliantly. This might be my favorite style of all the bags because of the size, ability to carry everything I really need while effortlessly exuding elegance. The color, which we know I have difficulty with, was a challenge. I wasn’t sure what to wear cerulean with, does it go with anything other than denim? Can you just rock it with black (hence the white) or does it need to be worn with colors in its family? Color is so hard for me. So, while I love it, I did have to think a little too much about how to wear the color. And that chain on the front! If I owned this bag, I would have cut that off, it was too big and distracting from the simplicity of this piece. Since I am not really in a position to deface things I don’t own for fear of paying for it, I simply flipped it around a lot.
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* editor’s note: The Large Clutch is available in assorted colors.  And worry not, Hilary: Nancy & Santi are typically open to suggestions. 

Nancy Gonzalez Large Chain Crocodile Clutch, 212 872 8820LARGE CHAIN CROCODILE CLUTCH
212 872 8820


Sass n Bide jeans, Brandie & Melville top, Elvis et Moi accessories, H&M jacket, Ash wedges, Large Chain Crocodile Clutch

In bed most of the day ill with a nuisance virus, I had to drag myself from bed to get to a client meeting at the office. My outfit mirrors my feeling for today (mostly black, blek…) but l love the color of this blue clutch, so much fun and a great way to brighten an outfit! It fit my ipad, keys, larger-than-it-needs-to-be wallet, lipgloss and iphone. Crucial for me, as I hate carrying a canvas tote or second bag because my chosen bag for the day won’t fit everything it needs to, so 10 points to blue for being aesthetically awesome and functional.

I know Hilary prefers this bag sans chain embellishment (she switched to the yellow in the afternoon when visiting BG for an event), but I actually quite like it. Though I’m of the more-is-less breed (stack in that jewelry and nothing less than 6 inches on those heels), while Hils opts for styles that tend to be more understated and elegant (which I’m always envious of, the girl can effortlessly pull of anything, or any bag, more to the point!)
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Nancy Gonzalez Large Chain Crocodile Clutch, 212 872 8820
212 872 8820



Hilary: Nancy Gonzalez Chain Shoulder-Strap Clutch, 212 872 8820 Day 2, Lexi: Nancy Gonzalez Chain Tassel Tote, 212 872 8820


Wearing everyone’s favorite Isabel Marant Booties, Reformation Dress, Blk Dnm Jacket and carrying the Nancy Gonzalez Lemon Drop Clutch (my name, not hers). Todays schedule requires a transitional outfit and transitional bag. Back-to-back meetings all afternoon followed by drinks followed by a dinner means I need an outfit, and a bag, that can work across all occasions. It is debatable whether the slit in my dress is appropriate to wear before 8pm or after 4am… but I decided flats and a “this is how we do it” look on my face would make it okay. Either way, here I am at 10am with a very That Red Carpet Leg of 2012 slit happening. Suffering from chromophobia, as I do, I wasn’t quite sure how to add this radioactive lemon drop bag into my wardrobe. Luckily, I had the genius idea to pair it with all black and discovered that this might be the bag to get me over my phobia — every time I look at this bright little number, I had to smile. I adore it! It is the perfect clutch (and shoulder bag), light, luxe and again, made my outfit. It has those fabulous pockets, zippers, compartments useful for those who use those sorts of things. However, it was not my perfect transitional day-to-night, night-to-day bag as it was too small to house my iPad or notebook. As a result, I had to carry my iPad separately, which I hate. Follow @Lyst on Twitter

Nancy Gonzalez Chain Shoulder-Strap Strap Clutch, 212 872 8820 CHAIN SHOULDER-STRAP FRONT-FLAP CLUTCH
212 872 8820

Lexi:  Tory Burch boots, Sass n Bide jeans, Wilfred shirt, Aritzia leather jacket; carrying the blue Nancy Gonzalez Dome Satchel. Today’s unseasonably cold weather meant the dread unearthing of my winter wardrobe for boot and jacket retrieval.  This dome bag seemed a good match for today’s chilly temperature, while bringing a little pop to an otherwise color-less outfit.  While i do like the rich blue tone, it’s a little on the conservative side for me.  The chain embellishment offsets and modernizes the look, although I wish it were a different color tone* so it was slightly more obvious. I usually opt for a more casual look when it comes to bags, but I’m surprisingly a fan of the structure of the dome. The mature frame of the bag did a good job at pulling together my outfit, and made me feel more put-together than when I carry a shoulder bag (there is an optional shoulder strap included with the dome, but the style is top-handle, so that’s how it should be worn.) I’m also in to the placement and sizes of the internal pockets – good for easy access to iPhone, wallet and keys.  Oh!  And the pockets mitigate the frustrating process of emptying-bag-on-stoop-to-find-keys, which has sadly become a nightly ritual for me… All in all, for someone who perpetually errs on the side of casual, I unexpectedly like this satchel and recommend it as great for either day or evening, office or drinks! Follow Lexi on Twitter  * editor’s note: the Dome Satchel is available in other colors; however, due to the nature of this project, Lexi & Hilary only were given a set number of bags… to ensure that there was some level of difficulty to this challenge.

Nancy Gonzalez Chain Tassel Dome Satchel, 212 872 8820 CHAIN TASSEL DOME SATCHEL, MEDIUM
212 872 8820



Day 1: Hilary Chain Tassel Tote, 212 872 8820 Crocodile Chain-Strap Tote, Shiny Green

I am wearing some of my favorite Sass & Bide striped wide-leg jeans, a white LNA deep v tee shirt, hot pink Christopher Fischer cashmere jumper, Christian Louboutin wedges, vintage gold bracelet from Doyle & Doyle, Omega man’s watch and three-day old bed head.

Today’s look is all about comfort and practicality — two words rarely associated with me. It is my first day back in the office in a week, meaning I will be chained to the desk, so I needed an unfussy ensemble.

Since I was toting my life into the office today (laptop, notebook, documents, snacks, water, etc) I chose the electric blue satchel which comfortably fit everything inside. I have a 13″ MacBook Air and was a tad worried it wouldn’t fit. Luckily it nestled perfectly in bag, felt very secure because of the structured bottom and sides and wasn’t too heavy to carry. Living in NYC means walking and lugging a lot, I detest carrying more than one bag, so finding a tote that can fit my laptop and still look chic is incredibly important. Mission accomplished.

The tote also came with a shoulder strap which I didn’t care for, but it was still nice to have, I would rather have options as opposed to limitations, even if they aren’t exercised. Also useful – all the organizational compartments inside the bag for pens, cell phone, etc…I rarely use these, but again, I do appreciate having them in case I ever do become type-A.

While the rest of my outfit was rather casual – denim, cotton and cashmere – this bag effortlessly spiked my look with shot of chic. I think it demonstrates the power of accessories in transforming a look.

Nancy Gonzalez Chain Tassel Dome Satchel, 212 872 8820
212 872 8820


J Brand jeans, Free People top, Lisa Ho wool sweater/cardi, Dolce Vita wedges, giant green croc tote

Fresh off a (non-direct and delayed) flight from California, and typically running late, it was fire drills all around to make it to dinner tonight. This tote fit everything I needed, as well as the fruit and veggies I picked up from the bodega on the way home!

I typically only use long shoulder bags, so its top-handle was a change for me. Luckily it wears well either way (on the shoulder or carried), and deceptively fits *a lot* in it. I like how the inside is split by a middle zipped section, making two large areas to store a generous amount. Of all the bags, this one probably least fits me stylistically. But again, the size, as well as the beautiful deep green color, make it hard not to love.

Crocodile Chain-Strap Tote, Shiny Green

212 872 8820


Meet Santiago Gonzalez
Here to present an exclusive selection of the Chain Collection
Wednesday, April 25 — Thursday, April 26
Main Floor
212 872 8820


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Hilary is the VP of Business Development for, a social shopping site that is changing the way people shop for fashion online. She began her career by bringing Hollywood Fashion Tape to Australia & New Zealand. Lexi is an Australian living in New York, working PR for The Barbarian Group. She likes obnoxiously loud jewelry and black liquorish.

About Nancy Gonzalez:
Nancy Gonzalez designs are modern but inspired by classical elements. Featuring exotic skins, along with rare and unique materials, in bold colors, the extraordinary handbags in this collection are handcrafted in Colombia by local artisans.