Current Obsession: The Carriel Bag

Western saddlebags are all the rage this season; however, I plan on carrying the carriel, its hipper South American cousin, instead. Short history lesson: a carriel is a small leather satchel from Colombia with a long history dating back 400 years. According to folkloric Colombian tradition, an authentic carriel should contain no less than 50 objects, along with a few lucky charms (a claw of a large animal for protection, a love letter from a sweetheart as a symbol of love, a pair of dice and a deck of cards for entertainment, etc). For this reason, the bags contain a number of secret pockets—enough to hold most of your trinkets (or in my case, junk).

Carrieles de Colombia, a UK-based company, makes the most perfect, lust-worthy versions. Their cowhide or patent leather bags are all hand-made by local artisans in Jericho, Colombia and are a great way to add a bit of ethnic flair to an understated outfit. The bags are available for purchase at and can be shipped worldwide—and I suggest wearing yours cross-body with chunky booties for some added modern-day gaucho swagger.

Leather "Carriel Dona Becky" bag, £225 (about $380), Carrieles de Colombia,


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