I Can’t Not Buy This is a weekly column that features one emerging item, brand, or trend that we can’t for the life of us stop obsessing over.

By Laura Reilly
Jan 10, 2019 @ 7:15 pm
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Kate Spade

Okay, before you have a chance to say anything, let me just admit it: Yes, I buy myself a lot things. I buy myself monthly metro passes, cleaning supplies, groceries (ok fine, mostly Seamless), and a few many things that I don’t need to survive, but truly can’t not buy.

Those extras aren’t any less valuable than things like toilet paper and toothpaste — they’re the seasoning on life’s bland but healthy chicken breast — but, of those so-called “non-essential” purchases, very few feel like an act of participation in a greater cultural moment. Today’s ‘I Can’t Not Buy This’ is one of those few.

Kate Spade launched back in ‘93 with a bag called Sam, and what set that particular bag apart from everything else on the market at the time was its distinct “unprettiness.” I mean that as a compliment. For a women’s accessory to lack frills, bells, whistles, and self-seriousness was to reject the notion of dressing for the opposite sex. Instead, it was for those who wanted to dress for women, dress for themselves, dress for dressing’s sake, and be unique.

The boxy, nylon tote quickly became a mainstay on every forward-thinking woman’s arm and was, in some ways, an early Girl Gang icon. Today, that bag is back, redesigned by Kate Spade’s new and innovative creative director, Nicola Glass, looking spanking fresh for 2019.

Sam’s nylon body has been replaced with a supple nappa leather exterior, its fabric straps have been swapped out with a gold tone bracelet handle, and a crossbody attachment has been added (like the site says, “texting was not a thing in the '90s”).

I’ve loved Kate Spade since I was a kid because I felt like the brand was making things that women would want to buy and wear for themselves, not to look a certain way for anyone else. The bag I’m eyeing — a heart decal-embellished version called the Heart It Sam — communicates that to me too, through a nod to its predecessor.

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, so here’s me being unapologetically mushy. I can’t not buy this cute-as-hell Kate Spade bag, because I love the message it conveys, and I love myself. And by the look this bag is giving me right now, I think it loves me too.

Shop the 25-years-old-and-still-killing-it bag at katespade.com.