The We Step Up Bag was first introduced in House of Want’s fall/holiday 2020 collection, and shortly after started appearing in my social media feed, just as I was warming up to the idea of padded bags. It’s heavily inspired by the Bottega Veneta Padded Cassette Bag, but infused with elements from the Chanel classic flap. As a designer chimera with an affordable price tag, the We Step Up is a fine way to test out the padded bag trend.
DETAILS AND CONSTRUCTION
The “vegan” leather used is acceptable; it would be unreasonable to expect the suppleness of lambskin at this price point, but definitely temper your expectations here. I do think the hardware can be improved on: the chain link strap has a tawdry quality to it. And the push lock closure is a little clunky to use, and is made worse by the padded leather. The construction is otherwise free of other major issues.
At 11″ W x 8″ H x 3″ D, the We Step Up is not exactly a small bag. But the padded material accounts for about 1/3 of that footprint, so the actual interior capacity is rather limited. The bag is further divided into three compartments, so bulkier items like a water bottle will not fit (easily).
The $98 price tag is already affordable, but you can count on at least a 15-25% discount during holidays sales, or during store-wide events at Shopbop or Bloomingdale’s.
Buy the House of Want We Step Up Vegan Leather Shoulder Bag at Bloomingdale’s, Dillard’s, Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, Shopbop, and Urban Outfitters.