Purseonals: Rebecca Minkoff Nikki Hobo

October 20th, 2011

To make sure each of my Purseonals posts are as accurate as possible, I’ve been carrying the bag I am going to review for at least five days straight before I sit down to share my thoughts with you. This way I use the bag used as part of my everyday life, from short errands to long days out and about.

Under review now is my Rebecca Minkoff Nikki Hobo, a bag that I have loved since Rebecca first released it, yet somehow I only own one Nikki myself. I got this bag about 7 months ago and have used it off and on quite a bit.

Here is how my Rebecca Minkoff Nikki scores in our PurseBlog Purseonals ratings:

Aesthetics 4 Stars

A hobo is a shape that many covet, and Rebecca Minkoff had an easy time creating a classic hobo style. The Nikki fills every aesthetic desire I have when it comes to a good hobo – the shape is slouchy but not completely limp and the sides have some additional hardware to give a special touch.

When you lay the Nikki down flat, the top of the bag is nearly touching the top handle. At a glance it will seem like there is no way this bag will fit over your shoulder and be comfortable, but the body of the bag slouches to give you about a 9″ shoulder drop. This is enough when I have a thinner shirt on, but the bag always slides down my shoulder when I’m wearing a sweater or jacket. Another inch for the drop would be great, two would be ideal.

If it seems like I am not saying much about the aesthetics, it is because I am not. The majority of hobos are both simple and expected, which is neither a good or bad thing – it is just a hobo thing. And this expected shape and look is what Rebecca provides with her Nikki bag.

Usability + Functionality 3.5 Stars

Rebecca Minkoff is known for her hardware detailing, and while the Nikki I own does not have a ton of additional details, the hardware still adds a bit of weight to the bag. If I carry this bag for hours straight, I will start to switch it from shoulder to shoulder to split the weight because with the bag filled up it digs into my shoulder and feels heavy after a while.

As I discussed in aesthetics, the handle drop works as long as I’m not wearing anything too thick and sits nicely on my shoulder. The bag hugs tight to my body which always makes it feel more secure. The top closes with a magnetic snap closure, leaving two ends of the bag accessible to unwanted hands – but that would only happen if you were carrying the bag in the crux of your arm or hand. When worn on my shoulder, the bag feels safe and snug. I know a zipper top seems like it would be annoying to open and shut, but since I am on the go so much – I prefer it for security reasons.

The inside of the Nikki has a spacious zip pocket on one side and three open pockets on the other side. Like many bags, when you reach down into the large open compartment, locating specific items is tricky – but it is like that with all bags. To reach into the bag you need to slide it down your shoulder, but I find the interior pockets helpful to separate items.

Quality + Construction 3.5 Stars

I have read reviews of people in the RM Forums that have had issues with their RM bags. However, for the time that I have owned this bag, I have not experienced any quality problems. The thick leather has a slight glossy finish and even if I literally scratch my nail over the bag, it does not leave a mark. I haven’t worn the bag long enough to see how years of use effects it, the corners are in great shape right now and the hardware has held up. The leather on my Nikki is thick and smooshy, not as soft as I typically like but not rigid either.

The only complaint I have is about the quality and consistency of leather used on opposing panels. To add a design element, there is a double stitch in the front and back center of the bag. Upon closer inspection, different panels of leather are used here that meet in the middle. I’m a stickler for leather matching up perfectly and while not nearly as bad as I’ve seen on other bags, there are slight leather discrepancies.

The inside is lined in a cotton canvas dark brown/black kiss print lining. All of the pockets are easy to access, and the open pockets fit a phone perfectly. Rebecca Minkoff bags always make sure inside functionality is a top priority, and that is evident with the Nikki.

Value 4.5 Stars

For a spacious, all-leather, sizable hobo (18″x 4″x 14.5″) from a contemporary designer, the price is very reasonable. Rebecca Minkoff designs have garnered tons of attention from shoppers, celebrities and fashionistas alike, and compared to other hobos this size under $500 is on the lower side. Like many contemporary designers, the bag is not made in the USA. The Nikki costs $495 via Rebecca Minkoff and ShopBop.

The ‘It’ Factor 3.5 Stars

When it comes to a good looking hobo, Rebecca Minkoff delivers with her Nikki. A simple hobo has a hard time becoming a really trendy and sought-after bag, but it is an extremely important shape in the handbag world. If you ever get me ranking a hobo with a supremely high “it” factor – it will be super special. This hobo is the definition of ‘easy chic’.

Total 3.5 Stars

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