Women love tote bags. I love tote bags. They’re my purse of choice, even if my totes are rarely even half-full. My current favorite tote is from Coach, and it had longer straps to function as a big shoulder bag or oversized shopper. Many working women know the benefits of totes – you can cram everything in, including a laptop or tablet, plus your phone and gadgets, plus snacks, a wallet, sunglasses, reading glasses, a makeup kit and everything else. Well, the Duchess of Sussex knows what working women want and need, and she’s come up with another great collaboration for her years-long work with SmartWorks. SmartWorks is the UK non-profit which provides clothes, accessories and training for women joining or rejoining the workforce. Meghan put together the Smart Set capsule collection in 2019, and she’s done smaller things for SmartWorks in the years since. Now she’s put SmartWorks together with Cuyana.
Meghan Markle is totes ready to give back this holiday season. Ahead of Giving Tuesday, the Duchess of Sussex has teamed up with one of her favorite fashion brands, Cuyana, and her patronage, Smart Works, to help women get back into the workforce with style.
Cuyana will donate 500 of its Classic Structured Totes ($248) to the UK-based women’s empowerment charity, of which Markle has served as patron since 2019 — and the design is one the California duchess loves to carry herself.
“Smart Works invests in women so they know they can thrive in any workplace, and Cuyana is a company that is by women and for women, so this feels like the perfect fit,” Markle said in a statement.
The organization, which runs nine centers across the United Kingdom, helps unemployed women with career coaching and wardrobe consultations, providing them with an interview outfit and, after employment, a capsule wardrobe of workwear items — and now, the luxurious leather bags will be part of the charity’s offerings.
Markle has been spotted carrying one of Cuyana’s black leather totes on several occasions, including during an appearance at Wimbledon in 2019, and while visiting a women’s center in Vancouver in 2020. She even gifted one of the brand’s bags to each of the guests at her 2019 baby shower.
Referencing the clothing line she created in 2019 to benefit the charity in conjunction with several UK retailers, Markle added in her statement, “Similar to the Smart Set collection we created many years ago for Smart Works, this collaboration will support women in the UK as they mobilize back into the workforce.”
This is excellent for Meghan, excellent for SmartWorks and excellent for Cuyana. A donation of 500 bags will help these women walk into their job interviews and their new jobs with added confidence. A good purse is a good investment, and this Classic Structured Tote is really beautiful and it’s something which will “go” with most outfits. I wonder if this sand-color tote is the only version being donated? Do you think Cuyana will donate some in black? Anyway, what a great story.
Photos courtesy of Backgird, Instar and Cover Images.