• The Urban Oxide brand fits my criteria – stylish, incredibly durable, and reasonably priced. They are light weight, so I can pack these bags with everything I might need. I like the clean, tailored look.

    The secret of the brand is surprising. While the exterior of the bags is a beautiful embossed texture with a bit of a subtle sheen for a rather “urban chic” look, the fabric is actually made from embossed rubber. (Pretty much the same thing tires are made from, which says a lot about durability.) The surface seems to be almost impossible to damage with wear and, of course, it’s completely waterproof so I’m not worried about rain or snow. Dirt can be rubbed off without damaging the surface. I’ve found they last a long time without looking warn.

    I’d expect the styling to be much more expensive. The prices are really low.

    The interiors are lined with fabric and designed with a large number of pockets to help with organization. Available colors are all classics – black, brown, beige, reddish tones, khaki and silver/gray. My new favorite is light gray with a little silvery sheen (The Village Tote) , but my black one from several years ago still looks good. Most of these styles comes in a variety of colors – almost always including black.

    Department stores haven’t picked up on this brand yet, so buying it online is probably best.

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    Article by: Dianne Morris

    As a designer and entrepreneur, products for women have been my focus. Dianne Sullivan Designs created fun jewelry for boutiques and department stores. Miraflores Designs designed and supplied custom branded soap, shampoo and other toiletries for hotel chains. With Bay Linens, Inc, we created decorative bedding sold through Bloomingdales, Bed, Bath & Beyond and other retailers. Our home decor products, with the brand, China Seas, is sold at Isetan Department stores in Japan. At this stage of life I'm connecting with other women over 50 who want to examine their interests and to connect with each other. At ZestNow.com I want to gather useful information and inspiration for this new phase of life.

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    1. ana vallejo says:

      I’m desperately looking for the Urban Oxide Crossbodyj. Would prefer it in black but would consider the red/orange. Can’t find it anywhere.

    2. Dianne Morris says:

      A friend has tipped me off that the designer is Jem Leaf, aka Mami Jem Leaf, was born in Kyoto, Japan and moved to New York in her early twenties. She studied textile design and fashion both in Japan and New York, and worked in the field for over a decade.
      Jem started her bag collection to address the lack of variety of choices when it came to everyday, fashionable bags. There weren’t any non-leather bags or any type of cross-body shoulder bag that suited the stylish yet mobile life of urban women at the time that she started her bag designs in 2000. She strives to make bags not only of practical and tasteful, but also of fine quality and excellent detail.

    3. Pamela says:

      Have an Urban Oxide bag in khaki. My next Urban Oxide bag will be definitely be red.
      Best feature for me is the durability.

      1. Dianne Morris says:

        Nice idea. I love the red too!

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