Based in Pondicherry, India, Hidesign was founded in 1978 as a two-man workshop. The company now has over 80 exclusive branded stores and sells in hundreds of independent stores, making it a huge player in India’s accessories market. The company expanded to the U.S. in late 2014 with a pared-down line of men’s and women’s accessories. Each Hidesign bag is made by hand in India with vegetable-tanned leather from their own tannery, and all their hardware is solid brass cast and polished at their own forge. Their three teams of designers are based in Milan, London and Pondicherry. We’ve previously reviewed their Hector 17″ Laptop Backpack and found it to be well-made and well-priced.
From the Hidesign America website: “Founded in 1978, Hidesign has grown into a global leather accessories brand recognized for its quality, ecological values and personalized service. By keeping its focus on a classic contemporary look, Hidesign caters to the sophisticated urban professional and executive.”
CONSTRUCTION & FUNCTION
The Cerys tote is constructed using veg-tanned leather from their factory. The leather full grain, and smooth with a light sheen. It’s a simple tapered construction with contrasting orange stitching for subtle visual interest. It’s lined with a bright blue cotton fabric that adds a fun pop of color. The lining is a little bit too loosely attached for my taste, and ends up bunching up and catching on things.
The tapered shape of the tote allows it to expand to hold quite a bit. It measures in at 15″L x 10 “H x 5.5″W. It can easily hold an iPad or even a small laptop. It can hold files, but don’t expect to fit binders or large notebooks. There’s a long zippered center pouch, as well as two long compartments on either side, one zippered and one open. There’s also a small zippered pouch on the exterior.
The straps are sturdy and have a good long drop length, allowing for comfortable over-the-shoulder carry. The bottom of the bag is flat, with the exception of the central seam, which allows the bag to stand freely even when open.
The Cerys tote has a simple, contemporary aesthetic. While it can easily function as a nice, everyday purse, it looks most at home in a business casual office environment. The black leather is dressy but not showy. It’s not a super trendy design, but it’s a classic silhouette that will hold up well. The Cerys also comes in blue, brown, and red, with various colors of cotton lining.
The Hidesign Cerys Tote is a simple yet elegant bag, with minimal branding and a contemporary aesthetic. Definitely consider your preferences when it comes to fabric linings– some people prefer it and others aren’t such big fans. But if fabric linings aren’t a deciding issue for you, this bag will serve you well in the office and elsewhere.