Welcome to Curbed’s Advent-calendar gift guide. Over the course of the next 25 days, we will be doling out, one by one, the gifts recommended by dozens of design bigwigs with extremely good taste. So keep checking in daily for new drops.
Molly Purnell, architect and co-founder of L.A.-based design firm Laun, wants to gift this sleek mini-tote in vegetable-tanned leather to her mom “because she’s the most wonderful, caregiving person in my life, and she doesn’t buy herself enough nice things.”
It’s from Building Block, “a female-founded, independent, L.A.-based accessories brand with products that are so beautiful and well made,” Purnell says. She discovered its bags at the Echo Park Craft Fair in 2017 and was immediately taken with them: “I loved the strong, formal geometry and the attention to detail and craft,” she says.
The color — a rich espresso hue — has practical appeal too. “I love darker leather because I know it will age beautifully,” Purnell says. And the size makes it quite versatile: “It’s formal enough to bring to a nice dinner or party, but it’s also large enough to hold all of the items you need for the day — like an iPad or water bottle or, in my case, kids’ books or baby bottles.” And it’s something of a twofer since it comes with a matching circle-shaped zip pouch, ideal for credit cards and keys.