Close up of 5 leather totes in various shades, merlot, cognac, mocha, black, cognac

Behind the Scenes: Fall 2020

An Inside Peek at Creating Our Latest Totes

Are you as head over heels for the Fall 2020 Urban Southern line as we are? Bye-bye, summertime! These new bags have us ready for chilly temps, changing leaves, and pumpkin spice evvvvverything!

woman in jeans and blouse stands in a pasture by the flank of a horse holding a merlot leather tote

Really, what could be more perfect to carry on a crisp

autumn day than the new Urban Zipper Tote in merlot?

And the mocha?? Love! 

woman in shirt and riding pants stands by the head of a black horse holding a mocha leather tote


In honor of the fall line’s debut, we wanted to give you a glimpse into our creative process and share a little bit of the backstory on our new bags.

Fun fact: Our new totes were actually inspired by an item on a honey-do list from years ago!

Before Daniel and Rachel Smucker owned Urban Southern and its sister brand, Welsh Mountain Co., Daniel was operating solely as a harness shop, carrying on a family tradition that went back three generations. Then and now, Smucker Harness was known as one of the world’s premier equine harness makers. If you needed a top-of-the-line harness for your horse, Daniel was your guy.

But when purse-loving Rachel hinted that she would really love a leather tote, Daniel knew he needed to step outside of his comfort zone. He started experimenting and eventually gifted Rachel with her dream tote!

Since then, that tote has been Rachel’s go-to bag and, thanks to its rich and buttery full-grain leather, it looks even more beautiful today than when Daniel first made it! 

All of the gals on the Urban Southern team have noticed and admired Rachel’s bag at one point or another so, when it came time for the team to put our heads together and start brainstorming for the 2020 fall line, using Rachel’s dream tote as inspiration seemed like the perfect choice.

For the first Fall ‘20 bag, the actual design process was pretty seamless. Since Rachel had been carrying her original tote for years by that point, any flaws or issues with the early design had been worked out long ago. 

overhead shot of a work table with leather tools and a note pad

We named this first design the Urban Classic Tote since it is almost exactly like the original tote Daniel created for Rachel, right down to its gorgeous cognac color. Its simple lines and supple leather make it a perfect carry-all for every day, no improvement necessary!

cognac leather tote bag floating on a white background     


Close up of opening of a leather tote bag showing an interior pocket with a cell phone peeking out

During that same brainstorming sesh, our team agreed that Urban Southern’s second design for Fall ‘20 should take the classic tote and incorporate some popular customer requests. Our talented production assistant Joetta set to work designing and soon the Urban Zipper Tote was born.

 woman sits sketching at a drafting table, cuts of leather, tools, and a phone around her

same woman sits at industrial sewing machine making a leather tote bag

The Urban Zipper Tote features exterior and interior pockets, an interior key fob (no more digging for your keys at the bottom of your bag!), and a zipper top closure for added organization and security, without sacrificing an ounce of the timeless style Urban Southern is known for.

mocha leather tote bag with black handles and an exterior front pocket on white background


close up of interior of mocha leather tote showing pocket & key fob with cell phone peeking out

The Urban Zipper Tote also comes in two new and exciting colors. Remember that perfect-for-autumn merlot and creamy mocha we mentioned? We paired these new shades with contrasting black straps so they really pop. 

Personally, we think Joetta and our team knocked it out of the park with this one, y’all. What do you think? Don’t these bags just make you want to throw on your softest sweater and favorite boots and stroll through the falling leaves? 

Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Back to blog

1 comment

Yep, you all knocked it out of the park! It’s fun to hear about the process behind the scenes. Gorgeous work, as always!

Meg Delagrange

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.