Gwen Stefani L.A.M.B. Purses Ode

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Yes, I’m Still Obsessed With Gwen Stefani’s L.A.M.B.

In which NYLON’s culture editor waxes sentimental on her love of Gwen Stefani’s L.A.M.B. purses.

2004 was a big year for both me and Gwen Stefani. She released her debut solo album Love. Angel. Music. Baby., which went on to receive six Grammy nominations; I had my life changed by songs like “Luxurious” and “Cool.” And we both wore her fashion line L.A.M.B. as often as humanly possible.

L.A.M.B., an acronym for Stefani’s aforementioned record, was instrumental in shaping my teenage personal style. In particular, I was obsessed with the line’s collaboration with LeSportSac — the handbag and luggage company whose claim to fame is its use of functional nylon — and that love is still going strong 20 years later as Stefani’s designs have stood the test of time. From Gothic lettering on oxblood-red nylon to recreations of notebook scribbles asking “Where did my lamb go?”, L.A.M.B.’s offerings were compelling and notably edgier than the candy-colored Juicy Couture sweatsuits that reigned supreme. Each bag — from cross-body options to mini bags to oversize totes — also came with a metal lamb charm that jingled against the buckle hardware with each step. The purses were an extension of Stefani herself: out there, groundbreaking, inherently sweet, yet not for everyone.

Do you even know what love, angel, music, baby means to a girl like me?Layla Halabian

I’ve kept my L.A.M.B. bags in good condition despite wearing them incessantly through middle and high school. (It wasn’t too hard considering LeSportSac’s nylon is easy to clean and practically indestructible.) I even persuaded my mom to buy a boho bag with pistachio-green lamb illustrations so I could eventually (by which I mean immediately) borrow it for an excursion to the mall.

I wear my L.A.M.B. mini bag to this day when I want a je nais se quois that something like my vintage Gucci Jackie bag simply can’t deliver — the bags, which are no longer in production, stand out in a sea of Bottega Veneta Jodies. Younger people often ask me if the bag is John Galliano, but those who lived and breathed the L.A.M.B. lifestyle in its heyday flock to me in a state of ecstasy. If I see someone rocking a L.A.M.B. purse out in the wild — whether it’s from their own middle-school days or purchased from Poshmark or ThredUp — I return the favor.

I don’t know much, but I know Stefani’s legacy will live on through her solo work and her output with No Doubt. But for some of us, it also lives on in the clink of a lamb-shaped charm against a nylon purse.