Alexander Wang Jade Stingray and Suede Clutch, $795 via Net-a-Porter
If you’re a regular visitor to these parts, you might remember that back when I did my Alexander Wang Spring 2011 preview, I more or less drooled all over the Alexander Wang Jade Stingray and Suede Clutch. The stingray version of this design comes in both ivory with rose gold and black with matte black hardware, and I would have gleefully forked over the required cash for both options. A roomy wristlet clutch with exceptionally cool hardware and panels of exotic leather? That’s like asking me whether or not I’d like to have pizza for dinner: The answer is always “yes.” But unfortunately, reality isn’t quite as good as my dreams, and the clutch has one very important design flaw.
You see that little flap of leather that covers the zipper? It renders the clutch basically non-functional. I hope you wanted whatever it was that you managed to put inside to stay there, because without a few minutes of work, you’re not going to be getting it back out. I had an opportunity to play with the black-on-black version this weekend at Barneys for the first time, and what was glee at finding the object of my affection in person quickly turned to frustration. Because the clutch has such hard edges, it’s impossible to maneuver the zipper around the corners underneath the leather flap.
In fact, the zipper-obscuring leather is so tight around the corners that I had a hard time flipping it back with my fingers in an attempt to free the zipper, and since the bag is a clutch, that’s a maneuver that required both hands and a good bit of concentration. I wouldn’t want to be standing in line at a busy bar, frantically trying to spring my ID or debit card from its leathery prison while irritated people waited behind me, and yet I fear that would be exactly how things would go. And what if your phone is ringing inside your bag? Forget it, you’ll have to call them back unless there’s some sort of trick to this clutch that neither the Barneys salesgirl nor I could figure out. Ladies, I’m so disappointed. Buy through Net-a-Porter for $795.