Balenciaga Raffia Tote, $965 via Barneys. Rebecca Minkoff Endless Love Straw Tote, $250 via ShopBop

It is here, it is here!!! ‘It‘ being summer. Well, kind of here, not totally 100% here but it is trying to arrive. With warm weather and vacation season knocking at our doors, many are working on their beach bodies and prepping their summer wardrobe. For an accessory lover, that should include a raffia tote.

While raffia totes are clearly only suited for May, June, July, and August, that is still a third of the year and that means it will be a great wardrobe addition. If you do not want to splurge on a designer option like the Balenciaga Raffia Tote, we found a look for less with the Rebecca Minkoff Endless Love Straw Tote.


Balenciaga lured me in long ago with their Raffia Totes, one of which I own. I love taking the bag on summer trips, especially when we are frequenting beach towns and resorts.

Rebecca Minkoff followed in Balenciaga’s footsteps by introducing her Love Straw Tote. I saw this bag at the Sample Sale last week (in fact Michelle Trachtenberg picked one up at the sale). The design is incredibly similar to what Balenciaga is offering at a fraction of the price.

Ultimately, it is up to you. First off would you buy a raffia bag and if so, which do you prefer?

Buy the Rebecca Minkoff Tote via ShopBop for $250 and the Balenciaga Raffia Tote via Barneys for $965.

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  • Marissa Cooper

    wow what a cheap ripoff!!!

  • dj

    Minkoff wins. The Balenciaga is a lovely bag in a great shade of pink, but the Minkoff has most of the same details, a more affordable price tag, and fits into the hot stripes trend as well.

  • Cate

    I don’t think I would buy a raffia tote, but if I was going to, I would probably pick up the RM. It’s a really nice option without looking too too much like the Bal.

  • Stephanie

    I would totally buy a raffia bag, they are perfect for a summer look BUT I wouldn’t be willing to pay almost 1K for it. I would pay the 250, the only draw back Is I vastly prefer the Balenciaga bag.

  • nappy

    WOW!!! i didn’t know that an established name like Rebecca Minkoff would knockoff something.. well, i guess what they say is true “people can always surprise you”.. good or bad, it’s always open for interpretation..

    • Daniel Saynt

      Hey Nappy,

      It wasn’t meant to be a rip off or a knock off of Balenciaga in anyway.

      The only real similarity is that they are both Raffia style totes. Really hope don’t think we’d knock off a bag from Balenciaga, we’re way to original for something like that.

      Saynt
      CMO @RebeccaMinkoff

  • Katrine

    I’ll the Balenciaga if I as going to pick one but I prefer a H&M bag much cheaper

  • gacats

    I like the stripes on the RM bag!

  • goldchanel

    The Balenciaga defn appeals to me coz of the lovely shade of pink! But I’d rather pay 1k on leather, not rafia material.

  • orderofthings

    OOOH! I hate to have anything negative to say about RM, but this bag is just a little too Balenciaga “inspired” for me. Remember last spring when they 1st did their straw tote? It was rugby striped, just like this one…. *yikes*

  • Fiona-Brazil

    I bought the big Balenciaga last year on the internet, and hate the bag when I saw it : too soft , too big , impossible to wear it whitout loosing all your stuff.
    I returned it at Barney’s BH and they refund me immediately.Than I bought a beautiful Proenza Shouler with the money.The next day I passed by and saw my former Balenciaga looking very atractive on a table ( full of paper inside to make it stand still!).Take my word, don’t get tempted, the bag does not work…

  • Rina Red

    I love the stripes on the RM tote..RM stole my heart on this one <3

  • kim

    I would not purchase a raffia tote. I would spend that much money on an all leather bag instead.

    • Mariah

      Me neither. Even $250 is too much for raffia.

  • Blaine

    With the economy circling the drain, I love any look-for-less. The RM is fun, light, and raffia never takes itself seriously – that’s why it’s perfect for summer, the beach, the pool. I still carry my Mother’s 1970s well-tended raffia tote in summers and it’s still a hit.

  • Staci

    I don’t see that much resemblance between the two, especially since the RM has stripes. I like the shape and color of the Balenciaga better so it would be hard to buy the RM tote in this case.

  • edoardo

    Balenciaga is better. I love the color, the details and the handle. I believe that the other looks too cheap and too “casual”.

    http://fashiondoesntexist.blogspot.com/

  • Cathy Fitz

    I’m not into raffia totes, but if I was going to get one, it would have to be the Balenciaga – much nicer. I like RM, but that tote looks “rough” compared to the classic look of the B.

  • 19yearslater

    I don’t really like them enough to buy one, if I did it would be from Target.

  • bagshoping

    this is handbag is good! i like this bag!

  • Rose A

    You know who else LOVES balenciaga?? Theodora & Callum’s new blog post will tell you! It’s a fun read: http://www.theodoraandcallum.com/blog/cat/creative-factory/post/my-faves-carlos-mota/

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