Often when I've talked about Balenciaga, the discussion of rare colors and the right season/year/color arises. There is a long thread (dating back to 2006!) on the PurseForum that deals with the rarest Balenciaga bags, which gives great insight into the discussion and reasoning behind which bags are most sought-after.
Today, I have a major treat for you: Vlad and I were able to photograph nine of those most-wanted Bal bags. True Balenciaga aficionados could dissect and discuss which bags they feel are the ultimate Balenciagas for days, so I am sharing these in no particular order--that is easily up for intense discussion and debate.
Balenciaga Spring 2004 Dark Turquoise First
Many would call this bag the #1 Balenciaga unicorn; the color is extremely, extremely rare. While the official name is Dark Turquoise, the brand's fans often say it should be called Cobalt, Ultramarine, Primary or French Blue--the color is much truer to a Wonder Woman blue than turquoise. This color is known for its amazing saturation, and it's so rare there's only a couple of people that I've heard of that own it.
Balenciaga Fall 2003 Dark Caramel City
Along with 2004 Grey, this bag is one of the most-desired neutral bags from Balenciaga. There's been much discussion whether this bag was a SS 2003 bag or FW 2003 bag, but the consensus from well-versed BBag lovers is FW 2003. The pewter hardware stands out against the rich chèvre leather.
Balenciaga Spring 2005 Apple Green First
This bag became famous after many celebs were spotted carrying it, including Nicole Richie, Nicky Hilton and Sophia Bush. The leather on the Spring 2005 bags is often described as thick, chewy and divine. There are some Apple Green bags floating around, but it's very hard to find one in pristine condition, so if you see one, scoop it up right away.
Balenciaga Fall 2003 Rouge City
This bag is considered to be one of the Balenciaga Red Unicorns. It's very hard to find, and many fans think of this bag as the precursor to the beloved Rouge Theater shade from 2005. In the City size, this is arguably the hardest red to find on the resale market.
Balenciaga Spring 2004 True Red First
This is another stunning red, and one of the most sought-after Balenciaga red bags ever made, particularly for its Palladium hardware. This is a First bag, but the City in this color and hardware combo is even more rare, and the few that are out there are most likely hidden away.
Balenciaga Spring 2004 Eggplant City
As far as purples go, this is the bag everyone wants. The leather is soft and silky, and it's the only purple from Balenciaga known to hold its color and not fade.
Balenciaga Spring 2005 Turquoise First
The color of this bag is rich and stunning, which is why so many love it. While this bag isn't as rare as some of the others on this list, it is one of the most popular colors due to its bright blue leather that resembles the waters of a tropical island. Since this Turquoise from 2005, Balenciaga hasn't been able to reproduce a bag as intense and saturated in this hue. On top of it, chèvre leather from 2005 is arguably the best leather in Motorcycle Bag history.
Balenciaga Spring 2005 Magenta City RH
This is another vibrant, celebrity-favorite color that helped put Balenciaga on the map. Magenta 2005 is known to fade, so if you run into one that's still bright, that's the best of the best when it comes to this deep, hot pink beauty.
Balenciaga Spring 2003 Emerald Green First
This bag was designed and sold prior to the Balenciaga City Bag, and Spring 2003 was the first season that Balenciaga introduced bright, saturated colors. Previous to this bag, there were red, burgundy, navy and olive bags with flat brass hardware, but they were all pretty dull in color. When Emerald popped up it was bright and spunky; it really started the brand's color craze.
This exact bag is quite a gem, as it features a long strap that was on the earlier flat brass bags that measures 29" and sits really nicely when worn. Any of the palladium hardware bags from Spring 2003 are not only rare, but also incredibly sought-after and worth the hunt. Many of these bags need to be sent to the spa for refurbishing, but there are few that float around new with tags. and that is a BBag collector's dream come true.