Bottega Veneta Crocodile Wallet, $1150 via Mr. Porter

In the spirit of honesty, I would like to admit the following: My understanding of the men’s accessory industry is only a fraction of what I know about women’s bags and leather goods. There are a few reasons for that: First, I’m female, which means that my practical, first-hand experience with women’s leather goods is obviously going to be larger. Second, men’s fashion (and accessories in particular) have long been the redheaded stepchild of the industry, and only now are men’s fashion shows and trends starting to be covered with the attention that they deserve.

That’s a big part of why we started Man Bag Monday, but it also means that pieces like the Bottega Veneta Crocodile Wallet confuse me a little bit. Even though the price is well within the norm for an exotic women’s piece (if perhaps a bit high for a small wallet – it is Bottega, after all), how do men look at a wallet that costs more than a grand?

Naturally, it has to be said: This wallet is just about as gorgeous as you’ll find anywhere, for any price. The color variation on the crocodile scales is beautifully detailed but still plenty masculine, and I would gladly pony up a lot of money to have a bag or clutch made out of the exact same skin. If this were just any old wallet, it out be easy to dismiss as something that no one will buy for four figures, but it’s not.

Before writing this post, I sent the link to this wallet out to several male friends, both gay and straight and with varying levels of interest or noninteret in the fashion industry. Only one of them, a friend who is already well-versed in the prices of the fashion industry because of his mother and her enviable couture collection, though that the price was in line with what one might spend on a high-end wallet. The rest, even those who have the income for such things, thought that it was beyond the pale. And even my friend who was willing to shell out the cash had some concerns about crocodile and how well it would put up with the beating that a wallet takes, considering that fine croc is often more porous and fragile than other leathers. Could you see buying this wallet for your significant other? Or even for yourself, if you prefer a billfold to a traditional women’s wallet? Buy through Mr. Porter for $1150.

  • ReneeO

    I did not know that fine croc was porous and more fragile than leather. I thought that all croc was pretty tough stuff.

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Amanda Mull

      As I understand it, hornback croc (the stuff that’s super bumpy and rigid that comes from the back of the animal) is much tougher than the fine croc used in very high-end accessories, which comes from the belly. From what I’ve read about care of Hermes croc in particular, it’s best to keep it as clean and dry as humanly possibly so you don’t damage the finish. Some finishes are more durable than others (I think shiny wears better than matte, but I might have that backward), but similar to python, it doesn’t take a beating as well as regular cowhide.

  • rose60610

    Tres manly! I might buy it if were like a “zippy” style wallet from LV. My husband would never go for it.

  • KoutureCrochet.com

    IHMO the practicality and even the life span of something like this is not an issue a well healed man considers when purchasing a time like this. It is a statement piece, pure and simple. I also think that pieces like this while they are made for men, are not exclusive to men. A well healed woman with a more subtle style will also love a piece like this.

    To me the price is not outrageous at all. I think the men’s LV case croc is $3k for just the case and the mens Hermes wallets, not croc are over $1k. So I think men (and women) who want those kinds of style, super luxurious statement wallets they know the price range.

    But of course it also to make their regular wallets seem like a relative bargain, so for BV this is a win win.

    As a woman, if I had the means for something like this, it would be mine.

    • Midnight Blue

      ITA!!! It is not outrageous when compared to Hermes or LV croc wallets.

      I’ve been contemplating about buying this exact BV wallet for a while now but still couldn’t get myself to buy it because I know that I’m gonna have to take super good care of it, while I’m the type of person who throws stuff around and my super plain no studs Balenciaga wallet is still holding up pretty well after 2 years and I don’t carry any bags around either. Just the thought of ruining the BV croc wallet by shoving it in and out from my jeans pocket and tarnishing it is just beyond words :(

  • M.T.

    What a beautiful piece by Bottega, as always.
    As for the price, I think anyone who can afford to shell out over a thousand for a wallet (be it crocodile or not) probably doesnt care much about the durability.

  • Hermes Scarves

    I love this image it’s beautiful I set it as my background!