Bag: Chloé Drew Leopard Shoulder Bag

Price: $2,047 via MATCHESFASHION.COM

Why It’s the Bag of the Week: With gleaming gold hardware and eye-catching leopard, this Chloé bag manages to be simultaneously delicate and fierce-looking. It’s a winning combination.

Here’s Brazilian supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio, shopping with her daughter Aja in Santa Monica and carrying a chic Chloé Clare Python Shoulder Bag. No one can rock a pair of totally destroyed cut-off shorts with a designer handbag quite like Alessandra. You can currently pick up her exact bag at Barneys for $3,900.

Alessandra is quite the Chloé fan – she has several of the brand’s bags in her expansive designer handbag collection, which you can view in The Many Bags of Alessandra Ambrosio. And if you can’t get enough of beautiful handbags on the arms of some of the world’s most beautiful women, you should definitely check out 50+ Bags on the Arms of Our Favorite Supermodels.

We’ve given Jessica Alba a fair amount of flack for going through designer handbags like most women go through bottled water, but here she is, leaving her company’s office building in Santa Monica, carrying a Chloé Baylee Perforated Bag that we’ve actually seen her carry before! We first spotted Jessica with this bag in tow during Paris Fashion Week back in March. You can find Jessica’s Baylee at Saks for $2,900.

Jessica literally carries a new bag every week, so it’s always nice to see her repeat something like a mere mortal. You can peruse her vast and expansive handbag collection in “The Many Bags of Jessica Alba” and “The Many Bags of Jessica Alba, Part 2″. Honestly, we could do a Jessica Alba edition of “Many Bags” seasonally, but we like to pace ourselves.

In 2002, Chloe released its first line of bags and began the “It Bag” craze with its much-loved Paddington. Fast forward 12 years, and the brand has continued to evolve, releasing a number of highly coveted bags in those intervening years. Still, no bag ever hit the pinnacle that the Paddington reached.

Since 2011, Clare Waight Keller has been at the helm of Chloe, and the brand has generated many a pretty bag in that time, but nothing that’s caused hysteria, or even impressive wait lists. With many designers vying for attention in an already-saturated handbag market, I have to ask, is Chloe losing its edge?

Chloe Cate Bag

Chloe Cate Bag, $1,560 via NAP

The last bag that the brand put a big push behind was the Chloe Baylee, a bag that many anxiously awaited. When it first hit the virtual shelves, it sold out, and we thought the love for the Baylee would continue. It’s been seen on the arms of celebrities including January Jones, Kate Bosworth, Rita Ora, Mena Suvari and Lorde, but after the initial buzz, I’ve rarely heard bag lovers gush over the design.

Chloe Clutches

Chloe Cassie Shoulder Bag, $1,290 via NAP | Chloe Clare Mini Bag, $1,555 via NAP

Today I was thinking about bags I want to buy, and Chanel, Celine, Prada, Gucci and Louis Vuitton are on my list. Chloe isn’t, not even toward the bottom, and Chloe’s lack of popularity right now isn’t because the bags that aren’t nice to look at or the materials aren’t lovely; it has to do with a very competitive market and a lack of pizazz in its designs.

Chloe Baylee Python

Chloe Baylee Python, $3,450 via NAP

I saw the Chloe Cate Bag, a newer release for the brand, and thought it was beautiful. The design is elevated yet wearable, but I didn’t feel a deep yearning for it. The Chloe Baylee continues to be a big push for the brand with new color combinations to lure customers in, and the design is appealing. Chloe will always be a brand that is recognizable by name and design, but while other brands continue to grab our attention and release coveted bags, Chloe seems to have fallen by the wayside a bit.

So tell me, what do you think of Chloe and its bags right now?

Here’s Mena Suvari, heading to her car after combing the racks at Decades in LA. Mena is the umpteenth celeb we’ve seen carrying a Chloe Baylee Bag in the last month. She has the smaller version of the bag, while the larger version looks a bit more like a weekender. Mena’s small, black Baylee can be found at Nordstrom for $2,050. Baylee-carrying celebs are giving the brand a major bump this season, but I’d love to hear some reader reviews. (You can read Amanda’s original assessment of the Chloe Baylee Bag here).

Everyone over the age of 25 remembers Mena from her film work in the late 1990s, but I admit I definitely had to consult IMDB to see what Mena’s been up to in the last ten years or so (besides that last American Pie sequel). Most recently, she’s landed a regular role in the popular, hot fireman-centric NBC series Chicago Fire.

As much as we love bags around here (and as you might guess, we love them a lot), an accessory is nothing without an outfit to back it up. In our new Get the Look series, we’ll be looking at how stars style their bags to get some inspiration for putting things together from our own closets, starting with Reese Witherspoon and her Chloe Paraty Bag. It’s hard to imagine a more perfect outfit for transitioning seamlessly into slightly warmer spring weather. (more…)

Hanneli Mustaparta was recently spotted taking a leisurely stroll with friends in NYC with a Chloe Baylee Bag in tow. Hanneli is an extremely well rounded fashion type: she’s a blogger, street style star, occasional Vogue contributor and former model. (And yet I still find this outfit…most curious.) Her beautiful, behind-the-scenes fashion blog Hanneli is what hastened her transition from cover girl to fashion commentator. You can pick up Hanneli’s Baylee for $2,250 at Saks. The official name for this colorway is “Yummy Cookie.” I just think that merits mentioning.

The Baylee originally made its debut on Chloe’s Fall 2013 runway, but its profile seems to have risen in recent weeks. We just saw Lorde carrying a black and white “Marshmallow” version while palling around with Taylor Swift last month. The singular divisive feature of this bag is, of course, that signature strap. You either love it, or you don’t. I absolutely love it, but my eye is always drawn towards fashion elements that are little offbeat.

I’ve always loved the Chloe Lucy Bag; it’s luxurious-looking, cleanly designed and classic without being boring. You can wear it on the weekends, you can wear it to work, you can wear it for years to come! The only downside, of course, is the price. At $3,150, it’s far more expensive than Chloe’s other leather bags (the much larger Baylee costs over a thousand dollars less), and the bag’s petite size makes the number feel like even more of a ripoff than it might otherwise.

That’s where the brand new Opening Ceremony Sumi Bag comes in. With its easy, rectangular shape, double top zippers and chain strap, the bag clearly drew some inspiration from the Chloe stunner, but its more contemporary styling and $545 price tag ensure that the difference is clear. If your heart loves the Chloe version more than your financial adviser does, the Opening Ceremony doppelgänger is just about the most compelling alternative you’re likely to find.

Chloe Lucy Bag
$3,150 via Barneys

Chloe Lucy Bag

Opening Ceremony Sumi Shoulder Bag
$545 via ShopBop

Opening Ceremony Sumi Bag

Here’s pop star Lorde, shopping at Rag & Bone and Free People in West Hollywood with new celeb pal/fellow pop star Taylor Swift. As you can see she’s paired a navy and white Chloe Baylee Bag with a black sweater, a textured skirt, oddly prominent Nike socks and an imposing pair of oxfords with ridiculously thick soles. You can currently get a Baylee bag like Lorde’s for $2,050 at Nordstrom. I imagine with her very recent ascent to pop stardom, Lorde is just starting to amass designer handbags – it’ll be interesting to see what appears on her arm in the coming months.

It’s always a little weird to see high-profile celebs randomly buddying it up around LA. Whenever stars shop together within plain sight of paparazzi cameras, I can’t help but feel like some sort of cred transaction is actually taking place. In this case, Taylor gets to look a little edgier, and Lorde gets a bump among T-Swift fans. (I’m not entirely sure she actually needs one, so maybe there is a grain of authentic friendship here.)

Here’s newlywed Kate Bosworth with her fresh new hubs, movie director Michael Polish, returning to Los Angeles from their Montana wedding over the weekend. (Kate’s outfit totally says “Montanta chic”…if there is such a thing. Montanans? Fill us in.) Kate’s carrying a Chloe Baylee Bag, the latest design from Chloe to catch the attention of a myriad of celebrities. You can pick up a Baylee in black and blue for $2,050 at Nordstrom.

The Baylee is a great design – Amanda recently penned this post about the Chloe Baylee, detailing why it’s so unique. Kate opted to carry it without the shoulder strap here, which is, IMHO, a mistake. Mrs. Bosworth is a hardcore brand loyalist – she already has a few Chloe bags in her collection, but she’s absolutely devoted to designers like Proenza Schouler, Mulberry, and Alexander Wang in particular. For a complete education on Kate’s designer bag collection, check out “The Many Bags of Kate Bosworth”.

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