Chloe Paddington Bag

I bet I’m not the only one among us who had her introduction to high-end designer bags with the Chloe Paddington. Back in late 2005, I was a college student who had just found the PurseForum, and something about the Paddington (Was it the lock? The handle attachments? Who knows.) sucked me straight in, just as it had sucked in so many others before me. By then, waiting lists were already a mile long and getting longer; the fashion industry was in a full-on Paddington panic, and the fervor we saw last year over the Celine Luggage Tote doesn’t even compare. Now, eight years after its launch, the Paddington is back on store shelves as part of Chloe’s 60th anniversary celebration. But do you care?

Walking down Madison Avenue a couple of weeks ago, a friend and I saw a woman carrying a Paddington and got to talking about how the bag had aged in the almost-decade since its debut. Our conclusion was, resoundingly, not well. Everything about it – the enormous lock, the abundance of detailed trim, the proportion of the bag, the long handles, the lack of shoulder strap – feels very much of that time. Perhaps it’s because the Paddington was so omnipresent in the mind of handbag aficionados of the mid-aughts, but carrying a Paddington now feels retro in a bad way. Of course, eight years out, very little in the way of fashion feels pleasantly nostalgic.

Personally, I don’t think it’s just the bag’s former ubiquity that serves it poorly. The Balenciaga Motorcycle Bags, for example, have been hugely popular for over a decade, and they still look right at home on the arm of a fashionable woman. They’re simpler, and when compared to the Paddington, they’re downright minimal, which is much more in tune with what’s going on in the handbag world right now. Even the Marc Jacobs Stam, with its frame structure and signature chain, feels more current (and if any It Bag of yore could be primed for a comeback, it’s probably the Stam – Fall 2013 runways were covered with chain accents).

This new version of the Paddington looks largely unchained, but unfortunately, the price does appear to have been updated. Paddingtons retailed for around $1,300 at their debut, but this one will set you back $2,195 via Barneys.

  • Ali

    this belongs in the history books, and should never be brought back.

  • AshleyG

    The addition of a shoulder strap would have done wonders for such a large (and let’s be honest, cumbersome) bag. Please leave it in the back of the closet where they found it.

  • bir

    i think the concept of comeback …… does not apply in this case this bag is ….. to full to many elements that should stay in back 2005 together with paris hilton

    • viewer

      I agree. I was in a high end department store, weekend before last, where they were featuring it as retro and the salesperson and I had a real good laugh. The bag isn’t that old as it came out in the 2000s. But, then again, I’m mid fifties and might have a different definition of the time period for retro.

      I don’t think it should have been brought back and at that new, outrageous price? It’s a bag that doesn’t have high resale value as my best friend couldn’t even get $400 for the one she bought about 5 years ago. There are plenty of the original ones that pop up in resale.

      I have a Paddington, but a different model Paddington. I don’t remember what model mine is but it’s a rectangular-shaped bag with a thick, flat, short, shoulder strap and small lock. I haven’t seen that model since I bought mine. I bought it at Nordstrom and only saw it there.

      My bag is in a butter soft, metallic, bronze leather. I hold on to it as that particular model I really think will be worth quite a bit in years to come. I usually have a very good eye regarding what will increase in value over the years. I seldom use mine as the lock has to be unlocked and re-locked each time one goes into
      or out of it, due to the design. But, it’s a real gorgeous bag.

  • Sandra

    The Chloe bag that I needed (yes, needed) back then was the Edith. Not that I would purchase an Edith now…but with some tweaking I think the Edith would be more “now” than the Paddington. I am not certain why Chloe feels the needs to go back…the fall runway bags were note worthy.

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

      I still see women carrying Ediths every now and then, and they do indeed stand the test of time for better than the Paddingtons. I still wish I had bought a grey one back in the day.

  • Kim

    This looks like a bag that I could buy in Target. I think this bag is past it’s prime. It was a trendy bag but by no means a classic bag.

    • joey

      Clearly you’ve never held a Chloe paddington before, nor have the eye for well made purses

  • http://twitter.com/erikjandro EGlez ?

    The only it-bag that deserves a comeback is the Fendi Spy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/duim.daley Duim Daley

    i love it but looks too heavy like the other after fell makeups , wallet not sure if we are shoulder can carry on…

  • AMDG

    I can’t believe anyone would buy it now at this price especially. I really liked them at the time but didn’t buy one. I did however invest in a Fendi Spy towards the end of its reign. I feel some regret. I want to get use out of it but it looks so dated now. Hope I won’t regret my celine luggage!

  • gpc

    I didn’t bite back then, and surely won’t bite now. I couldn’t understand the hysteria the first time I saw and held this bag. Might as well been lugging around a ball and chain…

  • kate w.

    For some reason the Paddington never appealed to me. It seems so cumbersome and…not functional. I’ve loved a bunch of other Chloe bags, and to me some of their under the radar ones from still look right (simpler versions of the Saskia, the Heloise). Not sure why they are bringing the Paddington back now though; it’s not like (to the best of my knowledge) celebrities are bringing them out again to spark a resurgence, the way Kate Moss did with the Fendi Baguette a while ago. The only former Chloe ‘it’ bag that appeals to me is the Edith, however, I just love that bag and would buy one if I saw it in the right color/size at a consignment store!

  • Liz

    I love my Paddington still, it smells great and I do love the hardware. I think it’s retro … in a good way though. It’s definitely not an easy bag to carry though.

  • Yerani_km

    I have one in red and have brought it out once or twice since it days in the limelight, I’m attached to it I guess because my then boyfriend, now husband bought it for me as a just because gift (that’s when I knew I was going to marry him;)…) I can’t bring myself to sell it or give it away….

  • Jaja

    for $2195? i bought it when it was $1200. i still have the bag but rarely carry it.

  • Chelsa Caruso

    This really makes me wonder why I ever wanted this bag, but I did want it so badly. Another it bag that I loved in the beginning of my designer obsessed life was the Dior Girly Boston bag. They need to send the paddington back to 2005 and keep it there!

  • kemilia

    I have a red Paddie and carry it during the Christmas holidays. It is horribly heavy but I still do love it.

  • Grace

    The Paddy was my first designer bag and I still regret selling it. Yes it does look outdated and not very fashionable, and yes it is not the easiest or lightest bag to carry, but just looking at it makes me smile. It’s a type of nostalgia I’m willing to withstand. But not for that price tag though, these babies can be picked up for a couple of hundred dollars on Ebay.

  • bowers

    I have one, and still love it. Its time has come . . . again.

    • mary

      I agree with you. It’s a classic. Chloe designs are a classic period.

  • holliwood

    Ahhh, my first designer bag that brought me to the purse forum in may 2006. I had the Whiskey paddington and one arm grew larger than the other from the muscle it produced in my left arm…lol. I sold it about 3 years ago, but the leather was phenomenal. This new incarnation looks cheap to me with the more pronounced white stitching.

  • mary

    I love my paddington, and it’s a classic that will never go out of style and just look and feel better in person. Chloe bags in our family look even better over time. The price hike is justified. Chanel, LV and Dior purses increase their prices every year, usually around April more or less depending on the brand. Chloe is an old French couture fashion house that prides itself in understated elegance with well made purses. Owners of Chloe bags understand and know they look better in person and over time..similar to my Chanels, LVs and Gucci. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder I suppose, but high purse collectors would undoubtedly agree this is a keeper for life.

  • vz

    any idea how can i connect to the Chloe’s coperat office, or complains dept.
    , or any of their main email’s, please please