Beginning in the days of the famous Paddington and Silverado bags, Chloe has carved itself out an interesting little niche in the handbag business. In that time, three different creative heads, all female, have been at the reins of the brand, and they’ve all overseen the creation of bag after bag that fits perfectly into the ideas that so many women have about what they want to carry on a casual day. None of the bags have made quite the splash that the Paddington did (Phoebe Philo is an impossible standard to which to hold others), but the Paraty, for example, has been around since I graduated from college and still sells incredibly well. By the looks of it, the Chloe Baylee Bag will be the next heir to that lineage.
The Baylee debuted in several sizes and colors on Chloe’s Fall 2013 runway and immediately generated a lot of interest. The bag is simple and casual in the way that Chloe’s most successful bags tend to be, but the details are rendered in interesting, modern ways that make it feel fresh. In this case, the hardware is the real show, and the contrasting between the bag’s body and its navy shoulder strap and handles calls a lot of attention to where the two meet. At those points, you’ll find bales and hinges that create the illusion of detached or floating handles and straps, which is, to be blunt, pretty damn cool.
The look is one of minimalism through concealment – the normal attachment rings are hidden behind the attachment points of the handles, and when you carry the bag by its strap, the extra length at the ends should more or less obscure the attachment from one side. That same strap is adjustable in length through exposed hardware, but the only externally exposed part is a long, sleek gold bar – all the rest of the work goes on underneath the surface. Aside from the hardware choices, the back of the bag is rendered in the same navy leather as the handles, which will be a relief to anyone who’s ever color-transferred indigo dye from their jeans to the back of a light leather bag. If nothing else, it’s hard not to appreciate all the careful consideration that obviously went into this bag’s details.
Chloe’s got another handbag hit on its hands, if sales are any indication – the first delivery of this bag sold out in about a day at Net-a-Porter. When it comes back in stock, it’ll be $2,250 via Net-a-Porter.