Photo via Marie Claire

Ok, so here’s the deal. The Row launched its first-ever line of handbags at Barneys last night, and as I was dutifully checking Twitter while finishing up my posts for the day, a strange thing came across my computer screen. Fashionista.com, staffers of which were in attendance at last night’s launch festivities, tweeted a picture of what appeared to be the bag above and a price point: A cool $39,000. I promptly fell off my chair.

Just two days ago, I joked that the brand’s silence on the crocodile prices while releasing the numbers for the other bags probably meant that if you had to ask, you couldn’t afford it. I had no idea how right I was. Based on the mid-four-figures prices of the leather bags and small non-croc exotics, I would have speculated that the croc pieces would end up in the $10,000 to $15,000 range, and that perhaps the exclusion of the prices from the first round of press information meant that they would go as high as $20,000.

I was not prepared for $39,000, though, and I thought for a moment that perhaps we were being punked. For comparison’s sake, the prices for a 30cm crocodile Hermes Birkin reportedly hover somewhere right above $40,000 depending on the type of crocodile, if the information I found last night and my quick currency conversion skills are to be believed. So The Row is quite literally charging Hermes prices for its bags.

The Olsen twins are undoubtedly committed to the quality and precision of The Row’s products, and for that I cannot find fault, particularly based on something as unrelated as their childhood stardom. They aren’t fashion pretenders; Mary Kate and Ashley are the real deal, just like I think Victoria Beckham is despite her history as a pop star. But if everyone choked on Victoria’s $14,000 price tag for her first croc bag, I wonder how this one will do at retail. Of course, I can imagine that only a tiny number of them will be bought by stores, but is there an audience for this bag? Will people who buy $1800 blazers from the line also be willing to spend over 20 times that on a trendy (if pristine) backpack when the twins have yet to prove themselves as accessories powerhouses? All we can do is wait and see. That, and feel a little poor. Handbags from The Row will be available at Barneys and Barneys.com.

  • PhotoGirl

    If people buy it (and no doubt someone will) then I think that’s how the Olsens will “prove themselves.” Fashion is crazy, no?
    But I live in a part of the country where that same 39K would be a down payment on a nice home, so what do I know? If I had 39K in disposable income, I think I’d buy something other than a bag with it. Don’t hate me, I’m a Midwesterner. :)

  • Bea

    Don’t get me wrong, this bag is beautiful, and I’m sure it’s impeccably made, but sometimes I wonder how good it is for our society when the things that the “tastemakers” of our culture have are so inaccessible for the everyday person. It’s one thing to have a bag that costs $1500, but $40k? That’s someones salary for an entire year!

  • Laura

    WOW, I wasn’t expecting that price!!! I’m sure this bag is beautiful in person and the craftsmanship must be superb. If I had an extra $40,000 I will probably buy a purse as nice as this one but NOT a backpack.

  • FallonLatrece

    $40,000 for a backpack, a beautiful well made croc backpack. I’ll pass. Even though I don’t have that kind of money laying around, I wouldn’t purchase it. I’d rather it be a down payment, or just sit and collect interest. And now that the Birkin is becoming so commonplace I’d be hard pressed to spend $40k on that as well.

  • mochababe73

    All I could say is wow.
    Then, how delusional.
    Now, I just find it laughable.
    I’m sure that the skin is lovely, but paying $39,000 for a bag from the Olsens just seems funny to me. I know that they have some success from The Row and E&J, but I just keep thinking Wal-Mart when I see them.
    I’m just not real sure that women with that kind of expendable cash would spend it on a backpack from The Row. I wish them good luck.

  • Minerva

    I personally like bags trimmed with some croc, the all croc looks great for clutches, not sure how I feel about this backpack it seems kinda plain……..I am quite sure the workmanship is amazing but it doesn’t do it for me

  • Lucy

    Clearly OTT. Even though the Croc prices are up and they might have lined it with antilope suede from Sweden the production cost would be 4,000 US$+/- Just think of the margin they have addded! the bag is timeless and will last but…
    Curious how many will be sold

  • Rah

    Can I say effen ridiculous? I love what the Olsen twins have brought to fashion, and I adore the Elizabeth and James line, but I think they’ve gotten ahead of themselves on this one. Earn that $39,000 price tag, get some real “history” behind what you’re doing, then charge $39K. I’m sure someone will buy the bag, but IF I had the $39K that I could ONLY spend on 1 handbag, something from The Row would not be it. Become legendary, then charge 39K.

  • Britty

    Bananas.

  • Seejayluvsbags

    The price literally took my breathe away. And I second that comment that undoubtedly, SOMEONE will purchase it. Here’s the bright side (I suppose). For all those who feel an Hermes Birkin is now seen “with everyone” & that it lost its exclusivity, you may now feel free to purchase this!

    • Ashleyg

      *ouch* still zinging on those of us tired of seeing the Kardashians and their Birkin rainbow! lol

      • Seejayluvsbags

        LOL!

  • Fiona-Brazil

    The Olsens are doing just fine without my money.If, just if, one of these days I could spare some change in order to buy a croc bag, it certainly wont be from The Row, let alone a backpack…

    • annika

      you’ve got company, fjonna and it won’t be a Birkin!

  • Jane H.

    I don’t like the hardware on that bag…

  • Chris

    The price for the backpack is ridiculous.
    Other than that, the more I learn about the Olsen twins, the more I start to respect them. The Row and E&J are really fashionable and classy. And they produce their clothes only in the US, never in China, how impressive is that? I think they have come a long way since their Full House days.

    • Ana

      The fact that the Olsens’ line was American-made was a big selling point for me, too. But I recently read an interview with the Olsen twins and they said that they don’t do in-house production of E&J, instead licensing it to another company. This explains why, on so many E&J items I’ve seen, they say “Made in China” now. Too bad, because now I’m wondering why they’re still charging so much for clothes that are no longer made in the US.

      • Chris

        okay my mistake. Perhaps my knowledge was a bit dated then.

  • babe

    I prefer croc worn by crocodiles.
    @chris – not true, very nice clothes, I own a few pieces – but they are made in China!

  • pixiegirl

    OMG that’s a pretty big price tag! Personally I’m not a big fan of backpack purses I guess cause I lived threw the backpack purse faze in the 90′s lol. Even if I was a millionaire I don’t think I could spend that much on a single bag I simply can’t justify it. As crazy as I think the price is I’m sure it will sell out. I’m guessing they probably made a limited amount of them to test how they will do and make more as demand goes up.

  • A

    That is more than some people make in a year.

  • Amy

    $39,000?!?! geez thats a down payment on a house or full payment on nice car. even if i had the money i dont think i would spend that kind of money on a bag.

  • JennMSU

    Looks like Danny Tanner will be getting a better retirement home!

    For the record, at that price I agree with others that I would buy something a bit more established. Hermes would be my choice, personally, but when Hermes started making their bags, I am sure their price was a shock too? I am guessing on that one, but they had to start somewhere too. Good luck, Olsen girls, but for now they may be the only ones with their lot of bags unless some super fans take to them.

  • Kat

    My guess is that it’s so expensive because it looks to me that the main body of the bag is made of one piece of skin. As Hermes has already disclosed, it’s extremely difficult to find the bigger skins in one piece, especially one that will meet The Row’s (and Hermes’) high standards. Even Birkins are not made of several pieces of skin, that are just matched with one another.

    http://dontaskmetosmile.wordpress.com

  • Eleanor

    Regardless of what the bag looks like (I do not “do” expensive backpacks – backpacks are for students), if I had that much money to spend on an accessory then it would go towards an Hermes or a Chanel. I know that the workmanship is there, and I respect the legacy of the company.

  • Lori

    The same person who would buy a $100K watch would buy this backpack IMO. So it’s not totally crazy to price it that high. But I would not spend that kind of money, disposable income or not, on a backpack. At least a Hermes will hold it’s value somewhat.

  • bolor

    tell me somebody made mistake that put extra 0 on it , otherwise it crazy spend that kind money on backpack. it is ridiculous.

  • rose60610

    Wha? 39K? The Olsen twins? No, I’m sorry. This has to be a CIA or FBI sting operation where someone who’d pay that (for a BACKPACK?!?) is really a drug kingpin or something. Or at least strung out on drugs. The Olsen girls are became so wealthy so young that I truly believe they are so out of touch of reality. God bless’em, but may God help those demented enough to buy that bag for 39G’s.

  • Shondra

    One thing that is beautiful is the texture of the Croco skin…
    the rest is Fugly…

  • papertiger

    Well, they only have to make one and buy it themselves and say they SOLD OUT. Good publicity since we’re all ‘talking’.

    • annika

      SMARTYPANTS! :)

  • irene

    ill buy this then wear it with the price tag hanging, and if it doesnt come with price tags, then the receipt will do…pasted on front of my face while im up and about with my bag.

  • s

    well i think i might rather have this than an hermes, although it is about what i make in a year! their prices have a place in fashion just like hermes does… so that’s it for me.

  • stu

    can i live in it?
    Olsen’s r going to hel!

  • Sana

    *roll eyes*

  • Rashida

    It is way too expensive… way way too expensive and it isn’t even cute… the shape is just blah… that is a down payment on a house!

  • suz

    What I don’t get is…..even if it cost $100…it would be heavy and unwieldy and stupid. Why would anyone want it at any price?

  • SarahF

    39K?

    This feels like another one of those cases when people put over-the-top prices, just to make this bag a statement rather than a bag.
    And of course, the statement being “anyone who carries this bag can probably buy your ass off”.

    to tell the truth, the bag doesn’t even look worth it! If i’d get to choose between this and a 2.55 (which would probably be less than a tenth of that price) I would choose the 2.55 ANY DAY. This just looks like a few pieces of leather sewn on together, which is something you don’t want your bag to look like (at least I don’t)! even if it is great craftsmanship, it doesn’t show very well. The function of the bag seems pretty bad as well! How easy doesn’t it look for pickpockets to open that, without you noticing? Especially if it’s on your back, which it probably will be!

    in conclusion: they’re in need to focus on a better design with a better function, a smarter choice of material and a better judgement of price.

  • Bls

    I feel the urge to call the cast of Swamp people so I can make my own. For that price I could buy a nice car, a vacant house or put my kids through college……

  • bob

    That purse in ugly and definetly not worth 40 grand. I like it more if the bag was not made of crocidile skin

  • Linda

    40k for that back pack from a new brand is crazy. Good luck trying to sell in on Ebay if you got sick of it. But if you get sick of many other high end bags….no problem finding a new owner.

    And the back pack is ugly to boot…strap that across your back and you will look like an alligator!

  • Concerned Vegan

    This is pathetic.. Don’t they have something more worthwhile to be doing with their lives? I’d rather see a crocodile carrying a backpack made from their skin. They should be ashamed of themselves.

  • Nathalie

    I love me some animal skin, but this bag is plain ugly. It looks like something an eighties elderly lady woul want to wear if trying to be “hip”. Ooh yeah, that’s right, that’s the look those two childstars from one of the worst comedies are striving for. Give me an hermes alligator skin bomber jacket any day over this…..

  • anonfashionista

    croc skin looks better on 4 legs not on 2. if you’ve got $39k for a purse, you’ve obviously got more money than brains. bad taste does not equal fashion.

  • kendidd

    Give me 10000$ I can make this bag !!!!!!!

  • MONNIE

    The bag is adorable! I don’t have 40 grand to buy it, but I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!