Gucci Hand-Painted Woven Leather Tote, $5900 via Net-a-Porter.
I bet you thought it was, didn’t you? I did. But as the name would indicate, the Gucci Hand-Painted Woven Leather Tote is made entirely of intricately laced and painstakingly painted leather to give the bag the summery look and subtle variation of your favorite well-worn leather tote. This bag follows in the estimable footsteps of Bottega Veneta, who first fooled us with its leather-as-straw bags last year. Unfortunately for those of you who might be looking for a deal, the Gucci version is also in the exact same mid-four-figures price range.
Whenever we post about one of these bags, a few commenters ask the same (valid) question: Who wants to pay a premium to have leather that looks like a less expensive material? For some people, the visual transformation of leather into straw might not hold any particular fascination, but for me, I can’t stop looking at it. Not only do you get the durability and luxury of leather, but you get a very clever joke and a bag that is sure to confuse and amaze your friends. So it’s a functional bag, a conversation starter and a party trick, all in one? That seems like a good case for raffia-look leather to me. Plus, the hand-hewn finishing of this piece in particular is marvelous. Buy through Net-a-Porter for $5900.
P.S. Please consider supporting our small, bag-loving team by clicking our links before shopping or checking out at your favorite online retailers like Amazon, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, or any of the listed partners on our shop page. We truly appreciate your support!