If you had asked me to name the brands from which Marc by Marc Jacobs was likely to take handbag inspiration, Valentino wouldn’t have even been on my list. I like both brands’ work, in general, but their aesthetics are so utterly divergent that one borrowing from the other would seem to ignore both’s target customers. The team at MbMJ clearly disagrees with me, though, because the Marc by Marc Jacobs Katie Crossbody Bag owes an obvious design debt to its more expensive predecessor, the Valentino VaVa Voom Flap Bag. Because of the strong resemblance and divergent price tags, the bags are our latest Look for Less.
As is generally the case with two similar handbags with very different price points, the Valentino version, which rings up at a spendy $1845 via Neiman Marcus, has much more interesting details. The chain strap and handle attachment are much more intricate and delicate-looking, the exterior studs are a strong brand statement, the leather is buffed to perfection. Not only that, but on a structural level, the Valentino wins – it boasts several roomy interior compartments for maximum organization, whereas the Marc version has just one, and apparently no patch pockets or zipper pouches. At $328 via Neiman Marcus, though, those imperfections might be a little less difficult to swallow.
What say you? Which bag do you prefer?
Valentino VaVaVoom Shoulder Bag, $1845 via Neiman Marcus
Marc by Marc Jacobs Katie Crossbody Bag, $328 via Neiman Marcus