“Are we ready for a Celine-inspired exotic men’s bag?” Is a question I never thought I’d find myself turning over in my head, but here we are. It’s Monday morning and that’s what’s on my mind. The En Noir Snakeskin Travel Bag owes a debt of design gratitude to any number of popular women’s bags; there are details here from the Celine Luggage Tote, the 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli and Celine’s new Knot Tote, but I’m not sure they add up to much of anything.
What we have here could perhaps best be described as a Frankenbag. It’s full of ideas that are good on their own, but when all arranged together, they start to feel a little disjointed and overwhelming. Particularly in men’s accessories, that’s not a desirable outcome; male consumers generally err on the side of either stark modernism or all-out heritage styling, and this bag represents neither of those options.
Most problematic is the top flap, which feels like a very women’s-bag detail in this context. It’s also not properly scaled for the handles it partially covers, which makes it feel tacked on. If the flap was removed, this bag would likely fare far better. Celine already figured that it – the brand styled its Knot Totes with the cumbersome top flap hidden for Spring 2014.