Leo & Tricia Pillbox Clutch, $168 via Free People
It’s a great time of year for “Friends and Family” coupon codes and midseason sales on the stuff that was just a tad out of reach two months ago, particularly in the more sale-friendly contemporary market. While I was making an order at FreePeople.com today, I wandered over to the site’s handbag section to see if it contained any hidden treasures, and what I found confused me. A Bottega Veneta Knot Clutch? No, what you see above is a Leo & Tricia Pillbox Clutch, it merely looks a lot (a lot) like a the iconic Knot Clutches we all know and love.
I don’t really have any moral qualms about “inspired” bags because almost everything is “inspired” to one extent or another, but this bag was so close that I thought it would be worthy of discussion. And really, it’s not even the clutch itself that made me pause (box clutches are a dime a dozen, of course); it was the clasp. The “knot” closure is something BV has used for quite a long time, and I’ve never seen another brand appropriate it quite so closely.
Here’s the Bottega knot, for comparison’s sake:
Image via Bottega Veneta
The woven markings on the metal “rope,” the shape of the knot itself, the caps on the ends; it’s all just very…familiar. The closures on box clutches are a signature for premier designers and contemporary brands alike, and at a sub-$200 price point, Leo & Tricia is missing a good opportunity to distinguish itself on the market instead of just being another wannabe. For that much money, I should be able to buy something distinctive, not something that wishes it were Bottega Veneta. Buy through Free People for $168.