It seems as though there are few animal-derived materials from which a designer has not attempted to make a handbag at some point. We’ve seen a zillion different versions of leather and fur, comprising almost any animal you can somehow raise on a farm, plus eel and stingray. Missoni makes a bag partially comprised of the skin from chicken feet. There is nothing new under the sun.

Except for maybe horsehair. It’s been used for centuries to make bows for string instruments, but Akris appears to have cornered the modern market on luxury horsehair purses with their line of Akris Ai Tote Bags. As far as I’ve been able to find, other brands have used horsehair to accent their designs, but this is the first bag in a while to use the material as the main attraction. The upside is that using the material doesn’t harm the animals in any way; the downside, unfortunately, is that the medium version costs a whopping $4400.

Horsehair is an interesting material for sure. I played classical strings for the better part of a decade, so I know how even and uniform it can look when treated and pulled tight, and it’s more or less endlessly renewable. The weaving on these bags looks impeccable and the simple style of the bags has already inspired lots of knockoff totes in less interesting materials. For the price, perhaps one of those is your best bet. The idea intrigues me, but I can skip it for that kind of money. With $4400, you’re well on your way to a Birkin. Buy through Saks for $4400.

  • Kellyx

    Nono no way.I’ve seen this shape with Alexander mcqueen? Or is it mulberry? Whichever it is, the price tag is way too ridiculous.

  • merve

    I think your comment ‘with 4400 you are well on your way to a birkin’ says it all really. Im sure the craftmanship maybe justifies the price but still i mean Hermes hello???

    • Inge

      Hermes hello? Everyone carries a Birkin. If you want to be part of this crowd, by all means, buy a Birkin. Akris is for individualists.

  • Stacy

    This is not appealling in any way, shape, or medium. it actually looks dirty in this picture (just shadows, I know, but still). I feel that they need to kibosh this and go back to the drawing board.

    • Inge

      Stacy,
      this bag thinks outside the box; for individuals, not herd mentality.

  • Ping

    Amanda, I agree with you that the price is steep for Akris. This is a bag for the woman who seriously have everything and have this as alternative to the birkins/kellys/and other hermes/chanels in her closet. I do like the shape of the bag but at $4400, its way too expensive. I like the Akris clothing line and they are not known for their bags, but since everyone nowadays think they are bag designers (probably b/c the profit margins are so much more than clothing), that is probably why they are jumping on the bandwagon. I also think all these bags like many others are just arbitrarily priced and I doubt many are sold at that price.

    • Inge

      $4400 is not too expensive when you consider what went into production of this handbag. Horsehair (does not hurt the horses — a kind thing to do) woven on looms, compared to a regular leather handbag. Nouveau-riche will buy Hermes and those with discerning tastes will buy Akris. Why not buy both?

  • PhotoGirl

    I’m not in love.
    You are completely right, too. For the price you could be well on your way to a Birkin. Or, here in the Midwest, anyway, a decent used car. (Sorry. My Inner Recessionista seems to have escaped. :) )

  • Linda

    In answer to your question, honestly NO bag is. This bag is no exception!

    • Inge

      Linda,
      the material/shape is not to everyone’s taste. Save up for a Birkin then.

  • annamarie

    Nope not at all. I feel like I could find a similar purse for way less. If I spend 4 grand on a purse, it better be unique. That’s just me thoughm

    • Inge

      “It better be unique”? How more unique can you get? With luxe materials? As I wrote earlier, it’s for certain women with impeccable taste. Not a “herd-mentality” bag.

  • Lori

    I agree, save up a while longer and just go for the Birkin. That will hold it’s value forever. I doubt this bag will.

  • mochababe73

    I would spend this money on an Akris if a classic Chanel flap bag were included with it.
    The words Akris and four thousand dollars don’t really mesh well together.

    • Inge

      Do you know Akris couture? Beautifully made clothes, understated and worth every penny.

  • theresa

    No but no bag is worth 4K (NO BAG)

    • Inge

      Nor is the cost of the Birkin, but women buy it anyway! At least in the case of the Akris bag you have a unique material/shape. But then again, follow the crowd or be an individual.

  • Harry

    The only reason you know about the chicken missoni is because of the last RZOE episode, atleast fess up to it….

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Amanda Mull

      I’d like to refer you to my Rachel Zoe recap, three posts down from this one. There should be enough fessin’ up in there to unbunch your panties.

  • qudsia

    no, no way. like you and the other commenters stated, youre almost halfway to a birkin, or you can get an amazing LV for that amount. the design is cute, but id def get it in a cheaper material if i had to get that style. its almost criminal to spend that much on this bag! lol

    • Inge

      LV? Don’t get me wrong, their handbags are terrific, but like the Birkiin these days they have a “herd” following them.

      That’s fine. But I for one do not appreciate seeing “my bag” at every turn!

  • Bagolicious

    No way is it anywhere near worth that price. I think designers just get a bag and put a lot of numbers in it, shake it up, and then pick out some and whatever numbers come out the bag are the ones that handbags get priced with. It’s just gotten ridiculous…beyond ridiculous.

  • Michael St. James

    I love this bag! In fact I blogged about it too (http://www.bagpoor.com/2010/02/is-for-akris-and-accessories.html), but that price is outrageous! Have you seen the new Dalmatian wool version? I spotted it on Elle’s website (http://fashion.elle.com/blog/2010/08/jadore-akris-dalmatian-ai-bag.html) and it’s slightly more reasonable at $1990.

  • Mona

    In fact the German brand “Comtesse” has used horsehair as main material before – the brand has since been bought by Akris. Comtesse bags were quite expensive, but not THAT expensive.

    • Inge

      When you buy Chanel or Hermes you pay a premium.  Akris while not as well known as the aforementioned makes couture clothing.  They also have a lesser line, Akris Punto.
      Akris is not for everyone though it has a loyal following by those who like chic, very well made clothing.  If I had the money I would pick Akris over Chanel anyday.  Perhaps even Hermes since every “Tom, Dick, and Harriet” are now carrying the Birkin.  What’s the fun carrying a bag everyone else has?  

  • Jelita78

    aaaahhh… so this is the uber exxy 4400 horse hair bag… hmmm..
    nope, me not liking the style at all.. (ipad)

    • Inge

      Different strokes for different folks, no?

  • Jelita78

    but hey, if the front buckle sort of enables it to expand, now that catches my attention.. (ipad)

  • Jelita78

    but after looking at the strap again, nope.. not liking it.. (ipad)

  • swati

    nah! the color is dull and uninspired and the shape is doing it no favours . pass. (ipad)

    • Inge

      This is a terrific shape. You need to think out of the box!

  • Inge

    Why not carry something that is not main stream? Not to knock Hermes’ Kelly and Birkin bags. They are so well-designed bags. Trouble is that everyone has one. Not so (yet) the case with an Akris bag. Recently they bought Comtesse, a German company that was the first company using horsehair in their handbags. Definitely not mainstream. If you want to be different this would be the bag to carry!