As some of you noted last week, I’ve been as critical of Hedi Slimane and his short creative tenure at Saint Laurent as pretty much anybody. I don’t care for how the designer behaves himself, which is a problem before you even start talking about the efficacy of his creative vision. Slimane’s first foray into women’s bags (literally, he had never had a hand in the design of a women’s bag before starting at Saint Laurent) has been largely hit-or-miss, with the reliable, functional (if a tad bit boring) Saint Laurent Classic Duffel failing to achieve the It Bag status that some had predicted. This brand new, much smaller version of the Duffel, though? This, I like.
Miniaturizing a bag, which is super trendy right now, can do a whole world of good if a design is either very ornate or very simple. In the case of this bag, the mini version (which isn’t all that mini at over nine inches wide) edits out some of what sometimes felt like yards of flat leather on the full-size Classic Duffel and lets the spare design’s sharply edited elements play a more obvious role. Condensed, the bag feels like it has a bit more personality, and it’s not even that condensed. (For comparison’s sake, the “small” version of the bag only has about two inches more space.)
The bag also has a super-functional crossbody strap and comes in chic navy leather (if you’re not a navy gal, black and pink are also available). The best part of this particular update, though, is the price – while the small Classic Duffel will still set you back over two grand for a bag that’s not much bigger, this size goes for a double-take-inducing $1,250 via Neiman Marcus. For this price and this bag, I wouldn’t hesitate. Maybe Hedi’s finally pulling his accessories situation together.