Saint Laurent Paris Classic Duffel

Predicting the future is hard, and almost no one does it well. The more information you have, the more educated your guess becomes, but in fashion, divining the potential aesthetic whims of the public at large will never be an exact science. All you can do is look at past successes and trying to figure out what they tell you about what might happen next, which is why I’m more than a little doubtful about The Cut’s assertion that the Saint Laurent Paris Classic Duffel will be the industry’s next It Bag; the bag simply doesn’t fit the pattern.

Over at The Cut, writer Stella Bugbee lays out her case for the Classic Duffel’s future world domination as approximately the following: She felt the same feeling when she first saw this bag as when she first saw the Celine Luggage Tote, which makes her pretty sure that this bag is going to be the next Celine Luggage Tote. If I sound dismissive in saying that, I certainly don’t intend to; those kinds of intuitive moments from someone who’s built a career in fashion can mean quite a lot. In fact, I agree with Bugbee that the bag will sell quite well, in all likelihood. It’s a marquee piece from a well-known, controversial designer who just very publicly took the helm of one of the largest fashion houses in the world – it would have to be an abomination against god to sell poorly, and it’s not.

The problem, though, is that it’s not much of anything. In the short history of It Bags from the Fendi Baguette to the Celine Luggage Tote, they’ve all had some sort of can’t-miss detail, whether it was a distinctive closure or a giant padlock or defiantly flared gussets. The Classic Duffel’s defining design characteristic might be that it has no defining design characteristics, and while that was likely done purposefully and might even be a bit clever, it’s not something that’s likely to reach out and grab enough customers to become a runaway, wait-listed hit.

As Bugbee mentions in her piece, bags occupy a particularly profitable spot in the fashion industry that makes them of utmost importance to the financial success of a brand. What she doesn’t mention, though, is how that affects what a bag must be in order to be successful. To move enough units to reach “It Bag” status, a design must appeal to customers who have a more limited interest in fashion than the hardcore fanatics who have followed Slimane’s antics since his arrival at Saint Laurent. That means it needs to be recognizable, distinct and memorable; this bag arguably fails at all three.

When I look at this design, I see a Louis Vuitton shape that’s had a Celine makeover, which is not necessarily a criticism. This bag feels very current in its minimalism and lack of ostentatious branding, and the shape and structure will make it a good functional choice for everyday. Those attributes won’t turn the Classic Duffel into an It Bag, but they do make for a very strong foundation on which to build a new accessories aesthetic at Saint Laurent. We may get an It Bag out of Slimane and Saint Laurent in the next couple of seasons, but I’d be very surprised if this one is it.

Another contraindication of nascent “It Bag” status: The bag is ready available for pre-order in all four colors via YSL.com for $2650. (Wonder if they’re going to keep that domain?)

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  • Cat

    Its so simple, nice but there are many other bags in similar aesthetic… LV, Hermes, Victoria Beckham, Balmain… Its not YSL. Its just something simple to put a new name on. I like that theres only stamp, more discreet, reminds me of Hermes.

  • Tiffany H

    I agree with you. There is nothing special about this bag. This will not be the next IT bag.

  • katia

    Do you know how much it’s going to cost?

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

      It’s in the post! $2650.

      • katia

        Thank you, can’t believe i missed it! read it 2 times! Time to go for glasses hahaha

  • Not So Gentle Reader

    I agree. I also agree with those who think that the whole concept of the “It Bag,” has, perhaps, seen its day. In any case, I am singularly unmoved by what passes for writing on The Cut these days and I continue to hope that my beloved Purse Blog will not be subsumed by the same tabloid cesspool.

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

      We’ll try our best not to stare into the celeb-tabloid abyss for too long, lest it stare back into us.

  • Kat

    This bag is truly basic. And I mean this in the meanest way possible.

  • http://themisanthropez.tumblr.com/ The Misanthropé Z

    What a blah bag…

  • AshleyG

    If I were going for this look, and at this price point, i’d much rather go for the LV speedy in epi leather. Besides, I just can’t get with the SL without the Y- that decision was a FAIL in my book.

  • seasaltcaramels

    completely agree. it’s way too basic, and not in a good way.

  • LuceLiu

    Agree with hands and feet!

  • cakegirl

    Although I agree it won’t be as popular, I like this quite a bit and prefer it to Celine. There is one thing I can never get past with a luggage tote-the fact that I already have a Chloe Edith.

  • susan

    I love this bag and it may be the bag I buy for spring. I haven’t decided just yet

  • Eli

    I actually like it. It’s perfect.

  • FashionableLena

    This is very basic, bare bones. To be honest, there are even Coach bags that have a similar look. I even find the hardware to look chintzy. Not sure how the bag will even sit with the shoulder strap.
    Besides, maybe it’s my computer, but this looks like the color of putty.

  • Dreams

    Take away the words “Saint Laurent Paris” and it’s just another bag. I miss the genius of Yves SL.

  • http://www.facebook.com/petra.brankovska ????? ??????????

    I’m not seeing anything new or interesting. At first I thought it was Vuitton and kind of remind’s me of Mulberry’s Del Ray. I don’t even want to start about that pricing.

  • rfm

    Came to this site by accident. I’m astonished that people really CARE about fancy purses, even to the extent of paying big $$s for them, so one becomes attractive to violent thievery. Deliberate “I’ve got more than you have” attitude.
    Well, we all have our quirks, and I suppose this is relatively harmless.
    But WHY do people want this stuff? ?

  • Ray

    Its like YSL died… SL Paris is nothing like it. Thats not just a name change, it´s a completely new brand.
    For the bag: doesn´t stun me at all. I´d prefer new a range of cabas chyc over that anytime ;)

  • paradox

    is this going to be the next celine luggage tote? NO, but I find it very beautiful because of its lack of ornament. It’s timeless and chic because it has architecture.The bag is so minimalistic and so simple that the good craft and quality grabs your attention, that’s why it will never be out of style.

  • Vesna

    I am a big fan of former YSL, and their iT bags were Downtown, Muse, Muse II…..this one is a different, minimalistic and OK, but not a recognizable IT bag for certain

  • kathleen

    I love it. Simple, classic , elegant. I know I am in the minority but I have never cared for, lets say, Celine’s “winged” Trapeze or the “Face” on the luggage tote. I think one day we will look back at those bags and go, “What was I thinking?”

  • yui

    LV shape with a celine makeover is really the perfect way to describe this. if it weren’t for the saint laurent label with all it’s controversial/”anti-fashion” connotations no one would care about this. (i have to say i liked the way gwyneth paltrow carried it though)
    if i were to buy a duffle i would much much prefer sofia coppola for LV.

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