In the last few seasons of his work in particular, Alexander McQueen became famous for the incredibly intricate, digitally-rendered patterns that he used in everything from reptile-reminiscent cocktail dresses to Hieronymus Bosch-referencing pantsuits. The prints were at first only used for clothing, but the art has made its way to accessories with the Alexander McQueen Samurai Print Canvas Tote.

Printed bags can be a bit hard to wear, but if it’s doable in any season, it’s winter. People tend to regress to their favorite dark neutrals when weather gets cold and foreboding, and the warm, classic-meets-modern feel of this pattern is the perfect way to incorporate some colors into a fall outfit that aren’t black, navy or charcoal grey. Not that there’s anything wrong with black. Of course not.

As much as I like the pattern, though, I’m a bit disappointed by the bag’s simple structure. One of the best things about McQueen’s use of print was that he didn’t just use it on boring straight sheath dresses. Instead, his printed garments always had a structure and tailoring that accented both the details of the pattern and the shape of the design. Putting a nice pattern on a plain tote is child’s play, and I hope that McQueen’s accessories crew doesn’t start slacking now that the company’s namesake is no longer around to watch over its work. Still, I’m glad to see that these materials will be finding their way into the accessories market, and hopefully into the closets of more of McQueen’s fans. Buy through Saks for $925.

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Rebeca

    love it!!

  • angela

    It’s beautiful…Aaww, I miss the guy. I hope they can maintain his vision.

  • Nico

    I think today, what I thought yesterday: an unique designer makes design lives beyond life.
    Dresses or Bags, under McQueen vision and style they will be never replaced.
    In this case, this tote seems to me really fascinating.

    • Volcano Vaporizers

      i agree.

  • Mochababe73

    I actually love the simple shape. It allows the print to take center stage.
    Again, I still have to take issue with charging almost $1000 for a canvas bag.

    • Stacy

      I agree with you Mochababe73.

  • shueaddict

    Ohhhh … I am drooling in my wine glass. I want to see more of these.

  • raw

    I find it very ugly.

  • versatile

    I find it ugly too, I agree that the bag would have been better if it had an interesting design the print is beautiful but putting it on such a simple form makes it look cheap to me.

  • Vitta

    This is spectacular! Reminds me of the 1960s trend of silk-print satchels originated by Martin Van Schaak. Those were made strictly per order for luminaries and cost $300 – $500 (very expensive in the ’60s!). The cost was usually due to a lot of handwork involved.

    I agree with both Mochababe73 and Stacy that the simple, refined shape of this bag accentuates its artful, elaborate pattern. You can actually “read” the Samurai story in the symmetry of the pattern and the clever accents. The abstract image of the Samurai sword is represented by the 3-D cord embroidery that is literally “growing” out of the pattern. How unique! The “sword” is anchored by the dark ornament, which adds the old-world feel to the story. The casual leather trim is thrown into the mix to connect this ancient story with today’s reality. And the “skull” pendant attached to the grommet on one of the handles breaks its strict symmetry and adds the whimsical touch.

    This colorful tote is very roomy (15″ x 12.5″ x 5″) and smart! It also has an interesting interior construction: the open top for easy reach and the belted gussets that can be adjusted (see the Saks Fifth Avenue site). You can stuff loads into it, yet it won’t look bulky.

    A brilliant mix of art and functionality! I bet it was produced in a limited edition and would become an instant collectible after it is sold out.

  • EvaKnox

    Wow. Just wow <3

  • Sunshinyday

    Its beautiful, I love it. Wish it were half the price.

    I am pleased to see many people have already posted that the style needs to be simple to work with the print. Its perfect and a unique bag to carry.

  • Chris

    This is a very interesting bag. The more I look at it, the more I see in this pattern. Intriguing.
    Like many here, I like the more simple shape.

  • Stylista

    Ohhh….this is too much. Love McQueen, but this is just too much.

  • Pinky J

    i love mcqueen,so it would be very hard for me to find any bag of his un-covetable.this however,is the first bag that i wouldnt mind NOT having.although the print is great,the overall look of the bag is confusing with the structure and print and color all going at each other at the same time.(ipad)

  • Adrienne C

    fascinating!! (ipad)

  • ninjaninja

    This is something that my sister would love (ipad)

  • marianne shaw

    This is a statement bag and the clothing you wear with it would have to be limited to one bold color such as black.Would defo get you a lot of compliments.I adore the work that goes into this designers bags.[ipad]

  • Tiffany

    This is very unique! (ipad)

  • Jelita78

    ohmygod amanda!
    i can’t believe it but at the sight of the bag i totally said to myself, wth would that awesome print be on that urgghh looking bag?
    i guess great minds think alike, huh? LOL (ipad)

  • Jen

    I like it… for someone else. (ipad)

  • helen

    Wonder what they think when they’re designing them. (ipad)


    LOVE (ipad)


    WOW (ipad)


    WHAT A GENIUS (ipad)


    VERY UNIQUE (ipad)


    :) (ipad)