Other than the brand’s signature Skull Clutches, it’s been a while since Alexander McQueen made a splash with a handbag. Because of the sculptural nature of shoes, McQueen’s architectural, avant-garde aesthetic has always lent itself more easily to eye-catching footwear, and other than clutches, that’s been where most of the McQueen accessories creativity has gone over the few years, particularly since the death of the brand’s founder.

The brand can do a great day bag on occasion, though – remember the Novak, in all of its angular, tailored, mid-century glory? McQueen is returning to that feel for Fall 2012 with the Alexander McQueen Heroine Satchel, but is it a great bag, or just an average one?

How you answer that question probably depends largely on whether or not you like the fold-over flap that surrounds the bag’s front strap attachment. My gut reaction to it was contempt; not only does the flap interrupt the line of the handles, but it makes the contents of the bag impossible to access when it’s on your arm. On it’s face, not a great design move.

Then I started to think about other bags with not-dissimilar structural arrangements, like the Hermes Birkin, which also requires a bit of maneuvering to open while on the carrier’s arm, even if it doesn’t necessitate total removal like the Heroine apparently does. When I see women carrying Birkins around New York, though, I generally see them with the flap tucked inside and the top open, not only ready for functional use but also positioned for a more casual look. I could see the Heroine being carried the same way – with the top flap tucked, downplaying its somewhat formal look. I’m still not entirely convinced, though, as much as I like the multicolored python used in the top-of-the-line version. What do you think?

Alexander McQueen Leather Heroine Satchel, $2825 via Neiman Marcus

Alexander McQueen Python Heroine Satchel, $6395 via Neiman Marcus

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Alexandra Davidoff

    I agree with you on this one Amanda. But the top flap is not only impractical, it also looks out of place. I think a great, creative handbag concept, while being unique and outrageous and even a little impractical at times, still has to have physical components that boast a sort of belonging with each other. The handles, and the frontal flap, and the Speedy-esque shape of the bag itself make for an uneasy combination of influences that don’t live up to the McQueen universe. Without the flap it’s just an average handbag. With the flap, it’s just an average handbag with an unusual and painfully positioned tongue licking the base of otherwise ordinary handles. I wishing there was something more to the bag….studs maybe?  

  • Kevinkim2010

    okay the interruption of the lines are frustrating, and whats even more so is that the flap has a cut out shaped like a handle but its not. 

    and a solution to this would be just to fold the flap into the bag, like the well known birkin…. but then why not just carry a birkin. lol

    theres nothing too outstanding about the bag. however i would def. like to see what those zippers on the side r hiding, another birkinesque feature? 

    but on a more serious note, i really don’t like that flap(seriously just hide it inside the bag), or the really angular looking hardware on the handles,

  • Angelessya

    lovely!… but is just me or this remaind you a celine bag?

  • Suz

    Average looking bag with a lot of fumbling involved…. kinda looks like a proper ladies handbag my mother would have carried minus the flap.  And. let’s not forget to mention the python colors sort of make me nauseous.

  • I love the bag! I need to getttttttt this! :D


  • Alexander McQueen Leather Heroine Satchel, does look luxe. But for the price of it, I would go to Jimmy Choo Bags. 

  • gpc

    I actually like it.  Amanda, your idea of tucking the flap seems like a great solution if it would become bothersome, but that is definitely alot of money to spend unless one is just smitten with it.  It has been getting alot of pressand there are some pics floating around of it already been carried by some celebrities, as a matter of fact, I think Zoe Saldana (?) and the bag actually looks quite beautiful when carried.  Sold out on pre-order in black at Saks…

  • MT9922

    I agree with you Amanda.  While I think this is a stunning handbag; I feel it is a bit impractical.   Whenever you have a flap like this, it makes it very difficult to get into your handbag to retrieve anything. It is not just a simple flap you can open, you now have to move the handle in order to open it up… I see a lot of potential creasing in the handle happening.  One could leave the flap in like in Birkins, but I am wondering if it would look just as nice.. 

  • 19yearslater

    It’s decent. Not brilliant, might make a splash just because of the name and the satchel style that celebrities seem to love, but I don’t think it’s the next skull clutch. 

  • Kevinkim2010

    i had to come back and make another comment amanda. lol

    if the flap neatly covered to hardware i think it could be very modern and perhaps if the cut out shape wasnt a curved shape but a nice rectangle with rounded corners with some extra stitching detail around the corners. or maybe perhaps triangular hardware like so many other A.Mc. bags. 

    this bag seriously could have been given atleast 30 minds of extra thought.

    that gorgeous dark purple leather is a waste.