Bag Battles

This or That: Prada Cleo or Saint Laurent Le 5 à 7

Help me pick a new black bag!

If you answered our call to hear your 2022 handbag resolutions then you probably read that my goal for 2022 is to replace the black bag I sold in late 2020. I continue to shop more mindfully and look to purchase things that I really love and see myself using for years to come. Additionally, I intend to make sure the things I purchase fill a need or a hole in my wardrobe, which is why I don’t have any other plans to purchase a bag this year other than one of the below (but don’t quote me on it!).

I typically make a big purchase at the end/beginning of the year, and this year I am ready to gift myself a new black bag. I’m leaning towards a sleek shoulder bag, and I’ve got my eye on the Prada Cleo and the Saint Laurent Le 5 à 7, which are pretty similar when you get down to the nitty-gritty. Let’s compare…

Prada Cleo

The Prada Cleo hit the scene in late 2020 and quickly became a favorite thanks to its sleek shape and ’90s era silhouette. The Cleo draws inspiration from archival Prada styles and melds the brand’s iconic attention to detail and craftsmanship. The idea behind the Cleo is that it showcases the evolution and reinvention of the brand’s heritage. The Cleo sits perfectly on the shoulder but looks just as lovely carried by hand.

While the design is simple and clean, it is chic and definitely a statement maker. It’s crafted from spazzolato leather, a brushed calfskin with a slight sheen to it. It’s finished with the iconic enamel triangle Prada logo and has an interior zippered pocket and a snap closure. Retail on the Prada Cleo Shoulder Bag is $2,400 via Moda Operandi.

Prada Cleo Shoulder Bag
via Moda Operandi

Saint Laurent Le 5 à 7

The Saint Laurent Le 5 à 7 captured my attention immediately when it first hit the scene last year. Like the Prada Cleo, the shape is sleek and clean, reminiscent of the small shoulder bags of the 1990s but updated with modern details like Saint Laurent’s iconic gold YSL hardware. The bag is petite, with a depth of 2.5 inches. Similarly, the Prada Cleo measures in at 2.3 inches depth, so both bags are fairly similar in size and shape.

While the Cleo is crafted from leather with a sheen, the plain black Saint Laurent Le 5 à 7 that I’m after is made from calf leather that is completely matte. This bag can be worn over the shoulder or daintily carried by hand like the Cleo. Again, similar to the Cleo this bag has an interior zip pocket and does not have a top zip closure. Its price is $700 less than the Cleo, ringing in at $1,690 via Luisaviaroma.

With their nearly identical shapes and functions, which one would you choose?


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