We don’t often get a peek behind the scenes at the business and logistical decisions that go into making our favorite handbags a reality, but thanks to a recent Women’s Wear Daily interview with Balenciaga genius Nicolas Ghesquiere, we now know a little bit more about one of the most popular bag designs in the modern accessories world: The Balenciaga Motorcycle Bag.

Namely, we know that it almost never existed in the first place. Ghesquiere tells WWD that he made the prototype at the behest of company brass, and they dismissed it as too soft, too lightweight and too lacking in structure. As it turns out, all the things that they thought would make it unpopular are what make the design so beloved. Those of us who have loved and adored our fair share of Balenciaga bags over the years have one group of people to thank for it: Models.

That’s right; if it weren’t for the models, we wouldn’t have a single Motorcycle bag in our collections. Ghesquiere says that he convinced his corporate minders to allow him to produce the bags just for the runway show so that the girls would have something to carry while they walked, but the models (most notably Kate Moss) were so immediately smitten with the design that he knew he had a winning bag on his hands. When Kate Moss tells you that something is cool, it’s in the best interest of everyone who stands to profit to listen to her.

And so here we are, more than a decade later, many of us with multiples of the bag in our closet histories. Me? I’ve had four of them in four different colors and three different shapes. I doubt the one I have right now will be my last. Not by a long shot. Read the full (fascinating) interview via Women’s Wear Daily.

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Amy

    What do you mean that “I’ve had four of them…”? Does that mean you got rid of some of them and no longer have all four?

    • Yep, eBayed the first three when I thought I was done with them. Balenciaga bags hold their value better than most, so it was tempting to sell. Seriously regret parting with two of them. The one I have now isn’t going anywhere.

  • bisbee

    Unfortunately, we can’t read the artical without subscribing to WWD.com! Bummer…

    • bisbee

      I could really use spellchecker in here!

  • bisbee

    Unfortunately, we can’t read the article without subscribing to WWD.com! Bummer…

  • Roe

    I still have 4 of them and a Balenciaga Lune. I regret selling my Aquamarine Part Time though. Never got over it.

  • pixiegirl

    I cant read the article :(

    This is really interesting to learn I guess we all own Kate a big thank you!

  • MizzJ

    Very interesting! I wonder if any of those naysayers got a stern talking to when they were so obviously proven wrong.


  • Rashida

    My next purchase will be a City… I love the bag!

  • Eleanor

    I have been wondering about this for a while now, but didn’t want to ask because I couldn’t think of a tasteful way to do so. Anyway. In photographs, the leather that Balenciaga bags are made from looks a bit – pleathery. The crinkles look like the ones in synthetic fabrics, and the slight gleam is a bit more agressive than that of some other somewhat-shiny leathers. Do Balenciaga bags just not photograph well? Thoughts? Has anyone else felt this way?

    • Balenciaga leather is kind of interesting. It’s very thin and lightweight, and when you first get it, it does have a bit of a sheen. Because of the design, though, the bags break in very quickly (as they’re supposed to), and the leather becomes more matte. I’ve had my current Balenciaga bag since 2007, and it’s as smooshy and non-pleather-y as you could imagine.

      Part of the problem with Balenciaga stock photos is that they pack the bags full of tissue to make them stand up, which is just not how they’re going to look when you actually carry them. That, combined with the highly lit photography and newness of the bag gives the pictures a quality that Balenciaga bags really don’t have once they’re carried.

      I think that’s a good question, though, because I tend to hate shiny glazed leather and the pictures kept me away from Balenciaga for a long time. Now they’ve been my favorite bags for years.

      • Eleanor

        Thank you for that explanation! I had figured that the stock photos were to blame for any iffiness.

    • Jackie

      I’ve wondered the same. Thanks for asking, Eleanor!!! And thanks for the thorough answer Amanda!!!

  • Gina

    I loved mine but I sold them all five years ago. Wanna know why? NO POCKETS! I can’t carry a bag and then have all my stuff rattling around inside. Sad thing is they STILL have no phone pockets inside. Jeez I know it’s a classic but a few pockets inside for your stuff would be nice considering the exhorbitant price they’re charging.

  • Cha

    I heard that the Balenciaga leather easily gets scuffed. Could you confirm this please? I am thinking of pruchasing one because I love the look, however if it’s easily scuffed then perhaps it’s best to spend on a more durable bag?

    • Merve

      Dont buy white it goes yellow! However the other two i own just look better with age and not at all scuffed. Then again i really really take care of my bags !!!

  • Ana Mae

    love the colors…great!!

  • Kristen

    I need bag advice! My husband bought me a new, fushia, python, papier bag and I’m just not a fan. I want something big but black! I’m looking at the Vevo?? Any advice?

  • Vicky

    Kristen, get the work. It’s big. And should be a good size.

    I love Balenciaga, too. I don’t like it when it first came out. Got hooked with the color and then there’s no looking back.

    • Kristen

      Thanks Vicky. I checked the Work bag out and I love it. Now I have to choose a color but I’ll probably go with the standard black bag with fushia stiching. My husband is devastated that I am returning the papier bag but I just not a hard core fushia girl. Thanks for the advice!

  • Sandra

    I just purchased a City Bag in Blue Lanvana….I have not carried it yet but the color is so wonderful. If is something you do not see all the time……The City Bag is not only a wonderful design, the colors are the best. While most carry beige, black, gray, and sometimes red….it is such a breath of fresh air to see a wonderful bag offered in such wonderful colors. Of course, if you just want that black bag…..Balenciaga has that too!

  • Josephine

    what a great story, thanks for sharing!