Megs and I? Balenciaga fangirls. Even our new marketing director Hilary is getting in on the act – a Balencaiga Giant City Bag was the first thing added to her wardrobe after she joined our team a few months ago. The brand is best known for its Motorcycle Bags in a litany of colors, which are refreshed every season and sometimes fiercely sought by collectors for years afterward. Today, I’d like to talk about something Balenciaga does occasionally that’s slightly less well know: prints.

Every couple of seasons, Balenciaga will make a special edition of its Motorcycle Bags bearing some sort of pattern. Florals, animal prints, stripes, traditional toile – they’ve done a little bit of everything over the years, spanning aesthetics from ladylike to super modern. The Motorcycle Bag makes a great canvas for prints for two reasons – the signature Balenciaga trim gives any version a serious dose of leather to counteract the pattern, and the bag design is so recognizable on its own that it doesn’t lose the brand’s personality with the addition of print. Check out our past and present favorites after the jump.

My love for Balenciaga’s patterned bags goes all the way back to 2006, when I first saw Nicole Richie sporting the Balenciaga Damask Stripe Courier. If I could get my hands on one of these bags now, I’d still buy it.

Image via Nicole Richie Fashion

In 2008, Balenciaga went all in with the neo-natural vibe on the Balenciaga Giant Floral City and Balenciaga Giant Floral Weekender. I saw one of these bags in a resale store a couple of months ago, and again, I seriously considered a purchase. (I spend at least 80% of my day talking myself out of buying things.)

The Balenciaga Giant Lattice City, which made its debut in 2009, might not technically be made of a printed fabric, but the bicolor woven leather strips make it look like its a crossword puzzle that needs to be filled out.

The green leather trim of the 2010 Balenciaga Linen and Leather City Bag is a bold contrast to the neutral interior fabric. This bag would still be totally on trend if it were produced today.

And now, to the present day…

Balenciaga Arena Classic Toile Ray Work, $1595 via Barneys

Balenciaga Arena Classic Toile Ray Work, $1595 via Barneys

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