While the comparison is not spot on, there is still a resemblance between the Balenciaga First Bag and the Rough Roses Riley Bag. The good news is there are also differences; so we don’t have to get into the debate of it copying too closely to Balenciaga and maybe some might like the different leather of the Rough Roses bag.

Let’s take a look at the details of the two, shall we?

Balenciaga is beyond well-established now with their handbag line. Everyone who loves bags, whether they know it or not, has seen a Balenciaga bag in their lifetime. Finding a true Look for Less when it comes to a bag as iconic and stand-out as Balenciaga is tricky, but we think this option works for a few reasons.

Welcome Rough Roses, a brand of leather accessories slated to be both elegant and sexy with a touch of attitude. What I see are Balenciaga-like details in the Rough Roses Riley Shoulder Bag, including the zip front pocket with rosette studded trim at bottom sides. The leather is completely different from Balenciaga, in that it is totally smooshy while Baleciaga leather tends to be a bit glossy and offer more structure. The handle straps here are attached by ring hardware rather than to the bag directly. And of course, the tassels that Balenciaga is known for are not quite the same here. But overall, I’m pretty happy with this similar looking find for a mere $225 via Bluefly.

I know there is a strong fandom for Balenciaga bags and while you can never replace it, it is nice to have a look for less option. Buy the Balenciaga First at Balenciaga for $1245.

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Laureen

    It’s really cute! I like that it’s different enough that it’s not a total rip-off of the Bal design but it’s close enough to have a similar feel.

  • swags

    I checked out Rough Roses awhile back, saw some at Nordstrom Rack. They are well made bags and have some pretty styles.

    I think this particular one is nice but I prefer the Bal.

  • dooneydiva

    I see no difference in concept between the Rough Roses bag and Balenciaga. When a style is so obvious, there is more than just coincidence at play. At what point should we draw the line when declaring a design to have a “resemblance” and it being a complete copy of an original? It’s like showing up to prom with ALMOST the same dress as another girl. Are you really going to appreciate the slight details of her dress that make it different from your own? I think not.

  • Cate

    Oh. Oh, no. I don’t think I like the look for less at all. It just doesn’t look as nice, and I kind of agree with dooneydiva–it’s too close for comfort.

  • whit

    i don’t think its really that big of a deal, to be honest, coming off so long after the intro of the ‘bal’ bag–there were a lot of lookalikes that appeared as well, from legit companies like fossil.

    you can still see the differences–the shape of the bag isn’t the same, the handle differs that the RR version has O rings between the strap and the bag while the Bal doesn’t. Bal has buckle details while with the RR its all studs..there is no top trim..the list goes on.

    i think it is nice to have an alternative that is cheaper, without copying Bal’s version.

  • Valentina

    I don’t see the point on comparing a cheap and an expensive bag because the cheaper looks like the original (with the aim of buying, that is). Looking for a cheaper look a like to buy is kind of depressing. If I see a cheap bag and I like it, I wouldn’t buy it because it looks like the designer one, I would just buy it because I like it. When I spend a lot of money in something I REALLY like, is not just because it looks good, I care about the materials and the quality and the craftsmanship, and so on, I’m sure most people do.

  • takome

    Simply pointless… just gives me the feeling of those look alike branded goods in China. Can you imagine 2 girlfriends meet up and one is carrying a Bal and the other a RR???

  • Nat


  • Kellyx

    No offence. But the RR really looks cheap(er).

  • chocl8fashnista

    Option 2 resembles Balenciaga bags I’ve seen on Canal. No Bueno. I got a Balenciaga first bag in bubble gum pink for Christmas and I LOVE IT!!!! Almost as much as my Melrose Cruise 08 Limited Edition Chanel (almost being key word). Spacious and def a statement bag and it ages well. Love your blog, especially the Chanel section as I am Chanel OBSESSED!! #Fab xoxo

  • Terrie

    Cute bag but, it is not a substitute for a Balenciaga.

  • Ali

    At a certain point there are enough differences it is ok – like in this bag. If you saw someone walking with this bag, sure, maybe you’d be like “if she likes that, why didn’t she just save up and get the Balenciaga” but it is a LOT better than walking around with a cheap knock off trying to say it is a Balenciaga.

  • Reecespieces

    Ali makes a really good point! i would rather see a girl carrying the RP bag than a Bal knock-off! the RR bag to me looks like a completely different bag. Although it has a similar silhouette and shape, it has many characteristics that make it a completely diff bag.. the rings, the studs, the stitching that gives it a V shape on the front of the bag.. etc.

  • faith24

    Your individual opinion probably depends on where you live. i live in the midwest, so if i purchased the Balenciaga bag hardly anyone would know that is what it is and how much it costs. People here mostly give compliments on bag color, leather, shape, etc. but not the brand names. So, if I cannot afford Bal I may as well purchase RR- it is not a cheap knock off and it looks stylish enough to be noticed ;)

  • MizzJ

    It’s true, for most people they will not know any difference whatsoever and you’d have to basically have the 2 side by side to really note the differences in quality and leathers. So, if you cannot afford Balenciaga, then there’s nothing wrong I think with going for the more affordable alternative – just don’t try to pass it off as anything more!



    there is a cheaper one on handbagheaven.com

  • Jane

    Expensive and cheap can never be compared. Quality always screams ‘expensive’ while cheap, well, means exactly that. However, the ‘cheap’ bag is still a wonderful item by itself- not in comparison.


  • Audrey H.

    I have seen the bags mentioned and they look cheap. I think this one has a similar look to the bal but doesn’t look like it’s made of fake leather, it looks like a nice decently made handbag in it’s own right.

    No one would wonder or ask why I didn’t save up to buy a bal because no one would even give it a second thought as far as I know. For those like me who have a family and expenses as opposed to a single person who can splurge a bit more (which is fine & cool) it seems very good to be able to find a nice quality bag that looks good also without paying two months mortgage for it.

    I would love to own this bag.

  • April

    I’d be concerned about the hardware. Brass on the BAL bags makes it more desirable because it looks more expensive for the life of the bag. I looked at the hardware on the Rough Roses bag and it looks cheap.