Bottega Veneta Truffle Soft Crocodile Hobo Bag

On the twelfth day of Bottega Veneta we have our best photos and bags yet, a duo of Croc bags, the finest we have ever met!

How can I begin to describe our final day of Bottega Veneta without typing in all caps followed by an absurd number of exclamation points? It is nearly impossible. I want to stand on top of my couch with my lap top in my hands and scream my excitement over these two bags and the photos Vlad took.

To answer one of your first questions, yes that is a live alligator in our photos. To be precise, he is a four year old alligator named Wally who lives at Everglades Holiday Park in Florida. Next answer is also yes, that is two exotic Crocodile BV bags that Wally is posing with. So let’s get to it!

Bottega Veneta Icon Handbags in Croc

Vlad and I have been toying with the idea to incorporate an alligator into our photography. There are countless reasons why this seemed like it would never work. Where exactly would we find a ‘tame’ alligator? Would they allow us to take the photos? We felt a bit weird at first. Here we are walking into an Everglades park, that takes people on air boat rides and teaches them about the natural habitat of the Florida alligator, with two exotic crocodile handbags. It did seem a bit hypocritical.

But Wally and his handler were all for it. Actually, we voiced our hesitation to Mike, the handler, and he simply said, “Wally loves this and is happy the bags are made our of Croc not gator’. Pretty comical at the time. Wally behaved well enough that we could remove the tape around his mouth and he even smiled for us (literally as seen in the top photo). Eventually, he even poked his head through the smaller of the two exotics.

Let me just say it now: Wally is now our favorite alligator, ever!


Oh yea, the bags! Obviously, this photo shoot would not have been possible without these luscious bags. We decided to end Day 12 with the ultimate luxury from Bottega Veneta, exotic classic Venetas. The Veneta is the house staple, a simple, timeless, chic classic. The entire aura of the bag is created by its seamless design and effortless shape. Having the Veneta be made out of soft crocodile fume only further intensifies the bag’s beauty.

We had two bags here: the large BV Soft Crocodile Fume Hobo Bag in Truffle and the smaller BV Soft Crocodile Fume Large Veneta in fever. There is a major price difference, a whopping $15,500. The difference is largely made up because the truffle bag is made with 8 (!) crocodile skins. Yes, eight. When you look closely at the bag you can see the different areas of the soft, larger scaled belly skin. The treatment of the skin however makes both of these bags very supple. The crocodile skin is sturdy, yet soft and extremely malleable. The bag holds its shape with the perfect amount of slouch.

These two handbags are Bottega Veneta holy grails for me. I must admit I could go for the less expensive of the two, in a sultry rouge hue that is soaked up beautifully by the skin. Both are exotic, both are magnificently made, and both are ultimate classics. Buy through Bottega Veneta for $19,500 and $35,000.

Bottega Veneta Truffle Soft Crocodile Hobo: Leather Detail
Bottega Veneta Soft Crocodile Fume Large Veneta: Detail
Bottega Veneta Icon Crocodile Handbags: Detail

Note: Wally, the gator was not harmed during this photography session. In fact, he played along nicely and hoped we captured his good side!

P.S. Please consider supporting our small, bag-loving team by clicking our links before shopping or checking out at your favorite online retailers like Amazon, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, or any of the listed partners on our shop page. We truly appreciate your support!

Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Helen

    I like the skin better on Wally. The photos are kind of perverted.

    • ReRe

      I love the pictures. Wally is cute and the bags are awesome.

  • Katie

    I agree- It bothers me to see the croc hanging out with skins that used to belong to his kin. And hopefully he won’t become a handbag anytime soon :(

    • CC

      I agree.
      This is awful.

    • sarafina77

      I’ve got to say I agree. While leather is obviously a by-product of the meat industry, I have a hard time with exotics and fur, knowing animals are raised simply for their skins. This photo shoot made me sad. I don’t own exotics or fur.

      Same reason I won’t eat veal or foie gras… I feel badly that Chanel uses a lot of calfskin in their products, and have debated not buying anymore for this reason. It’s hard to have a handbag problem and try to be an ethical consumer.

  • Paulina

    This was by far my favorite day. Great approach to the article. The bags are so droolworthy!

  • Kimberley

    Yeah I do love animal photos with favorite fashion items, but this seemed crudely inappropriate.

  • Graciella

    ^well really, do we need to get into this animal cruelty thing now? ‘Inappropriate’? Why? We eat cows and wear their skins on our feet and bodies and turn them into bags – what’s the difference? I’d say we all just enjoy the great things mother nature has provided us with without wasting it – and at these prices not many of these bags will be sold, so there will hardly be any crocs wasted.

  • dimon

    Love the photos, especially with his little head poking through the red bag. Lets not all be hypocritical about the skins we use for garments. Afterall, we could wear teflon clothing too but we prefer silk, cashmere and leather, don’t we?

    • jberry

      i agree :)

  • Michael St. James

    lovely pics, but the bags are just okay for me.

  • An4

    what’s the right expression – pushing the envelope? but like Mike said – wally’s a gator, bags are croc. I think you made everyone stop and think, form an opinion, and that’s always a good thing.
    I have to say I really love Vlad’s photography, the pics are gorgeous and I really like Wally, he’s just so precious and cute here (I hope he has many happy years in EHPark). I’m not into exotics, so the bags come in third for me here. but I can appreciate the craftsmanship of these bottega bags and won’t judge people who decide to buy them, even though I wouldn’t. colors are nice, is this the red Amanda has been talking about?

  • sandeyes

    Photos not sitting well with me. Wally looking at his kin.

  • Alana

    I think the photos are amazing and the idea is really imaginative. Would people be disturbed if there was a picture of a leather bag next to a cow??

  • Vlad and I realized that these photos would be out there, would be different, would get people thinking, and would not be liked by some people.

    Many times when we post about exotic skin bags there are people that do not like the skins. They are not keen on those animals being killed for their skins and by products. But for the people that do like exotic skins, this is merely a relative of crocodiles (Wally is an alligator), being shown by a croc skin bag. The skin has to come from an animal, and we simply incorporated that into the photos.

    It was not mean to be crass, crude, inappropriate, or perverted. Just an interesting take and photos.

  • Judy

    I think this is brilliant. A little disturbing, but that one pic of him peeping through the red bag is adorable. Not a fan of the bags but congrats on being a little daring with your approach!

  • Chicken

    Interesting idea. I think the bags are beautiful, but Vlad has taken better pictures.

  • Ashley

    I love the pictures. Wally is too cute! As a few others have mentioned, I see nothing wrong with it. A lot of us don’t like to think about where our nice leather and other skinned bags come from, but it doesn’t change the fact that most of them require the hide of an animal.

  • I, for one, really like the pictures. And not just because Megs and Vlad sign my paychecks. I think it’s important to confront the idea of where our bags come from, and that may make some people uncomfortable. Whether people believe it or not, the fashion industry affects a multitude of political and social issues, and animal rights is just one of them. I think that completely ignoring the fact that these bags came from animals very similar to the ones pictured would be far more disrespectful and perverted than acknowledging it and enabling a conversation about it, which is what these photos do.

    • Michelle

      I agree.

      At first when I saw the tweet about this blog post, I was nervous to look at the photos. But they are stunning, even if the idea behind it can be uncomfortable. If you think about it, Wally is in wonderful park that takes great care of him. He, himself, isn’t being sentenced to an unfortunate future as a handbag. So, in that sense I think it’s a beautiful juxtaposition.

  • Patti H.

    I really like the photos. They are on the edge but very well done. I would be willing to bet everyone who has commented in a negative manner has a leather bag or they wouldn’t be on this forum. Leather comes from mammals. Shall we start a discussion on fur coats……………

  • Kim

    Pretty bags but not necessary to have the animal in which it came from in the picture. It’s like feeding a pig pork, me chillin next to a cow while I’m eating a steak. It’s disrespectful to the animal. The croc probably thinks that’s his mom and dad. I’m not against using real leather for bags but these images are f’ed up. It wouldn’t make me want to go out and buy a croc bag. It actually makes me feel guilty if I do.

    • myc


    • Merve

      im with you

    • Mary

      Wally is an alligator. Good try though

  • birkel

    love the picture so love the idea of the actual kind being the almost the one that helps out in making people understand that it is a material provided by nature and that as long as the general kind survives there is no reason for such an uproar and making of a big issue the animal is just divine as are the bags and i hope it helps in proving that there is a way to coexist no one seems to mad about pictures of farmers wearing leather boots arround cows or goats so in my way of seing things no harm done ! greta photoshoot i loved it

  • ZJ

    Every good photo makes a statement which then sparks endless interpretations. I think we should be thankful for artists, including photographers, for giving us images which make us think and feel. How we choose to interpret the images–that is up to us and not the fault or responsibility of the artist. Whether you look at this and see the “circle of life” in which humans rightfully reap nature’s bounty, or whether you are upset because the photos remind you that animals are killed for fashion–is up to you. I wouldn’t blame the photographer. Focus on your own feelings and be greatful to the artist for giving you a venu to formulate them more clearly for yourself. (i.e. stop judging!!)

  • PhotoGirl

    As a photographer, I have to tell you that I think you hit it out of the park with these photographs. I love them! The sharpness, lighting, everything — divine! (Love the bags, too.) I know that your pictures are somewhat controversial and while I certainly respect everyone’s right to his or her opinion, I am sick to death of bland, politically-correct, people pleasing blogs. Telling a writer what the content of her blog should be is, IMO, no different than walking into somone’s home and telling them to rearrange the furniture. Not acceptable.

    So thank you, Megs and Vlad, for pushing the envelope and I hope that you’ll do it again.

  • John 5

    I agree with PhotoGirl 110%. I love the uniqueness of these photos. It’s not everyday you see magnificent photos like these.

  • finzup

    To me, the fact that they are edgy and “make you think” is what makes them art. When I first saw them I had a reaction. Good or bad, that’s what I think makes a great picture.

  • Beth

    I don’t see the problem with the photos. If you object to exotic skins being used for bags etc., then don’t buy them. I love handbags, but I won’t buy anything outside of leather. It’s my line and I’ve drawn it. However, these photos have nothing to do with animal cruelty. The alligator is just sitting there being an alligator. If his carcass had been propped up against the bag then I could see the issue but not a little alligator sitting alongside a crocodile handbag.

    Society as a whole has become far too removed from where their food and products originate and it needs to change. The chicken you eat used to walk around. The bag you carry probably used to graze in a field. I understand that it can be jarring to be confronted with how things are made, especially things involving animals. I’m not immune to it. I’m a vegetarian but I still wear leather shoes and carry leather handbags. One day I might go further, but I’m honest with myself and I know I love a leather bag. I know it used to be a cow. I’ve accepted it. Again like I said earlier, it’s the line I adhere to. I don’t expect anyone else to follow my lead.

    Having said all that, I think the photos are lovely. The light really is wonderful. I really appreciate all the insight into the bag industry that I get from reading this blog. It’s not just about pretty objects. Keep up the great and thought provoking work!

  • Joy

    I would have prefered to see more of the bags than Wally. I have no idea what the truffle hobo looks like.

  • Bagolicious

    I agree with Beth. I think the photos are beautiful, Wally is as cute as can be, and the photos are thought provoking. Personally, I haven’t eaten meat/ poultry for 33 years, as I feel much better physically not eating it. However, I never preach to meat eaters that they shouldn’t or don’t need to eat it. it’s a personal choice. To each his own.

    I had a meat-eating friend read me the riot act because I buy leather shoes and handbags. I really had to laugh at that one as I’ve known the friend nearly my entire life.

    The friend has this strong stance against animal cruelty which includes animals not living in a zoo environment. But, the friend eats meat? Hello. I pointed out very clearly that in my 33 years of not eating meat/poultry that I’ve spared more animal lives than in the friend’s lifetime of meat consumption. And I left it at that.

    I wear leather shoes and buy leather handbags and other leather products as most people do. I also have two crocodile species handbags, bought overseas. Everyone has his/her own line to draw. As for gators/crocs, there are plenty people who eat that kind of meat, even right here in the U.S. I’ve been traveling the world for 36 years and have seen it on restaurant menus in other parts of the world where to some cultures it’s as normal as westerners eating a steak/hamburger…cow…leather. And then there are cultures where the cow is sacred.

  • Mica

    I would like to agree with all the other positive opinions of the photos. :) i think they were very tastefully done, I also thought he little alligator was cute, and actually showed these bag pics to my DH. He wouldn’t have been interested in any other shots!
    Like others, I accept the facts that the bags I love and use came from an animal, so does the food I eat most of the time. I just liked the pictures, thank you for sharing them.

  • Toopie

    What camera does Vlad use? If more than one, which did he use for this shoot? Thanks!

    • For this particular shoot, I used the Canon 5D Mark II with the wide 16-35L lens. The leather close-ups were shot with the 100mm/2.8L Macro lens.

      • Toopie

        Thank you so much! Going to cut and paste. I do my own product photos and in need of a camera. Though mine did last me nearly 10 years.

  • mochababe73

    I ended up skipping alot of the comments so that I could get to mine. I am not a fan of croc or gator skin bags. It has nothing to do with animal cruelty because I grew up in the country and have seen pigs slaughtered. My great-grandfather was a chicken farmer. So, this whole animal thing is lost on me. Anyway, I just don’t like it because it always looks cheap to me. With that being said, I could see myself wearing that red bag. It is beautiful.

    The pictures are beautiful. I guess that some here would call me shallow, but I just don’t really care since I eat and wear animals yet still enjoy taking my children to the zoo.

  • janie

    NOT a good idea!!!

  • Suzie

    My biggest problem with this is that I don’t have $35,000 (or $19,500 for that matter) to buy one of those bags!

    • Jess

      That’s my problem with this post too! lol

  • Jazmi

    i think people should stop worrying about the pictures, if you really like alligator skin products, then why do you think it’s crude and perverted to show in an Artistical Shoot, an alligator?
    crude and perverted comes when you like the products, and if you do, than you don’t have to worry about these pictures, come on.

  • 19yearslater

    Wally is so cute in these pictures, and the bags are gorgeous. I seriously doubt he will be a bag as he lives in a habitat that teaches people about he and his kind.

  • David St.Moritz

    That’s very odd. Both of those skins have the characteristics of Alligator, not crocodile at all. I wonder why they claim to be crocodile. Did you ask Wally’s handler to check out the scale pattern on the bags and tell you which they were?


  • dawn

    I like the pictures.if it bothers people where the bag comes from simply don’t but it as for me I would but that’s just my opion

  • Kendra

    Not a big fan of the crock skin. (fb)

  • Adrienne Zedella

    need to see the whole bag (fb)

  • john

    i have a gator hanb bag of my wife thar has passon to a better place the bag has to gator heads on the bag it is from the 50@60 if you would to see it i will send picture. thank

  • Mousse

    I am just drooling… (ipad)

  • Pari

    It looks like the crocodile is looking for his mother. So bad, the bag is beautiful but the baby crocodile should never see the bags :( sick