Buzz Worthy

Is This Ralph Lauren Ricky the Future of Handbags?

There is only so much you can do with a handbag, which is why finding a great design when it comes to aesthetic, quality and price is so important. The vast majority of the time, designers are not looking to reinvent the handbag or what it means to consumers. Ralph Lauren is on the cutting edge when it comes to social media and technology, and now the brand is bringing a little of that to one of its bags.

The iconic Ralp Lauren Ricky bag is now available in a version with four LED lights that activate when the bag is opened, as well as an integrated USB port to charge your mobile phone while you’re on the go.

The bag has a snapped pocket at the back wall and an internal battery at the front wall, and a leather-covered button displays the internal battery-power reserve when pressed. The interior leather flap contains the LED lights, which are activated when the flap is lifted. As for the USB port, it’s at the front wall of the interior and will charge mobile phones with a micro USB port at the front wall that charges the bag’s internal battery. Other than the tech updates, the bag remains the same, with smooth calfskin and a contrast purple lining, also in calfskin.

Ralph Lauren Ricky with Light and USB 1

I’m so intrigued by this bag, and I’m hoping I can get a sample to try it out and report back. I want to see if this works well, if it makes the bag heavier and if the lights are helpful, as well as seeing if it feels like the way designers will be moving in the future.

For now, this is the first of its kind from a well-known designer, and the price reflects it. I’m hoping the price will come down, because I can’t imagine many people splurging on a couple LED lights and a USB charger for 100% price bump. This Ricky will set you back $5,000, while the ‘regular’ version of this size is only $2,500.

Buy via Ralph Lauren for $5,000.


Leave a Comment

  1. funny Avatar

    I saw this bag in Bergdorf last week. And I did try it out, it’s convenient to have lights and phone charger, and it’s different leather than the regular ricky bag. It’s so much thicker and stand tall, not going to slouch in the future. But I don’t think I’ll buy it, just because I could just buy a phone battery pack, and led flash light cheap, and put them in any bag . The price is just way high.

    1. Stina Sias Avatar
      Stina Sias

      You’re right, it seems like this would be really attractive as an add-on that you could swap out into different bags. The whole concept seems like a great idea for one of those “As seen on TV” products like those kangaroo pouches 😀

    2. ninakix Avatar

      I don’t know if I’d like this bag in such a stiff shape… Not that the bag is particularly attractive to me in the first place?

  2. Lori Avatar

    I love the LED idea. I am constantly using my cell phone “light” to find my keys in my Lockit PM, so a little help seeing in any bag sounds like a great option. As for the phone charger, I think that is extra weight and apparently, price, that is just not necessary.

  3. anon Avatar

    $5000?!?! I’ll just stick to portable chargers and feeling my hand around in my bag until I find what I’m looking for. This is a really good idea though. Hopefully in the future this will be more common and therefore affordableX)

  4. justa9url Avatar

    I agree with most of the comments thus far; it’s a great concept to have the integrated LED lights and USB port but (a) the price is more than I’m willing to shell out for these perks and (b) the bag becomes dated, or aka it’s not timeless because who knows how much long USB charging will be relevant. In addition, what happens when these items stop working? Can they be replaced? And at what cost?

    1. Megs Mahoney Dusil Avatar

      All great questions and points being raised!

  5. Gpc Avatar

    Didn’t Jerome Dreyfuss way back when put a small led flashlight attached to a leather strap inside his bags?

    1. c.Miller Avatar

      Yes! I had one!

  6. Aliza Zibkoff Avatar
    Aliza Zibkoff

    I hope that battery has some kind of electro radiation shielding. I wouldn’t want to be carrying around an electromagnetic field where ever I go especial so close to torso (and lady parts!!)

  7. kindled Avatar

    Great idea, although I don’t love the Ricky, so I hope to see these features integrated in other bags–and for less. I suspect some really classic brands, like Hermes and Chanel, will be long time hold outs on this tech.

  8. Archana Avatar

    The ulgy hardware ! i will never give this bag a chance.

  9. Immodest Goddess Avatar
    Immodest Goddess

    Great idea but no so great price.

  10. ninakix Avatar

    The price for these features is *ridiculous*. But I think the major issue for me is that I just wouldn’t want another thing to charge at night. I personally don’t know that it’s enough of an issue for me to use a light. I just keep small items in little pouches and such so I can find them, and I keep my keys on a lanyard anyways, since I use(d to use) the lanyard around my neck when I run (ran). As for the built in charger, personally, I use the Bolt charger which charges my phone AND can be taken with you and used as an external battery, so there’s nothing extra to charge, really.

  11. Theodora Koullias Avatar
    Theodora Koullias

    Great article, great comments. These are the same internal questions we had when we were developing The 314 Handbag at Jon Lou: technological staying power, usefulness and ease of features, price point.

    That’s why we developed our bag with newly engineered technology out of the labs of MIT. With The 314, you can charge your iPhone 6 for an entire month, and you’d never need to plug in your bag and remember to charge yet another item. The lights (and the intensity of them) turn on depending on the ambient environment, so the bag’s interior will be brighter in the back of a cab at night, versus at the dinner table.

    There is also a mobile app that learns your individual charging behavior to understand how much power you will need and when, so you never have to think about or plan when to charge your devices…tablet included, because The 314 can charge two devices at once.

    And all of this happens with a bag that is as light as your average luxury leather handbag, in the same agreeable Made in Italy price zone, and with the same attention to detail and quality…no 100% price jack.

    You can learn more about it at I’d love to hear everyone’s feedback. –Thea

  12. Ellejays11 Avatar

    Call me a bit old fashioned, but I don’t want my handbags to go “digital” or electronic. I like my bags to be classic and timeless in both their design and function. It sort of ties it to the past for me, and I can imagine decades of women using the bag every day in similar ways. Of course the contents have evolved; I’m not sure I want wires and lights inside my bag. Then again, I don’t much like change and I still carry a paper daytimer 😉

    I also don’t see much difference in carrying an extra phone battery in your purse vs having your purse house the extra battery that you can charge from. I know some of my bags that close with clasps, and not full zippers, come open when I’m going about the day. I would hate for the light to come on and off randomly when activated accidentally, though I know the Ricky fastens pretty securely with the lock clasp.

  13. FashionableLena Avatar

    Just left Michael’s, and the Kangaroo Purse Organizer has one that now has LED lights. $9.99 for two.
    To be honest, I don’t need my handbag to do anything but carry my stuff. This, for me, is not a selling point.