Celebrities    Events    Nancy Gonzalez

63 Jaw-Dropping Exotic Handbags and the Celebrities Who Carried Them


Friday is National Handbag Day (did we already mention that?), and that means that our week is even more dedicated to handbags than it usually is. We profile at least one bag collection of some sort per week, whether it’s based on an individual’s ample closet or the attendees at a particular event, but because of the looming spectre of NHD, we wanted to do something a little extra this week. Exotic handbags, especially those made of alligator or crocodile, are designer bags taken to their logical extremes, so they seemed to fit the bill.

Celebrities are some of the only people in the world actually capable of purchasing one of these bags, which often soar well into the mid-five figures (and, in one case, the sixes), and that’s good, because these aren’t the kinds of bags that brands give out for free. Of the hundreds of thousands of dollars of bags you see below, you can bet that almost all of them were purchased instead of gifted.

When we know if a particular brand is alligator or crocodile because of the particular collection or the designer’s known preference, we’ve included that information. For all others, we’ve assumed crocodile–it’s the most common material for ultra-exotics. Enjoy the photos below.

Ashley Olsen
The Row Mini Alligator Tote
Shop The Row via farfetch.com

The Olsens’ brand debuted its handbag line with a $39,000 backpack, so of course these two carry a ton of exotics.


Chiara Ferragni
Chloé Python Drew Bag
$2,500 via Net-a-Porter

Chloé’s not a brand that automatically comes to mind when you think of exotics, but seeing how pretty this one is makes me wish it made more.


Chrissy Teigen
Valentino Crocodile Lock Bag
Shop Valentino via Saks

All ivory everything, including crocodile.


EJ Johnson
Chanel Alligator Flap Bag

Plenty of celebrities have exotic Birkins, but an exotic Classic Flap is a much rarer sight.


Jennifer Lopez
Hermès Crocodile Birkin

Jennifer Lopez’s entire existence feels like a crocodile Birkin to me.


Kate Upton
Christian Dior Open Bar Crocodile Bag

Kate is a big fan of exotics–look below for more evidence.


Maria Shriver
Hermès Crocodile Birkin

Maria Shriver is a Kennedy who was married to one of the biggest movie stars of all time for decades. Of course she has some expensive bags.


Maria Shriver
Hermès Crocodile Birkin

And at least two crocodile Birkins, by our count.


Nicky Hilton
Bottega Veneta Python Knot Clutch
Shop Bottega Veneta via Neiman Marcus

The classic Knot in natural python is a stunning combination.


Olivia Palermo
Analeena Dynasty Bag

This gorgeous bicolor bag is a perfect way to make a casual outfit pop.


Olivia Palermo
Christian Dior Lady Dior Pocket Bag

“Stunning.” (Imagine that in the voice of Christian from Clueless.)


Irina Shyak
Hermès Crocodile Birkin

There is no more luxurious way to tell the paparazzi to get out of your face than to swing your brand new, glossy croc Birkin at them while you swat them away.

Celebrity Exotic Handbags-1

Victoria Beckham
Hermès Crocodile Birkin

Victoria almost always carries bags from her own brand now, but she has an incredible Hermès collection in her arsenal as well. The color on this bag is incredible.

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Sarah Jessica Parker
Fendi Python Spy Bag

Spy bags were made in a handbag era when exotics were much less prevalent, so this beautifully color-varied snakeskin version is quite notable.

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Daphne Guinness
Hermès Crocodile Birkin

Daphne’s fashion archives would be a dream come true for any fashion lover, and although the paparazzi doesn’t follow her as ardently as it does pop stars and actresses, it’s always fun to see what she’s carrying when they get a few snaps of her.

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Hermès Crocodile Birkin

Bey once said she’s never buy an exotic Hermès bag because the prices were ridiculous, but it appears as though she changed her mind.

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Crown Princess Mary of Denmark
Hermès Crocodile Birkin

What other bag would an actual European royal carry, if not an exotic Hermès?

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Poppy Delevingne
Fendi Crocodile Bag

I don’t know for an absolute certainty that this bag is real crocodile, but the faux stuff almost always lacks the depth of texture that you can see here. Also, Poppy Delevingne is fantastically rich.

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Ashley Olsen
The Row Day Luxe Alligator Tote
Shop The Row via farfetch.com

The Olsens were carrying rare, exotic bags while they were still in college, so of course their own line is full of extra-pricey alligator.

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Miranda Kerr
Balenciaga Crocodile Part Time Bag
Shop Balenciaga via Barneys

Balenciaga made very few of these exotic Motorcycle bags, so it’s always notable to spot one.

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Jennifer Lopez
Hermès Crocodile Birkin

Jennifer Lopez carrying a five-figure handbags that matches her orange tracksuit is almost self-parody at this point.

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Tamara Eccelstone
Hermès Crocodile Birkin

This color is so beautiful that it may very well be my favorite bag on the list.

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Petra Ecclestone
Hermès So Black Alligator Birkin

Petra shall not be outdone by her sister.

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Ashley Olsen
The Row Alligator Doctor Bag
Shop The Row via farfetch.com

This is another contender for my favorite bag on the list; the shape is classic and minimal, and the blue-grey color is so interesting.

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Florence Welch
Dolce & Gabbana Python Sicily Bag
Shop Dolce & Gabbana via MATCHESFASHION.COM

It always surprises me that Dolce & Gabbana doesn’t make more crocodile and alligator bags; the company’s clientele certainly has the money for them.

Celebrity Exotic Handbags-14

Kate Upton
Céline Crocodile Luggage Tote

While many celebrities have the cash for exotic bags, a select group seems to really, really love buying them over all else. Kate Upton is firmly in that group and has been since she became famous.

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Kris Jenner
Hermès Crocodile Birkin

I’ve seen this picture of Kris a million times, and every time, I’m struck by how gorgeous the color of her bag is.

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Lady Gaga
Versace Signature Python Tote
$2,763 via farfetch.com

Gaga doesn’t carry as many exotics as you might expect, but this gorgeous lavender snakeskin is of particular note.

Celebrity Exotic Handbags-17

Maria Shriver
Hermès Crocodile Birkin

Even if she weren’t famous and accomplished in her own right, Maria is exactly the kind of woman you’d expect to buy and carry (regularly, from the worn-in look of this bag) exotic Hermès: a well-bred former First Lady of California.

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Tamara Ecclestone
Hermès Himalayan Crocodile Birkin

When you’re an heiress to a billion-dollar fortune, an extremely rare crocodile handbag seems like the perfect courtside companion at a Lakers game.

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We don’t know who made this backpack (Margiela, perhaps?), but it seemed worth mentioning that men sometimes love exotic bags as much as women do.

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Marjorie Harvey
Hermès Himalayan Birkin with Pavé Diamond Hardware

Steve Harvey’s wife Marjorie is the source of a number of the most interesting bags on this list, and this one is inarguably the rarest and most expensive.

Celebrity Exotic Handbags-22

Anna Dello Russo
Bulgari Isabella Rossellini Alligator Bag
$28,000 via Bulgari

Carrying a handbag that costs more than many cars is a perfect opportunity for a contemplative moment at fashion week.

Celebrity Exotic Handbags-23

Kate Upton
Christian Dior Alligator Diorissimo Tote

This is the most casual outfit you’ll ever see paired with any five-figure piece of Dior.

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Amber Heard
Alexander McQueen Python Heroine Bag
$5,995 via Net-a-Porter

McQueen is another brand that’s been somewhat more tentative about getting into the most high-dollar of exotics, but this beautiful blue python specimen makes us wish they’d give it a shot.

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Jada Pinkett-Smith
Hermès Crocodile Birkin

Personally, I’d love to be swaddled in a giant, cashmere blanket-coat with a very expensive handbag.

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Tamara Ecclestone
Hermès Himalayan Crocodile Birkin

For how few of these bags were made, famous people sure do own a lot of them.

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Daphne Guinness
Hermès Crocodile Birkin

I wonder what it’s like to be rich enough that you use a five-figure handbag as a regular carryall that can be stuffed absolutely full if necessary.

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Ashley Olsen
The Row Alligator Carryall
Shop The Row via farfetch.com

Ashley is rarely seen without an exotic bag from The Row over the past few years.

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Emmy Rossum
Ralph Lauren Alligator Ricky Bag
$22,500 via Ralph Lauren

Brands rarely give out exotic bags, even to very famous celebrities, but Emmy’s long-standing relationship with Ralph Lauren may very well have netted her this one.

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Marjorie Harvey
Christian Dior Crocodile Lady Dior Bag

I told you that Marjorie wouldn’t disappoint.

Celebrity Exotic Handbags-31

Kirsten Dunst
Salvatore Ferragamo Alligator Sofia Top Handle Bag
Shop Ferragamo via Bloomingdale’s

Kirsten isn’t the woman I’d normally peg as a lover of exotics, but she certainly has the cash for them.

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Olivia Palermo
Christian Dior Lady Dior Alligator Bag

I’m guessing Olivia had to send this one back after her appearance at the Spring 2015 Dior show, but it’s pretty nonetheless.

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Marjorie Harvey
Valentino Crocodile VaVaVoom Bag
Shop Valentino via Net-a-Porter

My favorite thing about Marjorie’s collection is that her exotics go well beyond the standard Hermès bags that many celebs have.

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Marjorie Harvey
Louis Vuitton Deesse MM Bag
$32,500 via Louis Vuitton

See what we mean?

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Tamara Ecclestone
Céline Phantom Luggage Tote

I’m making an educated guess on this bag, but it certainly doesn’t look like any of the embossed Céline bags I’ve ever seen.

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Petra Ecclestone
Hermès Crocodile Birkin

This bag, on the other hand, is certainly not embossed.

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Petra Ecclestone
Hermès So Black Alligator Kelly Bag

This exotic Kelly might be the rarest of the rare So Black collection bags; Petra’s is the only one I’ve ever seen on a real, live human being.

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Tamara Ecclestone
Hermès Crocodile Birkin

Does it get any prettier than ivory croc?

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Kim Kardashian
Bottega Veneta Vendôme Crocodile Shoulder Bag
Shop Bottega Veneta via Net-a-Porter

This bag once sat on my desk, and it was just about as beautiful as a bag can be. The sueded, blue-grey crocodile is perfection.

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Kim Kardashian
Hermès So Black Alligator Birkin

Speaking of exotic, Kardashian-owned perfection…

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Kate Upton
Chanel Alligator 2.55 Reissue Flap Bag

Kate has extremely sophisticated taste in exotic handbags for her relatively young age.

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Padma Lakshmi
Hermès Ostrich Birkin

It seems as though Padma has so far declined to go for full-on croc, but we like this ostrich version of the Birkin quite a bit.

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Anna Dello Russo
Valentino Alligator Scarab Bag
Shop Valentino via Net-a-Porter

Anna always gets loaned the weirdest, most expensive things to wear to Fashion Week.

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Anna Dello Russo
Prada Crocodile Bag

Prada has been relatively exotics-shy in its major production bags, and Anna’s is the only version I’ve ever seen of this shape in any leather.

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Anna Dello Russo
Bulgari Isabella Rossellini Alligator Bag

It’s genuinely impressive how perfectly this bag matches the print in Anna’s dress.

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Anna Dello Russo
Valentino VaVaVoom Alligator Bag
Shop Valentino via Net-a-Porter

Sure, this is an impressive bag, but just look at her jacket.

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Miroslava Duma
Hermès Crocodile Kelly Bag

Mira has the best collection of tiny Kelly bags of anyone I’ve ever seen.

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Marjorie Harvey
Fendi Alligator Mini Peekaboo
$19,500 via Bergdorf Goodman

Marjorie, if you need to clean out your closet, please call me.

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Selita Ebanks
Chanel Quilted Python Flap Bag

Don’t let Selita’s normcore baseball cap distract you from her beautiful bag.

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Kim Kardashian
Hermès Himalayan Crocodile Birkin

My favorite thing about this photo is that Kim’s Birkin was new, and you can tell that she planned her outfit around it.

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Victoria Beckham
Hermès Himalayan Crocodile Birkin

Victoria, on the other hand, chose to mix her Himalayan Birkin with other neutrals.

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Alessandra Ambrosio
Chanel Quilted Python Classic Flap Bag

“Hey look, mom, I found some people who are jealous of your handbag!”

Celebrity Exotic Handbags-55

Lapo Elkann
Gucci Crocodile Briefcase
Shop via Gucci

Again, it’s not just women who appreciate a well-done exotic leather.

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Victoria Beckham
Victoria Beckham Crocodile Hexagonal Chain Bag
Shop Victoria Beckham via Net-a-Porter

Victoria loves exotic bags so much that she now makes her own.

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Anna Wintour
Louis Vuitton Crocodile Old Speedy Flap Bag

Anna Wintour very, very rarely carries a bag of any kind, but when she does, it’s a doozy.

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Ashley Olsen
Hermès Crocodile Constance Bag

This bag is probably vintage, which makes it all the more special.

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Ashley Olsen
Fendi Crocodile Tote

This bag, on the other hand, is definitely vintage, and people got so excited about it once they saw Ashley with it that Fendi reissued a similar design, dubbing it the Twins Tote.

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Ashley Olsen
The Row Alligator Day Luxe Carryall Bag
Shop The Row via farfetch.com

At this point, I’d almost be shocked not to see an exotic bag on Ashley’s arm at any given time.

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Ashley Olsen
The Row Alligator Backpack
$42,045 via farfetch.com

I would do a lot of dastardly things to own this bag.

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Ashley Olsen
The Row Alligator Shoulder Bag
Shop The Row via farfetch.com

It only seemed right to end on an Olsen note.

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Leave a Comment

  1. AshleyG Avatar

    *DROOL* at these bags AND your site’s new format!!! <3

    1. Vlad Dusil Avatar
      Vlad Dusil

      We love the positive feedback as we were looking to make the user experience more pleasant! So thank you!

      1. Nini Avatar

        Hi, I absolutelly love new format of the site, just one thing, can not find search window. Is it gone or I’m just not seeing it?

      2. Vlad Dusil Avatar
        Vlad Dusil

        Click the little search icon in the top right corner of the screen, that should open the search console!

  2. c.Miller Avatar

    Loved the post & the commentary!

  3. Guest Avatar

    I tend to like python and ostrich bags but I am not fond of alligator or crocodile.

  4. Cara M Avatar
    Cara M

    Love the bags and love the new site. Just wanted to point out one thing that drives me nuts. When I hit the back button it takes me back one slide at at time, so in this case, I’d have it hit it 63 times to get to the home page. I know of course I can go straight to the home page, but I would prefer to be able to hit the back button only once or twice. Doesn’t seem very user friendly that it breaks it into 60 some “pages” when it all shows on one page. But that being said, I love the post, love the bags, love the site. 🙂

    1. Vlad Dusil Avatar
      Vlad Dusil

      Cara, we are addressing this “back button issue” today and should have a fix live later today! Thanks for your feedback.

  5. Marnie Avatar

    The only bag I love in this list is: Ashley’s Constance, Kim’s Bottega shoulder, Florence’s Dolce, and Beyoncé’s Hermès. The rest, not impressed, specially the Ecclestone sisters, all they carry are Birkin’s. They maybe richer than God, but their style is boring and bland.

    Regarding Beyoncé not buying exotic bags for herself, she doesn’t have to. Several years ago, supposedly, her husband dropped 350k on Hermès bags for her. Nice.

    1. Amanda Mull Avatar

      Perhaps it’s because my family is not super traditional about gift-giving, but to me, the money’s still coming out of the same bank account(s). It’s a distinction that I don’t understand.

  6. Stina Sias Avatar
    Stina Sias

    I don’t like any of these, but I have kind of a problem with exotics in general for the same reason I don’t wear fur- there’s so much cruelty involved in getting these skins 🙁 That said, I don’t even get the aesthetic. But I love looking through these long collections 🙂

  7. Pennydreadful Avatar

    This may well be one of the most incredible bag collection lists I’ve ever seen on PB. A million thanks. And as others have said, LOVE the new format on your site! You guys did a great job on the revamp.

    1. Another Fad Avatar
      Another Fad

      All fairly conservative…which surprised me…but certainly lovely classic handbags as well as “break the bank” crazy expensive…for most.

  8. Kel1009 Avatar

    Sorry if I’m just missing this, but what happened to the “view all” feature?? That is so much better than hitting the forward arrow multiple times. Is it gone or am I totally just not seeing it? TIA!

    1. Vlad Dusil Avatar
      Vlad Dusil

      On your desktop the articles appear automatically all on one page already. On your mobile, you can swipe between the images to navigate.

      1. sheila Avatar

        So you decided your visitors would be best served by making the site less user friendly?

  9. sheila Avatar

    I’m wondering where the view all option went. It was a great part of your website.

  10. Gianna Avatar

    i’m pretty sure Jay-Z’s backpack is Balenciaga. But I never saw one in snakeskin though…

  11. W1202 Avatar

    IMHO i prefer the “view all” feature. But this post is awesomeee!! Love it

  12. Yrfdes Rfew Avatar
    Yrfdes Rfew

    It would of been usefull / interesting to put the actual colours like rouge vif , miel etc with the Birkins.

    1. Amanda Mull Avatar

      With how many colors Hermès makes and the vagaries of paparazzi photos and lighting, it would mostly just be our best guess even if we tried.

      1. Yrfdes Rfew Avatar
        Yrfdes Rfew

        Well these are main colours that you have presented here – apart from the black , I can pick out VB miel croc birkin , rouge vif etc . If you work for a purse forum /purse blog and you know what you are talking/ writing about . you should be able to pick out most of the birkin colours by sight or have the journalistic knowledge / resources / skills to find out ? EG you could actually ask Hermes or you can reference your own purse forum reference thread for the colours maybe ?

  13. Shang Avatar

    Regarding the Hermes So black Croc Kelly, the only other person I’ve seen with it is Jamie Chua.

  14. MrMotivations Avatar

    “They’re all lizard, lizard, lizard! No canines were injured in the manufacturing of these bags. After all, we’re priceless, thank god!”

  15. AV Avatar

    I like Gaga’s, that’s about it. (And she looks great too.) The rest look cheap despite the price. Hermes is ugly. I don’t get the appeal.

  16. viennaprinzessin Avatar

    Who knew Marjorie Harvey had such the collection? Wow, Family Feud must pay well!

    1. Guest Avatar

      He also has a talk show, radio show, several best selling books, and tours, so yep Steve is raking it in.

      1. viennaprinzessin Avatar

        Wow, had no idea!

  17. vintagemaven Avatar

    Beautiful bags, thanks for doing this. I don’t think all the snakeskins are actually python, which as the distinctive pattern we see in slides 3 and 14. Slides 17 and 25 could be cobra.

    1. Amanda Mull Avatar

      It seems as though even when brands use non-python snakeskin, they often call it python (or the retailer deems it python because consumers are familiar with it), so that muddies the waters for identification purposes a bit.

  18. Olivia Avatar

    You guys should do a feature of Steve Harvey’s wife Majorie’s bags. She’s actually got quite some style!

    1. Amanda Mull Avatar

      I WISH our photo agency had more images of her on file. I’d love to see more of her bags. From what I can tell, she buys really special pieces from a very wide range of brands.

  19. Anya Avatar

    Ashley’s croc fendi takes my breath away.

  20. Mildred Ford Avatar
    Mildred Ford

    I can really now see the difference b/w alligator and crocodile. Gotta give the Olsen twins credit. There bags are my favorite, especially the first blue one.

  21. Kerri F Avatar
    Kerri F

    Man oh man there are some snippy people in the comments. If you don’t like the blog – DON’T READ THE BLOG!!!!

  22. Penny Wen Avatar
    Penny Wen

    It is nice bag collection from Louis Vuitton those Haute magoquinerie line, I just received my triangle croco bag yesterday, very happy about it

  23. Penny Wen Avatar
    Penny Wen

    I just received my very dream bag, my triangle bag from Haute Maroquinerie collection….have to said I’m very much happy with the weight though….wasn’t as heavy as the birkin croco bag

  24. Penny Wen Avatar
    Penny Wen

    Love the Haute Maroquinarie line as I just received my very own triangle personalized crocodile bag

  25. Gloria Ortiz Avatar
    Gloria Ortiz

    Pretty much all of them except for a few were mediocre-just because they are celebrities does not mean they are going to have unique tastes

  26. h Avatar

    Moth of Maria Shrivers bags are fake. You can tell by the lack of the stamp identifying whether the bag is Porosus croc niloticus croc or alligator. The second you can tell from the texture.

    1. Alexis Frost Avatar
      Alexis Frost

      Ya I think so too. They look suspicious to me. Wonder why she bought replicas since she obviously can afford the real deal. Or were they given to her? Hmmm………

  27. Phan Avatar

    I Don’t Know What All The Fuss Is About BUT The Website Works Just Fine. I Don’t Have Any Issues As Stated From Other Readers. Maybe You Guys Need To Get Better Phones/Computers?! Change Your Settings?

  28. Style Advisor Avatar

    love this type of bags, im going to buy one like those!

  29. Veit Bui Avatar
    Veit Bui

    BEST post to date. I’m visually diabetic from all these eye candy ˆ_ˆ
    I love exotic too…it just takes everything to the next level. You can’t just call it a Celine, Hermes, or Chanel; it’s a python Chanel, lizard Celine, or croc Hermes ^_^

  30. mary Avatar

    for something rare such as the himalayan croc birkins, we sure see a lot of them

  31. Bianca Mosca Avatar

    I know I’m blowing my own trumpet but you can definitely see the superiority of alligator as an exotic material. Interesting also that most of these bags are in matte. Shiny/glazed is a much more mature look-a bit like channeling Wallis Simpson! With the exception of Hermes, all of these bags are made in Italy.

  32. Jess Avatar

    I dont know if this has already been mentioned but slide 31 has another blue birkin in the background! I’m quite happy paying for fake croc skin, would rather spend my money elsewhere than buy a real croc skin handbag.

  33. Scottsdale Kim Avatar
    Scottsdale Kim

    I dont know if Maria Shriver’s bags are real but the one looks like it could use a trip to the Hermes spa.

  34. Another Fad Avatar
    Another Fad

    Hermes Crocodile Birkin anyone?

  35. Melissa Avatar

    I have a Nancy Gonzalez I’m selling for $1,200 if anyone is interested.

  36. MoHyGlee Avatar

    I enjoy exotic bags and have quite the collection.

  37. Kerosene Avatar

    The last photo and the green Constance are Mary Kate not Ashley.