If you happen to be doing some last-minute shopping before fall kicks in at full swing, the choices on the market may appear a little overwhelming. What designer should you buy from – and in which shade and material? Do you opt for suede or shearling? Should you perhaps get a mini bag or a maxi? And if the (numerous) offerings of a single brand weren’t enough, there are collections born out of brand partnerships, so you can get Gucci and Balenciaga in one purse (a Gucciaga?), or Fendi and Versace in another (called Fendace). All-over logos and bold prints, that’s what the present styles seem to be as people move out of post-COVID anxiety, and lovers of maximalism (myself included) are in for a treat.
However, there are simply those times when you want a very cozy and, one might say, “homey” bag to fall back on, something that’ll get you everywhere and hug you in all the right places while still managing to look stylish. And for those occasions specifically, rich tan leather is unmatched. Feeling lazy but don’t want to go all-black? Your tan purse provides the perfect contrast. Layering up and in need of something versatile? Tan is the name of the game. Perfectly reminiscent of the late-autumn pumpkin delicacies your grandma used to make, my obsession with tan handbags in particular dates back to the Sac de Jour, and I continually remain enamored with it, despite having recently acquired a Proenza Schouler PS1 in the very tan-like shade of Saddle.
When it comes to tan leather though, I’ve often found that I tend to prefer less hardware and more leather details like braids, paneling, and piping (I can’t help but fall in love with the extra ornamental flap on my PS1 every time I touch it!). Plus, if the leather is of the gorgeous lush pebbled variety, slouchy-but-not-fall-flat-on-your-face soft and full of character, could you even resist it? I’m tempted to say “dee-licious”, but I digress.
Now, I’ve seen the Chloé Marcie before. It’s been in existence since 2009, so one is bound to, but it never really caught my eye until very recently. It’s pretty low-key in the sense that it doesn’t have any blaring logos (except a little embossed one on the front flap), most of its colors are comforting tones of neutral, and even in the bold shades of Smoked Red or python, it commands grace and not excessive attention. When I recently came across the Chloé Marcie in tan on the brand’s website while scrolling to check out Gabriela Hearst’s new backpack in collaboration with Sheltersuit, however, it simply happened upon me. Honestly, I have no other way to put it. Everything, from its very structured and braided top-handle, lusciously curvy leather body, saddle-shaped flap (the PS1 has opened my eyes to equestrian style), large size (because, of course, I’m a sucker for all things big), and most importantly, that rich shade of tobacco, drew me in like a magnet. Tan is, of course, present in nearly all brand’s lineups, and they’re mostly always pretty looking, but Chloe’s tan, somehow, is infinitely deeper. It’s that shade of the Paddington that I really liked, but in the Marcie, with its much more leathery outlook, the shade truly wins.
I totally sound like a fan-girl by this point, but it’s for good reason because HAVE YOU EVEN CHECKED OUT THE MARCIE YET? No? Wish to know a little history about Chloé? Of course, you do! So here it goes: founded in 1952 by Gaby Aghion, Chloé was one of the first brands to pioneer ready-to-wear and was helmed by some of the most legendary Creative Directors of our time like Karl Lagerfeld and Stella McCartney. However, its venture into leatherware began with Phoebe Philo, whose iconic creation, the Paddington, earned a permanent spot in the It-bag hall of fame. But the Paddington wasn’t the only memorable bag in Chloe’s repertoire; there was the Silverado, the Alice, and the Edith, which recently saw a revival under Gabriela Hearst. And with each passing bag from the fashion house, they became significantly more leather-focused, developing intricate details, displaying remarkable craftsmanship and rounding them off with gorgeous Aniline finishes, the culmination of which was the Marcie. Created by Hannah McGibbon in 2010, this hobo-esque saddle-like carryall does it all – it’s chic, understated, recognizable, and spacious, channeling bohemian style with the Parisienne je ne sais quoi. In fact, it perfectly echoes the label’s founder, Aghion’s motto,
“I lived the life I wanted to. I always wanted to remain independent, so I went for it. I had incredible strength and boldness.”
Plus, the mini Marcie, an updated and more 2020s appropriate take on the original carryall, is reminiscent of the shape of the perfume bottle from the brand’s first fragrance, launched in 1975. Could you get any more classic than this? Probably not. And finally, if Jérôme Dreyfuss’ bags (with their masculine names) were the Parisian answer to boyfriends, the Chloé Marcie is bound to become your girl best friend! In fact, when you look at candid pictures of celebs like Jessica Alba, Rachel Bilson, and Reese Witherspoon carrying the Marcie, you immediately notice how strikingly comfy they are – no over-the-top outfits, no bling, and glitz, only pure, effortless chic!
Whether you carry it for work or on nights out, whether you opt for the irresistible tobacco leather or its equally palatable suede iterations, the Marcie can do no wrong. I am more than just a little tempted to snag Marcie, and guess what? Its strong flowing lines make the perfect case for a men’s bag as well – if that’s not obsession-inducing, I don’t know what is!