One complaint I’ve long had with Balmain’s handbags and shoes is that they never seem to embody the luxe-punk aesthetic of the brand in quite the way that the clothes so convincingly do. As the old saying goes, it looks like I should have been careful what I wished for.

For what it’s worth, the Balmian Safety Pin Leather Clutch is a bag that finally looks like it belongs under the same name as Christophe Decarnin’s ready-to-wear. As it turns out, though, that’s not such a great thing.

Look, I get the whole punk thing. I had a black crossbody bag covered with safety pins when I was in high school, and it’s probably still in the back of my closet somewhere. But that bag was cool, not only because I was 17, but because I had bought it at a thrift store and put the safety pins on it myself. I was an actual part of the subculture that the look represented, unlike the millionaires (and the models who spend their money) who will buy this clutch with its artfully pre-arranged safety pins and not realize that not only do they look very 2009, but they also look like morons because they spent a grand to have someone else attach safety pins to a black envelope clutch. Although if you like this bag, I have a one-of-a-kind crossbody I’d like to sell you.

I dunno, you guys. I’m just feeling a little aggro today. Let’s call it Fashion Week stress. Still, though, my point stands. Balmain needs to take a lesson from Alexander McQueen on how to translate this aesthetic to luxurious, artful accessories. Buy through Neiman Marcus for $1210.

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Lulugurl

    God that is awful…at that price..blech…

    The only thing I like is the turnlock closure!

  • lisa

    i think the turnlock clashes with the safety pin. a hidden snap would have been better. not feeling it.

  • edoardo

    Amazing, I love the pins…so Balmain. Oh yeyou are right this is really a cute Balmain bag ;)

  • Mochababe73

    The price is a bit much. Safety pins are cheap, but I guess that we’re paying for the leather.
    Since they can’t be removed, I would say no. The clutch would have been better without them. The crinkle black leather is enough edge.

  • Ping

    this is so not original as the bag is a ripoff of chanel style bag with safety pins on it. I went thru my punk phase at 14/15, but tell me what 14/15 year old should have a $1200 bag even if the parents can afford it.
    All the these “bag” designers have not much originality now days and most of them are probably made by the same manufacturers. It’s a pity because now they are charging ridiculous amount of money for pure crap and i don’t care if they have a designer name attach to it.

  • papertiger

    Oh deary dear :~#

  • micky1311

    Ping is right!!…but I can explain better the situation because I’m a leathergoods designer ..Well,It’s easy, when you see a “pure crap bag”,you can be sure that it is made by a rtw designer.
    To realize a nice quality bag you need strong technical knowledge and loooong experience.”Clothes” designers think that create a bag it’s simple….BUT look at here what is the result…OMG !!!

  • Vitta

    Actually, safety pins have been used as handbag accents for a long time (see Schiaparelli or Koret safety pin bags ca 1930s). They are pretty much in the same category as spiky studs. So, it would be illogical to claim that studded bags are “classy”, yet the bags with safety pins are “cheap”. They have always implied rebellious spirit and the fact that such upscale brands as Chanel and Balmain adapted them into their luxurious, high-end designs should not be a surprise, because the general trend in fashion has moved toward the intentionally “grungy” look. As for this particular piece, I myself won’t wear it at my age, but I’m sure it will be noticed by well-to-do people who are in this trend. The crinkle effect on the leather is wonderful! Hope Balmain will use it in different designs as well.

  • 19yearslater

    It looks sloppy. The thing with it being safety pins is that, like Amanda pointed out, it would be SO EASY to DIY this bag instead of buying it. Ask any high school girl with safety pins on her hoody and bag as well as in her ears.

  • Graciella

    I will never understand Balmain aesthetics, nor their prices – even though a few (very few) of their jackets are ok their prices are plain ridiculous. This bag is truyly Balmain: overpriced, not very original and cheap looking.

  • babe

    hahaha had this style DIY like in 1980???
    very interesting though how many brands are convincing for example in RTW and fail in bags (or: amazing shoes, horrible bags, KWIM?)