British PurseBlog readers, I need your help on this one. As an American, I’m not too familiar with Matthew Williamson, although I’ve seen enough of his clothing to understand a bit of his aesthetic. So, to the Brits out there, I humbly inquire: what makes the Matthew Williamson Dark Escape Box Clutch worth $1200? Am I missing something? Because it’s not leather or any kind of exotic. It’s silk. Pretty silk, but still silk. Its information on Net-a-Porter doesn’t indicate that it’s hand painted or anything of that nature. It’s not crystal-encrusted. So…what gives?

Matthew Williamson Dark Escape Box Clutch

Is the brand’s name strong enough in the UK to merit that kind of cash for a 6″ wide silk clutch? If it is, then that’s insane. I think I would scoff at any American designer trying to do the same. The colors would spice up a solid color outfit, and I like the name. The kaleidoscope effect is cute, as is the big tassel, but nothing about this is explaining to me why I need to spend so much money on it. Until someone else explains it to me, I think I’ll pass. Buy through Net-a-Porter for $1200.

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • chloehandbags

    I really like this clutch, but ITA that it’s overpriced; especially in dollars.

    If you look on the UK NAP site (click on your country at the top of the page, then click on ‘United Kingdom’ on the International Site drop-down menu) and you’ll see that it’s ‘only’ £550 over here.

    Still probably double, or even triple, what it should be, though!

    Matthew Williamson is a famous British fashion designer who, until recently, also designed for Emilio Pucci (in addition to his own name R-T-W line).

    He is particularly well-known for his beautiful prints (hence the Pucci gig!).

    His S/S ’04 collection was probably his most famous for his own line and later, prints from it appeared on limited edition Coke bottles, which were sold in Selfridges in London.

    I have some of those Coke bottles and also, a gorgeous (though I say so myself! LOL!) wrap dress from the collection, made from one of those prints (it’s black, with pink and purple leopard and peacock feather motifs on it), which I bought from NAP well before I knew about the Coke bottle release.

    I also have an amazing, paisley patterned, flocked ponyskin (calfskin) Matthew Williamson clutch, which I love, from 2004. I can’t remember exactly what it cost, but I know it was noticeably less than this bag (and certainly, considerably less than the US price), despite being almost twice the size and being made, not just from leather, but from truly amazing leather!

    To be fair, I have noticed that box clutches tend to cost more, though, so maybe they’re more complicated to make in some way? Also, it has the ‘jewel’ clasp, which would have had to have been specially made, of course.

    BTW, I had a feeling MW was flying under the radar, a bit, in the US (in fact, coincidentally, I think I said as much, recently, on the H&P sub-forum!).

  • Arian Augustus

    I don’t know much about high fashion, but as my girls would say, “that bag is fire!” I love the bold color splash, although I could do quite well without the tassel. Regardless, this clutch makes me want to by a simple black dress so I can pop multicolored accessories off of it. Headband, bangles, shoes, eyshadow. Possible necklace and/or bangles. The works. Damned expensive high fashion! I want this bag.

  • Merve

    As a Brit it is has to be said that Matthew Williamson is huge in the U.K. and has been for quite a while. He has a very strong Brit celebrity following like Sienna Miller Jade Jagger Cat Deely etc. He has been criticised for dressing up celebs and just using them to promote his designs. Like the supposedly iconic dress Kelly Brook wore to the snatch premiere. See link below

    He regularly collaborates with Kelly Brook for her swimwear line or Sienna Miller for Twenty8twelve. They say that he is has indian inspiration from his days at UK retailer Monsoon. As for the clutch…for UK prices 500 pounds sounds about right. Please bear in mind that US brands are a lot more expensive in Europe even Abercromie, (where they think its just to charge 400 dollars for a wool jumper) so Im not surprised WIlliamson is on the bandwagon and charging a lot more over your end.

  • chloehandbags

    ^ I agree that things normally cost more here (especially imported items), but it’s £550, over here, not £500 and I’m very curious as to how that seems; ‘about right’ to you, when it’s about double what a much larger MW ponyskin clutch (with scarf attached [it’s in my showcase, BTW]) would have cost about 5 years ago (I found the receipt – it was £275!)?

    That’s waaaaay above the rate of inflation.

    I’m not singling MW out in all of this, but designer fashion, in general, is clearly extremely overpriced, at the moment; with bags being one of the worst culprits, at, at least, 3x what they ought to be, based on early to mid ’00s prices (and allowing for generous inflation increases).

  • chloehandbags

    Forgot to say, I presume these items are being overpriced to this extent to allow for the, inevitable, deep discounts that most of them will be subjected to at the end of the season?
    In which case, designers and retailers need to be aware that I (and I’m sure many other people) used to pay full retail far more often, for many items (e.g. the MW clutch); whereas, I would almost never do so now (and I’m sure, from looking around this forum, that I’m not alone).
    That may seem fine to them, as they probably assume that the, supposedly, idiotic super-rich will continue to pay full retail, however ridiculous, while the rest of us will wait and then gleefully enter into the sales scrum, to buy things on sale, for above what we used to pay in-season. But the truth is I, for one, generally won’t, as I’m not in the least bit taken in by the, supposed, percentage off amounts and I don’t enjoy fighting my fellow fashionistas over sales ‘bargains’ (especially as they aren’t even real bargains).
    60% off is NOT a deep discount when an item was priced at 3 times what it should have been – in fact, it’s not a discount, AT ALL, because it means that it’s still 20% above what retail should have been (e.g. in the case of an item that should have cost £200, but which was priced at £600, 60% off would still be £240 [so, still, £40 overpriced!])!
    The fact is, that an item that is 3x overpriced would have to be reduced by, at least, 67% to bring it, even slightly (£3, in the example I gave!) below what retail should have been. So, even a 75% discount is only 25% off in real terms!
    What they also seem to be forgetting is that most people (myself included)would, generally, be far more inclined to pay more for an item at the beginning of the season, than they would at the end (within reason); because why should we pay as much for an out-of-season item (especially if it’s been kicked around the sales floor for 6 months and/or returned) as we would for a brand-new, in-season one?

  • Zarka

    I don’t know where I would carry that…maybe a very young and hip crowd would love it for a night out in New York or LA but this one is not for me…

  • Merve

    Chloehandbags I meant about right in the general pricing of handbags, I dont think its a just price. But when Roger Vivier is charging 1000 pounds for a patent small clutch then the satin Williamson seems normally priced relative to what everyone is charging. Also pls remember that 5yrs ago prices were around the 1000 pound range whereas now they have shifted to 2000. A satin Bottega Veneta Box clutch is around the 1000 pound mark for gods sake. I dont see why the MW should be less. Its not fair and everything is hugely overpriced i’ll give you that.

  • hazel

    I like that bag, its pattern is so fun and the dangley thing is cuuuute, still for cloth it’s a little pricey. It is awesomely unique though.

  • Ji


  • Julia

    I don’t have the answer to your question. But I love this box clutch. The pattern just pops at you with attitude

  • edithw

    Matthew Williamson is really big here in the UK, he sells high end RTW clothes at high end prices. Personally, he is my favorite designer. I noticed that here on the Purse Forum people from the US were not that familiar with him, that is before his H&M line.
    That clutch is overpriced, just as any high end purses are overpriced these days. Honestly, are there any designer purses out there which really worth the inflated prices, be it leather or not?

  • Jelita78

    oh didn’t u know?
    it’s in the designer’s ultimate handbook.
    chapter 6, clause 6.7.7, paragraph 4 : designers must always priced it’s clutches at a 4 digit usd.
    jk! (ipad)