Cue all the sayings about how the years are short but the days are long because I am here to say that I feel like I just was talking about summer being upon us, and now with kids getting back to school, as quickly as it arrived, summer is coming to a close. There are still a few weeks left of summer for many of us, and this summer was defined by designer raffia bags – and I was so lucky to have one gifted to me that became my summer companion!
Raffia bags will continue to get you through the remaining weeks until Labor Day and can be a staple in your spring and summer wardrobe. While this review is on my specific version of my now beloved Gucci Raffia Marmont Bag, this shape is a popular offering from Gucci that comes in leather and other materials to not feel as season-specific. Let’s see how this bag ranks in my purseonals ratings!
I’ve professed my love for all things raffia, and my living in Florida allows this to be a trend that I can not only get behind but also find far more practical for year-long use, so this bag already was ranking high on my list. But it’s even better with the patterned green and natural raffia waves (there’s an interesting way these lines come together parallel and perpendicular from the flap to the body).
The classic and highly recognizable Gucci GG Marmont hardware sits on the front flap, and the leather and chain strap also define the look of this bag. I can also tell you that every time I’ve carried this bag, I’ve been stopped and had someone profess their love for it. I’ve had friends call after I posted it on Instagram; I’ve had people around the world (while we were in Germany, Switzerland, and Italy) stop me, proving this bag is a crowd favorite.
This bag is interesting, unique, and feels artisanal in the best way possible. The only reason I docked this at all is that while I like the double G, there are some other Gucci logos I would love to see on this bag (granted, that wouldn’t keep this a Marmont bag).
Aesthetically, this bag gives you a very recognizable and beloved line in a summery material and pattern, and the mix of materials, colors, and craftsmanship makes for a design I personally love.
Usability + Functionality
This bag is fairly straightforward, with a what you see is what you get type of design. There is a no-frills approach, with a front flap that leads the way to the single-compartment interior (there are no interior slip pockets). The chain and leather strap allows for over-the-shoulder or crossbody wear but is not adjustable. The length of this chain fits my body well for both wears of carrying, and it is pretty easy to reach the bag. The chain strap is a little heavy, especially compared to the lightness of the raffia body, but the leather part of the strap sits on your shoulder, so it doesn’t dig in.
The front flap has the Marmont closure, which fairly easily glides and snaps into place. To open the bag, you need to press the bottom button underneath this closure which I think sits a bit too high above the flap and sometimes takes an extra second or two to connect your finger to and release. With the consistent opening, I worry that over time the flap will get tugged at a bit, and a raffia bag, especially, can easily tend to show wear.
I go back and forth when it comes to the usability and functionality of a bag like this because, on the one hand, I love a bag that fully closes and keeps contents inside, but I also love to be able to easily reach my items. When I carry this bag over the shoulder, I sometimes need to use my hand to hold the bottom of the bag when I am unlatching it, and that small extra step, though not truly a nuisance or time-consuming, docked a point here.
Quality + Construction
When I use a bag, I really use a bag, and this bag has rarely left my side since I first unboxed it. It came with us to Europe for July, and I packed it in my carryon suitcase (which, by the way, I usually only take a few bags, and they always go in my carryon, I never check them under!), and then this was one of two bags I used daily.
Since we got back home, I’ve also been using it most days of the week. My point is that even with this being made from raffia, I have yet to see much wear. Raffia can fray, and while I see some small pieces here or there (mainly on the interior where my items are loosely placed and rustle around), overall, this bag has held up incredibly well.
The chain and leather handle, along with the GG hardware, are the only other aspects of this bag to study, and each is the quality I have come to love and expect from the brand. The interior is unlined, but the raffia is a heavy weave, so it has held its shape well and thus far still looks practically brand new.
Price + Value
This category always stumps me – because the truth is, bag prices across the board have been climbing, and unless you are looking at a contemporary priced brand, the luxury world has seen steady increases. However, I am giving this bag points off when it comes to price because its full leather counterpart is priced the same. Raffia is a less expensive material, so I would have expected the price to reflect that.
But, and this is a big but, this bag is special. There are countless leather renditions of this bag, and they are the versions you see far more regularly, yet this bag will stop you in your tracks. It has an aura that feels modern and young and makes me happy, making it worth far more.
If you are as smitten with this bag as I am, the bad news is that it is not readily available on Gucci.com. This could mean it was sold out in its different colorways, but there are ample Marmont options to delight in, like this floral version and the all-leather option as well.
You’d think a more trendy iteration of a classic is one that I would take points off, but in this case, I still rate this bag high because I can imagine this bag being a vintage bag from your mom’s closet just as much as it being a brand new, recently unboxed bag. The staying power of bags has changed over time, and the Marmont line has proven to be very popular season after season, so that aspect, paired with a bag that has this special feeling and standout material combination, makes it far more versatile and coveted.
A bag with a more season-specific material tends to have points taken off when it comes to this ranking system, but this bag overall scores very well. As a true Gucci girl, I love to see a brand take a bit of a creative spin on a cornerstone design from its wares. Gucci’s summer stories offerings were some of the best I’ve seen, and this bag (and the entire collection) immediately put me in a great mood. I will forever remember this bag on an epic family trip that took us from Germany to Switzerland to Italy.
It sat table side on Lake Lugano, Millie carried it in Germany and asked for it to be hers, and it joined me on an amazing evening with a great pizza and an even better friend in Milan. This bag is steeped in memories for me, but it is also a great bag I truly love.
And that makes it a bit priceless.
You can shop the Gucci GG Marmont collection on Gucci.com.