I don’t envy the position that new handbag lines find themselves in. The accessories market is super competitive, in part because it’s super profitable and a great way to reach a wide range of consumers, but that also means that how a new line is positioned at its launch is critically important. The look and price not only need to be in sync with each other, but they should be attuned to what else is going on within the accessories industry. And first impressions are hard to shake – getting that stuff right up front means a lot when consumers are deciding what they think of a new line.

Unfortunately, I don’t think Belstaff‘s new line of high-end handbags gets many things right on its inaugural outing. The prices are akin to those of handbag stalwarts like Prada and Gucci, but what you get for that hefty investment remains to be seen. Even if the materials are top notch (which they might be, I don’t know), they styling of most of these bags leaves something major to be desired, especially at their elevated price points. The very structure of most of the bags feels outdated and a bit low-rent.

The Belstaff Dorchester 36 Tote is the most attractive of the bunch, but Belstaff hasn’t earned my trust in a way that enables me to spend $2250 (or $2850 for woven leather) on it that and still feel confident in the fact that I’ve gotten my money’s worth. Prices like that aren’t a given; they have to be earned, and customer bases have to be built. Check out a few more pieces of the brand’s inaugural line below and let us know what you think.

Belstaff Tredington Metal Clutch, $2875 via Neiman Marcus

Belstaff Tread Weymouth Shoulder Bag, $1995 via Neiman Marcus

Belstaff Dorchester 36 Woven Leather Satchel, $2850 via Neiman Marcus

Belstaff Dorchester 36 Leather Satchel, $2250 via Neiman Marcus

Belstaff Ashley Tread Satchel, $2395 via Neiman Marcus

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