Introducing...    Valentino

Love It or Leave It: The New Valentino Bloomy Bag

This soft, supple messenger style is brand new for Fall 2018

In everyone’s career, there’s probably something you got wrong or did wrong that you look back on from time to time. Because I write about handbags, my thing is the Valentino Rockstud. When the line first debuted on the runway, I didn’t like it at all and said so in my review. I still don’t really like it! Yet here we are, the better part of a decade later, and the Valentino Rockstud has proved to be one of the most successful accessory ideas of the past 20 years.

I felt sure the Rockstud wasn’t going to catch on—the market was at the tail end of a huge studding trend, and it seemed like exactly the wrong time to launch a range of accessories whose entire aesthetic identity was predicated on studs. Some of the shoulder bags—the VaVaVoom line in particular—had weird hand slots that I couldn’t imagine anyone using (and still, to this day, I doubt they were used with any regularity by the people who owned those bags). My negative opinion had a strong basis in fact, but Valentino sold a zillion Rockstud bags anyway, so now when any new Valentino bag comes out, I second-guess myself on its appeal in a way I don’t do with any other brand. Which brings us to the Valentino Bloomy Bag, which is new for Fall 2018, and which I don’t really care for.

The Bloomy is the latest in the brand’s various attempts to move away from the stricter visual codes of its Rockstud era, this time with a design centered on a supple, gathered flap closure, pierced and held by a stud-capped rod in its center. The line includes a tote and will probably include other structures going forward if the Bloomy catches on, but the gathered feature was clearly designed with a messenger bag style in mind, and that’s what currently makes up most of the line.

In theory, I like the Bloomy a lot—adding dimension and texture to something as functional as a handbag without reducing that functionality can be tough, and gathering the super-soft leather allows for some of the flourish of dressmaking to make its way to accessories. In practice, though, leather may just be the wrong medium to make this idea really shine. Its thickness, which is a feature of leather that can’t be totally circumvented, makes the flap look more bunched than gathered, which leaves a finished product that can feel sloppy unless its folds and tucks are arranged just so. For a bag whose prices rise to nearly $3,000 for the regular size in regular, unembellished leather, that’s more tending than I really want to do.

But, as I mentioned, my trust in my own instincts has never fully returned when it comes to Valentino bags. So take a look at the bags below, and let us know: love it or leave it?

Valentino Bloomy Bag
$2,795 via Neiman Marcus

Valentino Bloomy Bag
$4,245 via Neiman Marcus

Valentino Bloomy Bag
$4,245 via Neiman Marcus

Valentino Bloomy Bag
$1,875 via Neiman Marcus

Valentino Bloomy Tote
$2,745 via Neiman Marcus

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Canuck65
Canuck65
5 years ago

Leave it. Just horrible.

Aliza Zibkoff
Aliza Zibkoff
5 years ago

Definitely a very designy bag. I remember designing stuff like this in FIT. On paper “FABULOUS!” in reality no so great.

FashionableLena
FashionableLena
5 years ago

No. It reminds me if bags that I saw in the ‘80s. It doesn’t look modern. It just looks thrift store old.

Ellen Blomberg
Ellen Blomberg
5 years ago

It’s not the worst… at least they haven’t copied the gold logo to replicate the Marmont like many other brands this fall. I’d say the black suede with studs is actually lovely. The leather is a bit more 80’s… but at least it feels a bit new.

Lisa
Lisa
5 years ago

I’m sorry, No??? These look like there was a glitch in the assembly line at the Target accessories factory

Jan Olandese
Jan Olandese
5 years ago

The plain ones are okay – I guess – nada to write home about – but the others are cartoonish and at that pricepoint – too many nice-looking bags out there. These are just awful.

Kate
Kate
5 years ago

Haha … I once owned a rockstud bag! I won’t be owning one of these, however …

Lina Lee
Lina Lee
5 years ago

Leave it.

Greg Richards Forklift Frieda
Greg Richards Forklift Frieda
5 years ago

Dreadful! They look like someone has sat on them for several hours during a film at the cinema.

psny15
psny15
5 years ago

a little to boho for me

missarewa
missarewa
5 years ago

I’m hoping they just made 50 of these to get people talking and are not actually expecting to sell a lot of them

HR
HR
5 years ago

Fugly.

Kristen Pyszczyk
Kristen Pyszczyk
5 years ago

I guess I’m in the minority here, but I absolutely love this bag. I love the prints and the slouchiness and the boho vibe. I’d wear it!!

Verneuil
Verneuil
5 years ago

These remind me of Carlos Falchi bags from the 80’s.

Verneuil
Verneuil
5 years ago

These look like Carlos Falchi bags from the 80s

WEST LEE
WEST LEE
5 years ago
Reply to  Verneuil

Yea, exactly the same shape

Micc Tan
Micc Tan
5 years ago

LEAVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jerri R
Jerri R
5 years ago

I could swear I have seen the design before somewhere

Karisma
Karisma
5 years ago

Leave it please, leave it!!!

Jacqueline Weldon
Jacqueline Weldon
5 years ago

I agree with you – it looks strange to me.

WEST LEE
WEST LEE
5 years ago

Look like Louis Vuitton Ltd. Kalahari Madonna Bag & Carlos Falchi Buffolo bag

Laurie kucic
Laurie kucic
5 years ago
Reply to  WEST LEE

Yes. Carlo Falchi in the mid 1980’s

May
May
5 years ago

I think your instincts are going to hold true. It doesn’t feel luxurious one bit

Pam Walter
Pam Walter
5 years ago

Love, love, love this bag! So sick of all the slick, structured, bejeweled bags. This is a breath fresh air!

Vicky
Vicky
5 years ago

There’s a Carlos Falshi bag that I like and look exactly like this around 2002. The tote isn’t too bad though, but not original.