By now I’m probably running the risk of being that guy who’s always trying to sell women’s bags to unsuspecting male readers. First the Sac de Jour, then the Antigona Soft and now the Loewe Puzzle Bag? Unpardonable! However in my defense, JW Anderson seems to think the same, so take that, fashion police!

Most man-bags of the present day (I didn’t exist in the past, so I can’t attest to those) seem to have almost architectural characteristic about them. Whether it’s Tom Ford or Burberry’s backpacks, Louis Vuitton’s countless range of Monogram Eclipse or Damier cobalt briefcases and Keepalls, or the assorted range of belt-bags from Prada, Fendi and Dior, architectural lines are what seem to define the masculinity of bags. This can also be seen on Givenchy’s classic Antigona or Balenciaga’s Bazaar. So it shouldn’t really come as a surprise that the Loewe Puzzle Bag, with a design that literally looks like a snazzy blueprint out of the pages of Architectural Digest, was originally made for men.

In fact, if there was ever an award for the quirkiest but still usable (and by “usable” I mean NOT Thom Browne’s Bunnies or Doggies) bag of the year (and probably for many more years to come), it would definitely go to the Loewe Puzzle Bag. I’m rather puzzled why it’s called the Puzzle in the first place though (see what I did there?) and not the Sliced or Cubed bag. Perhaps those sound more like something out of a casserole cookbook than a luxury fashion house. But of course, we have seen stranger things.

Speaking of slices, each distinctive piece of the Puzzle (this never gets old!) is crafted from 41 different slices of leather, 9 articles of textile, 45 cloth armors plus the hardware and zippers. It was Anderson’s magnum opus, originally launched as a duffle bag as part of the House’s Men’s summer 2014 collection. That same year he became the Creative Director of the house.

Only when it received tremendous acclaim and became the most-talked about item in the show was the Puzzle released in a smaller iteration for the women’s fall 2015 collection. It was then that Anderson won the Designer of the Year Award at the age of 34 for both mens and womenswear. So men out there, if you think the Puzzle is your style, don’t be daunted by the fact that Queen Bey loves it too!

On the contrary, beloved K-drama actor Park Bo Gum carried this beautiful, suede colorblocked Puzzle in the series, Record of Youth, while some of our very own guys on tPF love it too!

So, why is the Puzzle my latest man-bag obsession (and totally deserves to be yours too)? Having been in existence since 1846 (no, Louis Vuitton is not the most storied designer out there!), Loewe is exactly the kind of luxury house that caters to fashion royalty. And by “royalty”, I legitimately mean the royal family of Spain and not the Kardashians. It’s only fitting then, that Loewe’s designs are meant to stand out and its quality is top-notch. So if you’re a man who appreciates the details and subtleties of textured leather (and its smell too!), the Puzzle is for you.

Don’t you just looove it when your bag’s leather is so soft it slouches? But of course, if it tumbles and/or collapses, that’s a bummer. The Puzzle, however, achieves a striking balance, managing to slouch just the right amount and yet stand on its four futuristic-looking metal feet when you want it to. But even if you’re among those who like their carryalls to melt into a puddle of smooshy soft leather, fear not, because the Puzzle can be folded into an entirely flat shape! In fact, the Puzzle can be worn in (gasp!) five different ways—as a top-handle, over the shoulder, crossbody, as a backpack or carried as a flat portfolio/clutch! Pretty versatile, eh?

Speaking of versatility, the Puzzle probably comes in every possible colorway and material, from bright hues to pastels to PVC, suede, python, croc-embossed and fringes…it’s a delightful dilemma! In fact, recently, Loewe has created some highly limited edition, summery palm tree pieces in collaboration with Ken Price that have absolutely won me over. Not only that, the Puzzle is one of those few bags that colorblocks exceedingly well, even for men, and Bo Gum’s version is probably one of the most go-with-every-imaginable-outfit pieces you could ever get your hands on!

It’s also extremely spacious (small wonder, it’s a duffle after all), so you might be able to fit your documents, gym clothes and possibly sneak your laptop in as well, though probably not the biggest of them. However at the same time, as you can probably notice in the photo above, its inside isn’t as organized as one would perhaps prefer. The addition of a flap and a zipper, while making it super-secure, possibly runs the risk of making it less convenient to reach into. Its black interior also may become the notorious “black hole” where your belongings may not be easy to track down, an issue Megs too had identified in her Purseonals on her Loewe Puzzle. However if it’s your style, with the help of a bag organizer or a couple of pouches that is easily fixable!

Finally, Loewe is one of those designers that have much less subtle branding than the likes of, say Gucci or Louis Vuitton, so it’s perfect for fashion-heads to gain glances of admiration and envy from like-minded people, while wow-ing those who don’t know about it with its unique shape—a win/win! The house’s intricate logo is something that I can never seem to remember either, so every time I encounter it, I start wondering “that’s a pretty logo, I wonder which brand it’s from?” and I’m pretty sure that happens with others too. Its distinctiveness, however, doesn’t seem to put a dent in its resale value, with listings on Fashionphile reaching up to an amazing 97% of its original price! Not a bad investment I’d say!

You know how there are some bags that look very trendy but actually are classics? Nope? Me neither. But by the look of the Puzzle’s trajectory, it may have started off as a trendy, boxy, jigsaw-y bag for men, but now, six years after its inception, it continues to grace the hands of both male and female celebs alike. From Bo Gum to Ellen Pompeo, I’d totally declare that it’s on its course to becoming a classic. What do you think?

Shop the Loewe Puzzle Bag via Farfetch

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KD
KD
1 year ago

When I look at handbags online, I am always surprised to find them subcategorized under “Women.” While it makes sense to categorize clothes as they tailor to different body shapes, it seems that handbags do not need to narrowly be labeled as women’s. We live in a gender fluid, gender bending world today. Handbags should be it’s own category.

Sajid Bin Mohammad
Sajid Bin Mohammad
1 year ago
Reply to  KD

That’s very true, with all the advancements we’ve had for equal rights, fashion should be the first to be fluid.

Justice
Justice
1 year ago

I honestly no longer consider any bag as “for men” or “for women.” It’s silly. People can wear whatever they want as long as it makes them happy without having to worry about antiquated gender stereotypes. We’ve seen many break gender norms and be super stylish. So why limit yourself to one side of the store?

Jerri R
Jerri R
1 year ago
Reply to  Justice

Amen!

Naomi
Naomi
1 year ago
Reply to  Justice

Exactly! I was in a Gucci store and asked the SA to see a crossbody bag. Her response was “that’s a man’s bag”. ? Nonetheless, it was exactly what I needed so I purchased it. Gender stereotypes don’t have a place in retail.

Justice
Justice
1 year ago
Reply to  Naomi

I guess this particular SA didn’t want to make a sale! ???

Sandy
Sandy
1 year ago
Reply to  Justice

I completely agree!

Sajid Bin Mohammad
Sajid Bin Mohammad
1 year ago
Reply to  Justice

So true Justice!

Taetae
Taetae
1 year ago

shhhh… don’t hype up the men section prices! Loewe and Prada Men have great functional bags and more reasonably priced than the women’s section, love it.

Sajid Bin Mohammad
Sajid Bin Mohammad
1 year ago
Reply to  Taetae

My lips are sealed Taetae!

londoncalling
londoncalling
1 year ago

I’m old-fashioned. There are men’s bags. There are women’s bags. So no, it’s not for men.

RavenE
RavenE
1 year ago
Reply to  londoncalling

I agree. I’m glad my husband is apparently one of the few real men left who won’t get manicures, pedicures, doesn’t get his eyebrows waxed, doesn’t wear women’s clothes or makeup and won’t carry a purse.

Sure
Sure
9 months ago
Reply to  RavenE

I can’t imagine being so judgmental, uptight and homophobic over a piece of leather. Relax sis, don’t be such a snowflake and mind your own business, lol.

Kamina
Kamina
1 year ago
Reply to  RavenE

+1 to that yikes. How is he less of a man for caring more about his appearance and who are you to determine what a real man is?

Kate
Kate
1 year ago
Reply to  RavenE

Yikes, “real men”? Stop perpetuating toxic masculinity. You are the problem

Irma Segovia
Irma Segovia
1 year ago
Reply to  londoncalling

Then, you personally, shouldn’t buy one if you’re not a man. Problem solved. Be old and grouchy with your outdated way of thinking somewhere else.

RavenE
RavenE
1 year ago
Reply to  Irma Segovia

You don’t know that person to be calling them old or grouchy. You wouldn’t like it if I called you rude even though it’s the truth. Can’t even discuss purses without some social justice warrior being offended about something.

SegoIJ
SegoIJ
1 year ago
Reply to  RavenE

Be old and grouchy somewhere else

Kate
Kate
1 year ago
Reply to  RavenE

It’s not the truth. Irma is absolutely right. These gender roles are outdated and bags/clothes don’t have gender. You seem to be the one offended and insecure by the idea of a man wearing women’s bags.

Nan
Nan
1 year ago
Reply to  Irma Segovia

Why are you personally attacking and insulting londoncalling? What place does it have in this blog? You wrote “Be old and grouchy with your outdated way of thinking somewhere else”. Why can’t this person have an opinion different than yours? You also responded to Sajid that “Orient” is mildly offensive and outdated, but then you attack this person? Don’t you think you are being a hypocrite?

SegoIJ
SegoIJ
1 year ago
Reply to  Nan

Be old and grouchy somewhere else, nan

Sajid Bin Mohammad
1 year ago
Reply to  SegoIJ

I think gender fluidity stems from not only blurring lines between male and female but also from accommodating different views and perspectives people have on the genders. So let’s not try attacking these differing beliefs, shall we? 🙂

londoncalling
londoncalling
1 year ago

I’m old-fashioned. There are men’s bags. There are women’s bags. So no, it’s not for men.

Imabaggguy
Imabaggguy
1 year ago

I don’t think I’ve bought a single bag from the alleged “mens” section. I’ve always hated how “men’s” bags tend to be restricted to a weekender, a backpack, a portfolio pouch, a briefcase and perhaps an understated crossbody. Why can’t we have more interesting silhouettes? I’ve only worn bags for “women” and no one has come up to me yet and said “that bag is only for women please stop”. Luckily, these days more brands are starting to give their “men’s” section more interesting bag styles. Still just buy what catches your eye and what you like. Bag freedom!

Sajid Bin Mohammad
Sajid Bin Mohammad
1 year ago
Reply to  Imabaggguy

I’m delighted that you’re actively breaking this stereotype and so glad that we share a love for bags! Also I love the “alleged mens” section – sounds very accusatory towards society!

Imabaggguy
Imabaggguy
1 year ago

I’ve had my eye on the Puzzle for awhile, so I was thrilled when I read your article. I hope more men will be inspired to wear it thanks to your article. What bag will you write about next? Is the Lady Dior not just for ladies of Dior?

Sajid Bin Mohammad
Sajid Bin Mohammad
1 year ago
Reply to  Imabaggguy

Actually it’s hard to say because once in a while I look at a certain bag and start to wonder how it would look on men? That’s what basically sparks the idea. So maybe the Lady Dior could be next 🙂 However, I’d say that the Lady Dior is a bit too impractical and small for me to consider – I have a general affinity for large bags, but if you like it and believe it suits you, by all means take the plunge. Itdbe interesting to hear a man’s perspective on it.

Imabaggguy
Imabaggguy
1 year ago

I’ve had my eye on it for awhile. I also gravitate towards large bags but I’ve learned to love bags of smaller shape recently. Sometimes the big ones are too cumbersome for what I feel like carrying in the moment. I do think the Large Lady Dior is a good size. Maybe it’ll be the next bag I take the plunge on. What about you? Any bag catching your eye for your next purchase?

Sajid Bin Mohammad
1 year ago
Reply to  Imabaggguy

Although I’m advocating a more diversified range of bags for men all the time, I think sometimes you need a backpack too, even though my general opinion is that they make you look like mules. But I’m seriously in love with Louboutin’s Explorafunk. What’d you think about it?

Imabaggguy
Imabaggguy
1 year ago

Ooooh I’ve always liked that backpack. Although I feel like I’d impale myself on the spikes. It is very punk rock. What color would you get it in? Traditional black and red is always a good choice no? Louboutin’s bag collection is severely underrated. I’d love to get the Jacquard Tote or maybe the Cabata tote myself. Did you know their classic Paloma’s handles are nude because they’re supposed to represent dancer’s legs?

Imabaggguy
Imabaggguy
1 year ago

Ooooh I’ve always liked that backpack. Although I feel like I’d impale myself on the spikes. It is very punk rock. What color would you get it in? Traditional black and red is always a good choice no? Louboutin’s bag collection is severely underrated. I’d love to get the Jacquard Tote or maybe the Cabata tote myself. Did you know their classic Paloma’s handles are nude because they’re supposed to represent dancer’s legs?

Sajid Bin Mohammad
1 year ago
Reply to  Imabaggguy

Yess, in fact I wrote about the Paloma on PB not too long ago. Also, as much as I adore the black Explorafunk, there’s this grey-ish version with this giant, royal-family-like monogram on the flap which I fancy more, although Idk if it’s still available. Interestingly however, I can’t afford any of these designers AND they don’t ship to my country, plus even if I try to bring from abroad (in the circumstances that I can somehow afford) the customs charges are exorbitant. That doesn’t stop me from *loving* them though! The bags I mean, not the customs. Who’d love the customs?

Imabaggguy
Imabaggguy
1 year ago

Lol customs is definitely no fun. Grey is the new black so I stan for grey. That’s a shame they don’t ship to your country! Maybe if you buy consignment it won’t be as expensive at customs. I’ve never bought a bag in a different country before but I know people love to go to Europe to buy bags because it’s “cheaper’. Affirm helps me with paying my bags a lot lol. It took me a while to even try to plunge into the world of designer handbags but I’m glad I did!

Sajid Bin Mohammad
Sajid Bin Mohammad
1 year ago
Reply to  Imabaggguy

Yup, I’m currently trying to dip my fingers into Ebay because other consigners don’t ship here either. Hopefully the experience will be good, fingers crossed.

Adele
Adele
1 year ago

I believe the Puzzle is a total classic AND an icon for the house of Loewe. They don’t need loud logos to shout out who they are. The shape of the Puzzle is iconic enough so people in-the-know, know, and appreciate the craftsmanship behind it. (I love mine and am considering a second larger one). Also, bags should really cut across genders and be about what the user likes and needs. I love my Balenciaga men’s workbag (which was more value for money than their women’s bags). I have a male acquaintence who carries Birkins, and I love that you are so passionate about the SDJ!

Sajid Bin Mohammad
Sajid Bin Mohammad
1 year ago
Reply to  Adele

Thank you so much! I’ll probably love the SDJ for life but just looking at the Puzzle (especially close up shots of its leather) warms my heart!

Dave
Dave
1 year ago

When I went to Japan, I discovered that men wears handbags. In Europe, Spain to be more accurate, was unusual. Today more and more men, all about in Instagram wears handbags.
Loewe in this moment has the Puzzle bumbag and big sizes, but everybody can wear all sizes, the gender belongs to humans not to handbags.
PS: the quality of the leather is better than most of women and men luxury handbags.

Imabaggguy
Imabaggguy
1 year ago
Reply to  Dave

Yesss! I lived in Japan for a number of years and to be honest it’s because guys carry bags there that I started carrying bags myself.

Sajid Bin Mohammad
Sajid Bin Mohammad
1 year ago
Reply to  Dave

I’ve seen it too! When it comes to Men’s fashion, the Orient has a lot more inspiration to offer than the West, and that too without the undue judgment!

Irma Segovia
Irma Segovia
1 year ago

I’m not sure what nationality you are- I’m assuming South Asian, but “orient” is a horribly outdated term, and mildly offensive term, I’m assuming you didn’t mean it that way obviously. My son is half south Asian and hates whenever he hears it.

Searno89
Searno89
1 year ago
Reply to  Irma Segovia

Sorry how is the word orient offensive? Genuinely intrigued. I assumed oreint meant the general geographic area of Far East Asia whereas oriental described the ethnicity of the person from that area?

Imabaggguy
Imabaggguy
1 year ago
Reply to  Searno89

Orient means “of the East” and it’s the opposite of Occident which means “of the west”. Basically it was how Europe referred to people that came from the far east. I was an Asian Studies major in college and I believe my professor said that Oriental has a kind of barbaric stereotype to it and made it seem like we Asians were some kind of mysterious people. It is also one of the terms that promoted “the yellow peril”. It’s outdated for sure, but I think Asian Americans maybe East Asian Americans particularly don’t like that term. When I lived abroad though there were many Asian people who didn’t care one way or another. Anyway I believe these days you just refer to the geographical location of the country in Asia (East Asian for China, Korean and Japan, South East Asian for the Philippines etc.)

Searno89
Searno89
1 year ago
Reply to  Imabaggguy

Ah I see. I wonder if it’s an American thing? I’m in the UK and many fast food places and Asian grocery stores have names like “oriental express” “the oriental market” etc so I find it a bit OTT to suggest it’s offensive when people from that area are more than happy to describe themselves and their businesses as such.

Imabaggguy
Imabaggguy
1 year ago
Reply to  Searno89

The states are the same way. Taste of the Orient and all that….

JP
JP
1 year ago
Reply to  Irma Segovia

The Orient is not outdated. You are thinking of the term “oriental” which is considered insulting when used to describe people as it is generally reserved for objects, furnishings, etc.

Sajid Bin Mohammad
Sajid Bin Mohammad
1 year ago
Reply to  Irma Segovia

Apologies if that sounded hurtful, by no means was it intended. Actually I can’t seem to justify calling it the Far East because China extends much more to the West and the geographical inaccuracy of the term sort of bugs me. Anyhoo, I’m from Bangladesh. Also, saying the “Orient” creates this image of exotic and richness so I always thought it had a positive connotation to it?

SegoIJ
SegoIJ
1 year ago

No worries! Like I said I didn’t think you were, I think it’s just an older, outdated, generalizing term, that people get annoyed at. The way I think of it is like how American sometimes refer to any one who is black as african American, when that isn’t technically true ie Jamaicans, Dominicans, ppl from the Caribbean: they aren’t trying to be offensive, it just not the best word. Like how my son gets annoyed when people refer to him as Arab when he’s South Asian.

Jerri R
Jerri R
1 year ago

The line between genders is getting blurred for fashion and I love that trend.

Sajid Bin Mohammad
Sajid Bin Mohammad
1 year ago
Reply to  Jerri R

Exactly Jerri!

Searno89
Searno89
1 year ago

I love this bag and really want to get it as my next purchase. It’s between this and the SDJ (north-south variant). I’ll end up with both, but which to buy first!? I do think it’s an interesting shape for a men’s bag but the lines and overall design is masculine enough for me to feel comfortable with. I’m happy people are open to purchasing from both men’s and women’s lines, however I personally wouldn’t consider getting something that is geared towards women as I find their bags too dainty/feminine. Men’s interpretations of women’s bags are visually more suited to men. Even a birkin I’m not a fan of, a HAC however…amazing bag. I do agree that men’s designs could be a bit more daring or innovative, the briefcase type looking bag is literally offered by most fashion houses and aside more minor deviations they’re pretty much all the same. I also don’t think there is anything wrong with categorising merchandise into sexes, it makes my life easier when browsing online/in store.

Sajid Bin Mohammad
Sajid Bin Mohammad
1 year ago
Reply to  Searno89

I agree about the daintiness (?) and I too am *tired* of briefcases. However, most women’s satchel style and crossbody bags seem to be pretty usable for men, so maybe it’s just the extra micro sized bags or certain colorways that amount to the feminine factor rather than the actual shapes of the bags.

Searno89
Searno89
1 year ago

Hmm I’m still not convinced. Take the LV Pochette Metis and compare it with say the Prada Brique. Both similar in style and size. However for me it’s the details of the PM which make it too feminine, whereas the Prada which is designed for men has more structure, a thicker strap and less hardware. Overall it just suits men more. Not to say a man can’t wear a PM, but if I see that on the streets I don’t think I would think “oh that’s cool” rather “why is that person carrying a women’s bag?”, not in a hateful sense but more of a “there are plenty of men’s bags that would tick similar boxes and to me would look better. Which women’s bags specifically do you think suit men?

Imabaggguy
Imabaggguy
1 year ago
Reply to  Searno89

I think it comes down to a certain look for me. Yes, men’s bags are made to suit men’s bodies better. At the same time though I don’t think there’s a men’s bag that ticks similar boxes for a lot of women’s bags. Many men’s bags are subtle and for someone like me that let’s say less subtle, are too stoic sometimes. That’s not to say there haven’t been some knockouts like Virgil Abloh’s Rainbow men’s collection. However, most time if what you want is a bag-specific look it’s hard to find in male alternatives. For example, the wings of the Celine Phantom and the weird robot face that the luggage tote family has is restricted to only women’s bag at Celine. Granted they never had a men’s line until recently. So how could you get that look? There are no other bags women’s or men’s that have that look. Now you could I’m sure there are plenty of bags that are open satchels like the luggage tote i.e. Prada Men’s Galleria (Which I want sooo bad but the color I want is sold out T_T) but none have the same look. The Balenciaga Motorcycle bag is another, yes they have made men’s iterations of that bag but it’s still just a briefcase and a dome men’s weekender. Neither of which have the buckles at the end of the bag, the leather tassels, or a mirror that make Balenciaga motorcycle bag aesthetic. Anyway, that’s just my experience as a guy buying bags. Buy what you’re comfortable wearing!

Searno89
Searno89
1 year ago
Reply to  Imabaggguy

I totally get your perspective and yeah for someone who’s style is more eccentric or daring there really aren’t many men’s bags out there that fit with that persona. For me personally I love the edgier styles and that’s enough for me, for example the puzzle, or the peekaboo. I love the soft trunk from LV but think it’s ridiculously overpriced so won’t be getting that. And yet I still gravitate to more traditional styles (have an Armand MM which I love for its leather) and looking at the SDJ too. I agree regarding Balenciaga, the men’s iterations of the motorcycle bags are boring compared to the detailing in the women’s line!

Sajid Bin Mohammad
Sajid Bin Mohammad
1 year ago
Reply to  Searno89

Marc Jacobs’ the Box 23, Louis Vuitton Petit Malle and the Petit Malle Souple, the Balenciaga City, Work and Part-time, Burberry’s Banner Bag, I find these are all pretty suited for men. However I’ll admit that the Pochette Metis does have a bit of a feminine vibe to it, especially because maybe its top handle doesn’t seem extremely functional and its corners are bit too rounded, I guess. That being said, the Prada Brique seems pretty stereotypically male to me because its a tad boring and/or conventional-looking.

Searno89
Searno89
1 year ago

I much prefer the men’s LV trunk to the petit malle. I prefer the thicker strap and the more tones down hardware. The souple however I quite like but still prefer the mens line. I think the proportions of the balenciaga handbags are too east west for my liking and make them too feminine, yet the men’s versions are just boring! We just need better designers for men’s bags in general, that’s my conclusion!

Imabaggguy
Imabaggguy
1 year ago
Reply to  Searno89

You could always go for the Velo. That’s the North South version of the city bag.

Sajid Bin Mohammad
Sajid Bin Mohammad
1 year ago
Reply to  Searno89

Exactly, we all have our preferences and for that there a lot of designers out there providing different kinds of bags. For example, I really like Métier London’s Perriand City bag as a mens bag, have you seen it? It’s gorgeous!

Searno89
Searno89
1 year ago

Oooh just checked out this brand! Again I find the Perriand too east/west in style, and actually a bit boring. However I LOVE their Vagabond especially with the Runaway pouch (I love men’s clutches-they’re so old school and classy). The suede is really nice (but perhaps impractical in British climate?) Why oh why would you introduce yet another contender to my ever growing wish list! They have a rather high price point so I’m assuming their quality must be insane. Will have to check it out in person once this lockdown is over!

Sajid Bin Mohammad
Sajid Bin Mohammad
1 year ago
Reply to  Searno89

The quality is awesome! Turns out I actually like east-west style, so I’m probably the second worst person you can take recommendations from (the first being men who shuns bags).

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