As most of you guys know, I love examining how a brand takes a successful women’s bag and translates it to the men’s market. When it’s done carefully, it’s instructive of the differences between what male and female customers want in their luxury accessories. In the past, we’ve looked at dude versions of the Yves Saint Laurent Cabas ChYc and Mulberry Bayswater. Today, we’ll tackle the Givenchy Nightingale.

The differences in this bag and its women’s counterpart are very subtle, which is indicative of the approach that Givenchy takes to a lot of its accessories. Among the brand’s hardcore fans, the men’s and women’s line often blend together; neither group seems at all shy about purchasing things just because they weren’t designed with exactly the right gender in mind. There are a few differences in this piece, though.

First, of course, is size. At 16 inches wide, the men’s Nightingale is two inches wider than the standard (medium) women’s version, but it’s a full six inches more narrow than the women’s large, which is slightly less common but still pretty easy to find. I’m surprised that the men’s bag isn’t more like 18 inches – 16 is a pretty common width for women’s bags, and usually men look for something slightly larger.

The other big difference I noticed is the strap. On the women’s bag, there’s a wide, slightly bulky shoulder strip with a very cook zipper accent down the middle. The men’s bag, on the other hand, has a slightly more streamlined (and longer) strap with no zipper. And then there’s the overall structure – the men’s bag is more blocky and maintains approximately the same width from top to bottom; the women’s bag is wider at the top when carried by the double handles. Except for the missing zipper on the strap, I think I actually prefer the men’s version. Buy through Barneys for $1925. (It’s also less expensive than the smaller women’s bag, which retails for $2260!)

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