By now, most of you have probably seen some version of the Marc Jacobs Coated Leather MJ Satchel in person, and if you have, you know exactly what I mean when I say that it doesn’t remind me of any designer back I’ve seen in the last few years, and maybe ever. I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing, but I always appreciate innovation.

The most striking thing about this bag when you see it in person is how perfectly smooth the leather is; in fact, I didn’t really believe it was leather when I first picked up one of these. But it is, just super slick and without any sign of grain or natural imperfection. Whether or not you’ll like that depends on your personal style, I suppose. Personally, I find this bag and the materials used to make it absolutely fascinating; I merely wish it came in a black and grey version.

Upon touching this bag, the first thing that you notice is that it’s very, very stiff. The inflexibility helps out with the traditional look and structure of the bag, and it allows the leather’s shine to, well, shine. The coating on the bag isn’t as shiny as patent, but it still gives the bag a flawless, almost fake quality. And I mean that in a generally positive way; up close, the leather is unlike basically anything else I’ve seen on a bag lately.

With thick, structured leather comes heft, though, which is probably the main downside of this satchel. Marc Jacobs bags always tend to be heavy, and this one is no exception, although I don’t think the weight is prohibitive. If you want a bag that will sag with age, this one isn’t it, but the space-age material gives this traditional satchel a thoroughly modern edge. Buy through BlueFly for $1196.

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