Last week, while we were discussing celebrity handbag placements, one of our comments mentioned the Michael Kors Vivian Bag and her budding interest in it. Her timing couldn’t have been better; I’ve been looking at the brand new Vivian line for a couple of weeks now, and the more I do, the more I like it.

Perhaps because of its ubiquity (and also perhaps because of some of the customers stereotypically associated with the brand’s logo-bedecked diffusion line), Michael Kors tends to inspire opinions on either extreme of the Handbag Feelings Continuum: people love Kors and everything his sporty version of luxury stands for, or they loathe his brand with a tenacity that would frighten most pit bulls. In many ways, either reaction is a win on Kors’ part; it means that he has created a vision that is both specific enough and popular enough to bother people.

Kors has a unique challenge in selling bags that cost more than a thousand dollars, though. The lower-priced MICHAEL Michael Kors brand is so well-known for its bags and so aesthetically similar to Michael Kors Collection that it tends to make upper-tier consumers a little wary. After all, anyone paying that much for a bag wants to make sure that the brand itself can provide value.

The Vivian, along with the Miranda tote before it, can potentially do some important work to differentiate the lines and create accessories value. Kors is particularly adept at getting his bags onto celebrity arms, so that is surely ahead for the Vivian, but it’d be hard to effectively argue that this isn’t a pretty nice-looking handbag without any hype at all.

It owes a debt to a few other nice-looking handbags, to be sure. The overall look feels Prada-inspired, and the unique hardware reminds me of that of the Proenza Schouler PS11. It’s hard to find any new bag that doesn’t feel at least a little like some other, not-so-new bag, though, and the relatively sane price tag on this bag will make it a more likely wear-to-work option for a lot of women.

Are you into this bag? Let us know in the comments. If the answer is “yes,” pick one up for $1,295 via Neiman Marcus.

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • C

    When I just looked, there was only one left on the website! I like the contrast between the chunky gold harware/structured handle attachments and the slightly unfinished-looking edge of the leather at the opening. Not exactly my personal style, but it’s a very nice bag, and I predict it’ll be a big seller.

  • RichlyPoor

    I’m so glad you did this and I agree with much of your assessment, which is why I was wondering what others thought. While I like the bag (and it also reminds me so much of the Proenza Schouler hardware!), I’m also hesitant regarding the price point. I understand that it is Collection, so of course, it has to be priced as such, but I can’t help thinking I’d rather wait for it to go on sale because I just don’t know if I’m willing to part with that amount for a Michael Kors bag…. After all, the Miranda has been marked down in an assortment of colors and materials at different retailers and I’m sure the Vivian will follow. I think it’d be different if he never did price markdowns and if the ubiquitous MICHAEL line didn’t eat up so much of the market. I’ll still probably end up owning one, just a past season style. It is a lovely bag though!

  • anne-craig

    ooooh, I have GOT to see this one in person! That leather looks so yummy, esp in the Desert also sold at NM. Nice silhouette and gorgeous hardware plus the really awesomely organized interior. Along with a jillion others, I am the happy owner of Kors’ Selma in that lovely Pearl Saffiano leather, but I have not really looked into his line in depth. I got a screechingly good deal on Ms Selma from Nordstrom, maybe luck will strike twice, with Ms Vivian … :)

  • Marina Harbor

    Lately it’s the only bag that I really like! the design is perfect. But dont know if Im able to by a MK bag! I dont like the brand. I want to wait to see it in the store. But im sure that I I won’t buy it.

  • The pricing of MK is great but the turn off for me is their logo is always way too big and (I think) often in metal hardware letters rather than embossed. They have to tone it down a bit. Also I find they go hard/structured where they should go more soft, like the Vivian’s handle placement looks too 3D. And their hardware always looks off in terms of the shape and scale relative to the bag. Minor tweaks would make me an MK fan but for now I’ll pass. I’d get a Selma if it weren’t for the logo. The Vivan’s leather and slouch however are yummy, especially in the red.

  • rigidmink

    Not a huge fan. I see elements copied from many other designers: Proenza Schouler, Prada, Givenchy to name a few..

  • Marnie

    I’ll never get the draw of MK, to me his aesthetic is so boring and uninspiring. And calling a $1295 price for a handbag sane, is INSANE.

    • AnnabelleLockyeruli

      My Uncle
      Riley got an almost new red GMC Canyon just by some parttime working online
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  • FashionableLena

    Most forget that Michael Michael Kors is his diffusion line. I found that out the hard way when I wanted one of his dresses from off the runway. It was $995 at Saks. The bag is gorgeous, and I love this red. The price for his high end line is not unreasonable in the grand scheme of things. This LEATHER bag is still cheaper than Stella McCartney’s FAKE leather bags.
    And, like I’ve said many times, no one is really doing anything new. Even the third tier designers are copying the high end. Nine West has a bag that looks like a Celine.

    • twirler

      you can “not do anything new” and still not blatantly rip off signature looks from other brands (ie this bag with proenza)

  • eyda

    i think what turns me off the most is the gold turnlock bar. the gold strap holders are a nice touch though. but i think no matter how nice MK bags are, i wouldnt spend my money on them :( my fave MK bag design has got to be the selma. i think it is the perfect bag within that price range. from the shape and proportions to the saffiano leather, i think its an instant classic. but no matter how much i love the design, i dont love the brand. probably i’m just biased :)

  • dinabobina

    Love it!

  • shueaddict

    I begrudge MK’s ubiquity but objectively speaking there are a few good things about this bag. I still would not buy it; howvere there’s no denying MK’s mass appeal. In Europe they are expanding everywhere and there are plenty of women who cannot afford top end designer that really like the high end “inspired” looks at 3 digits price tags.

  • Maya

    ….the answer is nooooooooo :))) Tacky, boring, so no :))

  • It’s boring, the golden hardware looks unnecessary and those triangular shapes under the handles just bother me. I’ll always love the Miranda though.

  • guestt

    If it didn’t have that gold almost grate looking thing on the front, I’d like it more.

  • kate


  • Dawn

    I like MK, however, if I’m going to spend $1,295 it will be on another Louis Vuitton. Perhaps the neverfull handbag. Love my Louis classic signature handbag :)

    • sahmof2

      Yes ma’m!

  • Maria Sun Dela Cruz

    It looks like nice leather and good hardware, but if it’s made in China and a price tag of over $1,000 — then no way.

  • Joanna

    It’s a cute bag. Love the colour but won’t spend $1,295 on a Mkors handbag.

  • Bilan Scott

    I love this bag but the price is ridiculous!

  • liz

    I LOVE this bag! Especially the gold plate on the side. It’s a nice contrast without being over the top. I think this has the potential of being one of those timeless type of bags just because of how classy it looks.

    With that said it is hard to spend that kind of money on a designer that not only has a cheaper line, but constantly marks his stuff down. Even the high end stuff. Pick a tier and focus on that.

  • very juicy piece, however the @michaelkors logo seems to be now in a new execution? surprised to see

  • If it isn’t too heavy or too overwhelming for smaller frames like mine, then I’ll consider it. I’m Olsen Twin sized and unlike them, I prefer bags that are proportion to me!

  • Chase Dean Meacham

    I wish he would bring back the GIA SATCHEL! I just found one in the original Cinnamon and it was an insane steal price wise. I have worked for the brand for 4 years and have been disappointed in the more recent years at quality and his COLLECTION bags being made in China as well…. However the Gia Satchel is Italian calfskin made in Italy, I wish he would go more in that direction again with his Collection line. There is a difference in Diffusion and Collection for a reason!!!!!!!!!

  • Yenskiboo

    Please. Just. NO. I won’t be caught dead with such an embarrassment on my arm. I don’t understand the whole Michael Kors bags appeal – higher-end customers avoid them like the plague since they look like cheap designer bags knock-offs; low-end customers would probably rather buy an actual replica of the original expensive designer bags; and average shoppers, I hope someone would tell them that carrying an MK bag is equivalent to holding up a sign that reads “I’d like to think I’m luxury, but really, I can’t afford any of the real stuff.” Whether it’s from the diffusion line or not, is like having a needle poked into my eye.

    • the real deal

      you are an idiot and a wannabe snob. I can point you to hundreds of pictures of celebrities who own and carry MK bags (specifically the Hamilton) and can certainly afford “expensive designer bags” and whose collections would put yours to shame. Just because you assume people who love MK are “poor folk” just shows your arrogant stupidity. Nice try troll!

      • Jadesmusings

        I wonder how much MK had to pay those celebs to carry his bags… In fact, I think PB just did a post on the whole phenomenon of designers pushing their bags onto celebs to as soft marketing tools, but I digress. Your reply did nothing to help me understand the appeal behind MK bags. Are you trying to say that even if money were not an issue, people would choose an MK bag over let’s say a bottega or Proenza or celine or balenciaga or Givenchy? Is it the quality of the material? Or the originality of designs? Lol

        PS: celebs aren’t exactly the type of people I’d classify as “high-end customers”

      • Chase Dean Meacham

        Rude. Elitist. I work for the brand and for some LOW END folks like you talk about, it is the closest to luxury you can get. Yes they are made in china, but many of them are still made with italian leather in the collection line. Your post I understand, but you could word it better as to not offend people that may not have that much money.

      • Chase Dean Meacham

        and what is a celeb if not a “high-end customer”? What are you the Princess of Shanghai?? A billionaire wife?? Who exactly are high end customers in YOUR eyes miss?

      • Jadesmusings

        Sorry chase, yes upon rereading the initial comment I realize it was phrased in a very negative way. In terms of high-end customers, I was thinking more along the lines of old/new money billionaires wives or daughters..

      • Chase Dean Meacham

        Very cool of you to apologize. I know the brand like the back of my hand if the Forum needs an MK specialist lol. That was my title at the department store I worked at. When I worked at an outlet MK store (where I started with him) I just feel in love with the feel music scent and atmosphere! I sold $500k in ten months! And a lot of big money players decked in Chanel head to toe would come in and buy their clothes for a yacht trip, ect. so he actually does a good job of appealing to EVERYONE in some way or another. I will not deny my disappointments in his diffusion line the last 2 years excluding the Selma. I have the Gia Satchel and its my favorite bag! Not the most expensive but it is collection and the leather is actually comparable to many high end brands =]

    • Everythingspeachy

      Jademusings, I completely understand your point. But you’re forgetting one ideal, the statement you made that “I’d like to think I’m luxury, but really, I can’t afford any of the real stuff” – you THINK that it is negative. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with not being able to afford some brands. Whereas carrying MK for you is an embarrassment, to some people it is THEIR fashion statement whether they truly like the brand’s aesthetic or a regular wannabe.

      And THIS is a typical opinion of a snob.

      • Chase Dean Meacham

        She apologized I made the same point. When I sold bags to people I loved the smiles on their faces knowing they had at least a tiny piece of luxury in their lives. And that is why I loved working for the brand =]

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