The once little-known brand has hit a cult status amongst handbag aficionados and the expansion of bag offerings for Parisian-based Polène continues. If you don’t know Polène, you’re going to want to. In 2018, I called this a brand to watch, and since that time, Polène has enjoyed a massive surge of popularity.
There are many reasons, one being the designs themselves, but the other main factor is that for the quality of the product and the price, you are getting truly impeccably made bags. The logo, if it is even incorporated, is small and each style is quite organic, many times with different beautiful drapes and pleating techniques. The textured leathers used are incredibly supple while remaining highly durable, and the bags are handcrafted.
Introducing the Numéro Neuf
This is the Polène Numéro Neuf (number nine), which is a unique take for the brand. You’ll first notice the draping that comes together to form this bag, from the top handle to the body of the bag. Next, you’ll find the attention to detail which can be seen by the meticulous stitches in the bag, forming a nice aesthetic touch (especially where the piece of leather meets on the front center of the bag).
This bag is quite feminine and sculptural, while still being practical. The full-grain calfskin doesn’t scratch easily which is always a bonus for me. The interior is lined in 100% tonal cotton and though the leather is substantial in feel, it does not add a lot of heft to the bag itself.
I absolutely love the top handle of the bag, it’s a true art piece when you examine it closely. The handle is actually crafted seamlessly from the main leather panels and its interesting form is created by pleating and stitching of the leather.
The Details That Make the Bag
You’ll find a removable strap, though by now you know I am always team strap for making my bag carrying far easier. The bag closes with a nifty magnetic flap and there is an inner zipped pocket. If you fancy logo-free bags, this bag will receive another check mark, as the Numéro Neuf only has its name on the interior.
I have very few complaints about this bag. I am such a big Polène fan girl and have been so delighted to see a brand with a far more accessible price point that still offers an elevated bag. One thing to note is that because of the way the bag’s draped form and its relatively wide handle, getting to the interior might take a little more time or searching when you open the bag.
Still, this bag is such a standout in design and aesthetic, I really love to see the bag world bring us something different. You can purchase the Numéro Neuf for $420 via Polène in 9 colors.
The Smaller Mini and Micro Sizes
If you love the itsy-bitsy micro bag trend, Polène also offers this same bag in the tiny micro size. There isn’t much functionality to it, but that doesn’t stop me from being oddly delighted by the bag itself.
It is mastery in form, in that creating a bag in such a tiny shape is quite the feat. While the Micro can fit a mint, a key, and a card, I find the Mini size far more usable while still giving you that compact size that many adore. The Mini Numéro Neuf also comes with a removable and adjustable shoulder strap.
Numéro Neuf vs. Mini vs. Micro Size Comparison
The full-sized Numéro Neuf measures 19 X 32 X 16 cm (7.5″ x 12.5″ x 6.3″), the Mini measures 14 x 23,5 x 13,5 cm (5.5″ x 9.25″ x 5.3″), and the Micro measures a tiny 7,5 x 13 x 7cm (3″ x 5.1″ x 2.7″). See a top-down comparison photo below: