Late last week, I received a text from a friend, asking if I had seen “the new Saint Laurent Birkin.” This friend and I share (negative) feelings about new Saint Laurent creative director Hedi Slimane (and Cathy Horyn agrees with us, so I feel pretty good about it), so I knew whatever was waiting at the end of the link he included in the text would be worth at least a smug snicker, even if it weren’t as blatant a rip-off as he’d suggested. As it turns out, though, the Saint Laurent Sac de Jour Tote is actually that blatant a rip-off.

It hasn’t been a particularly good week for Slimane. His latest collection, a grunge-y Hot Topic fever dream inspired by the baser sartorial instincts of noted crazy person Courtney Love, was roundly panned by virtually every fashion critic whose publication would allow him or her to say starkly negative things about it. It was bad; far worse than his previous collection, which received little critical excitement but still looked like something that might conceivably be manufactured by Saint Laurent. (Don’t include the Yves, lest you be struck down by YSL PR.) Even I thought it was bad, and I love grunge. I own multiple pairs of combat boots. Still, nothing to see there.

At this stage in the game, Slimane’s additions to the Saint Laurent handbag line have been a relative bright spot. The designs are generally snooze-worthy, but just by virtue of being a brand with a buzz-worthy name behind it, they were bound to sell until the buzz wore off. By then, I had hoped that Slimane would improve at the whole handbag thing. This bag, though, shows little promise.

It feels like belaboring the point even to bother explaining all the details ripped straight from the iconic Hermes Birkin; you can also see the belted closure, gusset style, clochette (holding the key for what lock, exactly?) and proportion for yourselves. What’s perhaps more important is what’s been divested from the classic design: any sense of luxury or style. It’s not a particular stretch to say the same of much of Slimane’s Saint Laurent ready-to-wear.

If I haven’t been able to dissuade you, feel free to pick up this bag for $2,950 via Luisa Via Roma.

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • nb81283

    Meh! Very boring. It doesn’t remind me of anything Hermes..

  • Joshua

    This bag seriously looks like that Michael Kors ‘Birkin’ ripoff bag. Seriously Slimane? For some reason I have a feeling they’re going to be replaced soon.

  • Catita

    boring indeed but what do you think about the Betty bag? I think it is really pretty and I think it would be great if you could write a review about it! Discovered your blog recently and love every post!

    • Glad you like the blog!

      I’ve considered writing about the Betty a couple of times, I’m just not sure what to say about it. I like it well enough, but it just doesn’t do enough for me that I have anything particularly concrete to say about it. It’s definitely the best of Slimane’s handbag efforts so far.

  • Anjum Hameed

    Not a copy but a boring bag…

  • Wow, crazy copy. boring indeed.

  • Nouf

    I didn’t like any bag from the new collection. I don’t feel like he added any bag to “SLP” that I realy want to go buy right now like what happened to me when I saw Muse , Muse2 ,and Cabas Chyc. I don’t mind to have them in all colors.
    I can’t see any effort in designing the new bags , very boring and a very bad execute of minimalism.

  • Cami

    After the SS13 collection I wasn´t blown away neither let down. There were some super nice items. I thought: put his attitude aside, give him another season or two before rejecting him altogether. He might redress the situation. After all we’re here for accesories and ready-to-wear, not Hedi. So time proved wrong. He put out bad, just plain boring and cheap looking bags. If there was little to any creativity here then the Pre-fall 13 collection was unimaginative to the limit. Though still wearable. The drop that overflowed the glass for me was the FW13 runway show. It lacks “surprise” like the previous but this time everything is ugly. Really, really… REALLY F****** ugly.
    I read this in a comment: “If Courtney Love is your number one fan then you know there’s something wrong”. Now that girl is right.

  • Cami

    Haha… I see your humor. Don’t include Yves but keep the “Y” in YSL.

  • Yerani_km

    I agree adamantly with all that you have said so far about the bag, the brand, and the designer. I mentioned my opinion on instagram a few months back and I was severly admonished by all the fashionistas on instagram with private accounts. I stand behind my opinion. His first collection was a rip-off of YSL from the past collections and this bag is a rip-off of Micheal Kors ripping off Hermes.

  • Can HS please stop this? I loved him when he was at Dior Homme. Now is just sad.

  • lefu

    this bag is terrible… it’s boring and just looks cheap. : SL needs an oust.

  • bir

    i usually don’t accuse .. but this is a formal accusation .sir you are a thief, in all ways possible. i agree i don’t think we need to dissect and analyze the bag because i don’t think its even worth it …… but i will say this the house of saint Laurent .. as its now called… is lost. i don’t have access to the archives and still i know the brand better i have studied Yves and this is not Yves … o and Y es i S till L ove to call it Yves …. (SL) is a new brand to me YvesSaintLaurent paris is a brand that disappeared this new brand like this bag is a mockery ….

  • Rashida

    It is beyond inspired to me. It is too similar and I do not see the ingenuity in the design at all. YSL’s bags used to be one of a kind and fashion forward and now this person designing for the fashion house is sullying the brand. Very bad for the brand.

  • pixiegirlie

    This is yet another boring bag that I would never ever want to own. It almost doesn’t even seem like he’s trying here. I also don’t get why brands feel the need to add a clochette to a bag that doesn’t have a lock this really irks me. The only bag design that even peaks my interest is the studded betty bag but not enough to buy it.

  • Cherryorchard

    It looks like someone took a look at Birkin and thought, “That is nowhere near conservative&boring enough, let’s copy the design but leave out all the details that make the Birkin at least a bit interesting. What a great concept?”…no.

  • Tina

    Unfortunately a big fail of a design.

  • momoka

    I feel this bags will brings lot from retail.The relationship with YSL PR and media is quite nervous recently as I know…let’s see the feedback from market…I don’t feel the bag is so bad.

  • Kathleen

    As an avid Hermes collector, I am going to have to disagree with most of the posts. I saw this bag IRL yesterday and while is it certainly reminiscent of the Birkin, I don’t think it is trying to be The Birkin. No straps, no toggle, no hardware of note. If this is copying the Birkin, than why not Pradas tote or Michael Kors? I think it is a lovely bag, excellent quality, discreet logo (very important to me) and at $2900, a nice alternative to am $11,000 Birkin. As for ingenuity, it is hard to create classic bag (one without all of the crazy hardware, logos, chains, staps and padlocks etc) without harkening back to the classics. Is the new Saint Laurent duffle that is so highly coveted not your classic Speedy shape? Looks alot like Sophia Coppolas duggle bag for LV, n’est pas? If anyone were to see and it and be snarky , I think they should educate themselves about Saint Laurnet’s fine history

  • E29w69

    This bag in person is beautiful. And comes in 2 sizes. The smaller size is perfect. You will eat your words. Also the colors that it is offered in are lux!

  • This bag is anything but cheap, boring or Hermes like. Have you seen it in person? It’s incredibly luxe. I’m sorry you don’t like what HS is doing at Saint Laurent, but the customers do. Sales are through the roof. This is a classic, well-constructed purse. Perfect for work or travel.

  • deGlennWong

    I’ve seen most biased comments ever, belting the top closure doesn’t necessary means its a failed creative. if thats the case, bags with a zip is totally a rip off from the first zip bag that was made. How silly does that sound? I couldn’t understand allow their judgements to be clouded and jumped onto the bandwagon and declined this.

  • cas

    I have been harbouring a strong dislike towards Hedi Slimane as well ever since he made the ridiculous move to change YSL’s name. I saw the bag IRL and have to completely agree that it is a blatant copy of the Birkin. Completely disgusted. I truly hope YSL gets a new creative director soon.

  • Lily G

    I have this bag and carry it all the time–in fact, for months since it came out. It look great with everything, is elegant, can be blingy (with gold hardware worn out), or discreet (with gold worn in), has a shoulder strap and a handle carry. It’s amazingly lightweight. Jeans, dresses, heels, super casual–it just rocks! Just a lovely, timeless bag.
    I was in Paris recently, both in posh places, and riding the Metro–it served well in both!

    • Lily G

      Oops, I have the other one with the foldover gold Y! Sorry, my mistake. But I have seen this one live and it’s rather nice, too.


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  • golfgrl

    I think the above blog is so off based on how this bag looks. Gorgeous bag! Why any moron would spend 10 grand on a stupid Hermes when people are starving in the world is beyond me…especially when you can have an awesome more affordable option over old ladies, the ever so dysfunctional “Blue Jasmine” and Kar “trashian” (“AKA” Kim Kardashian). I now find Birkin “classless” because of the way the media portrays “class” and the stupid people that carry them. In fact, the above are more reasons to opt for YSL over the Birkin. Birkin is so easily replicated few will believe it’s real even if your is. The YSL bag is believable and the colors are vibrant, fun and conversation starters. The Birkin brand has so dropped off the map for me-it’s not desirable anymore. Every greedy/money-hungry person has one and they honestly just show you have no regards for humanity to spend that kind of money on a handbag. Donate to your local college or bank the remaining eight grand and have a beautiful too. A smart girl does both and can actually feel good about the purchase over feeling public shame coming her way.

  • Dwightinha

    As I actually own one I can truly say that the Saint laurent design of the SDJ is nothing like the Birkin. I don’t think they even tried, and it might have been a complete turnoff for many potential customers. They could not risk that. It is simply one of those bags that will go into history as a classic, and a well designed minimalistic bag. The market was ready for a style like this.

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