If you already hate Hedi Slimane’s Saint Laurent bags, get ready to have another rage blackout!

We got on Hedi’s case a few months ago for the Birkin-aping Sac Du Jour, and for Fall 2013, Slimane is back with some more bags that are not-so-loosely based on handbag history. This time, it’s the Saint Laurent Cassandre Bags, which may or may not cause visions of vintage Chanel totes to dance in your head. In particular, the bags might remind you of the celeb-favorite Chanel Caviar Jumbo XL Weekender Tote, which is a highly sought vintage piece that has the same partially-chain double handles and flip-over logo closure as the Saint Laurent Cassandre Shoppers, both quilted and non. (And, it must be said, quilting has never made anything look less Chanel. It’s not a design feature you add if you’re trying to distance yourself from Chanel’s aesthetic.)

The line also boasts a shoulder bag with a flap top and logo closure, this one with the same diagonal quilts as the beige shopper. The design clearly mines the same 80s material that Chanel has taken to referencing recently, except that the material was, you know, actually created by Chanel back in the 80s. Rummaging through your own archive is quite different from rummaging through that of another brand.

That’s not to say that these bags are unattractive, of course. They’re attractive for the same reason that the original bags are getting a second look from both luxury vintage shoppers and Chanel’s accessory department alike: they reference a very specific period of time in fashion that’s very trendy among nostalgia-seekers at the moment. If I were you, though, I’d keep a lookout for the Chanel version, either secondhand or referenced in a new bag.

Saint Laurent Matelasse Chain Strap Shoulder Bag
$2,290 via Neiman Marcus

Saint Laurent Cassandre Matelasse Chain Strap Shoulder Bag

Saint Laurent Cassandre Chain Strap Shopper
$2,350 via Neiman Marcus

Saint Laurent Cassandre Chain Strap Shopper

Saint Laurent Cassandre Matelasse Chain Strap Shopper
$2,550 via Neiman Marcus

Saint Laurent Cassandre Matelasse Chain Strap Shopper

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Ingrid Kim

    With those prices, might as well buy a vintage chanel.

  • So basically, I concluded that Hedi does whatever’s bankable. There’s the leather grungy teen-angst collections that rich teens and 25-unders buy like hot cakes and now there are these bags – suitable for the ladylike rest. I see no identity here.

  • fgp

    This is not nearly as bad as I was expecting from the description. I would’ve never even thought of the chanel when looking at the quilted one and the non-quilted one is similar in very generic ways–no way is it the only handbag to have a small flap or to put its logo in a central location.

  • Atelieross.com

    Maybe I’m not a Chanel fan but these bags don’t really remind me of Chanel. The quilting is more modern and original to me. Now that the house is finally using the iconic YSL insignia again people are complaining that the bags look Chanel? Le sigh…

    • Chanel did quite a bit of chevron quilting back in the era that these bags are referencing.

      • Atelieross.com

        I’ll take your word however regardless of the inspiration, I have to say these are very beautiful bags. I particularly like the simple black shopper in black leather.

  • aluxe

    Wow, the resemblance to the Chanel shopper is particularly glaring in the pic of the black Cassandre shopper bag.

    Many of the new SLP bags remind me of the Chevron bags from Chanel, which are a particular favorite of mine and encouraged me to pay attention to that brand’s bags in the first place some years ago.

  • MollyPete

    see, also, Lanvin’s chevron quilted Happy bags.

  • Justin Jones

    Why does Purseblog hate on Slimane so much for designing bags similar to/inspired by Hermes/Chanel?

    Brands like Reed Krakoff, Kate Spade, Coach, Tory Burch hardly EVER have original designs and are constantly ripping off bag trends from higher-end designers like Celine, Gucci, LV, Saint Laurent, etc. yet Purseblog never seems to act so highbrow towards them… what’s the deal?

    Frankly, I’d rather buy a knockoff by Slimane than a Celine trapeze knockoff by Krakoff or K.Spade.

    • npm

      Reed Krakoff doesn’t make copies

      • Justin Jones

        Riiiight. His Atlantique and Coach Legacies – So very innovative.
        Might as well purchase the originals than shell out 2K for an inspired bag. But that’s just me.

    • npm

      Reed Krakoff doesn’t make copies

    • None of those brands charge nearly as much for their bags as Saint Laurent. An inspired bag at $500 is a whole different animal than an inspired bag for basically the same as the original. Slimane has raised Saint Laurent’s prices overall, and when a brand demands a premium for its products, it consumers’ and critics’ right to demand premium work.

      • Hm.

        So unoriginality is justified as long as the inspired bag is cheap(er)?

        If Purseblog is going to be critical of Slimane’s unoriginality, that judgement should be consistent/applicable across all brands – regardless of whether the bag costs $200 or $2000.

        I frankly don’t see how some of Krakoff’s $2-3K Celine + Proenza look-a-likes are any different from what Slimane is doing/charging, yet Purseblog frequently raves about Krakoff.

        It’s apparent Purseblog has a bias against Slimane/Saint Laurent. But to each its own.

      • Personally, I believe that $3,000 should buy you a lot more in a bag than $300 should. Creatively, functionally, materially.

        It’s simply not true that we’re not critical of less expensive brands for taking heavy inspiration from each other, though. Check out our latest post about Tory Burch: https://www.purseblog.com/tory-burch/tory-burch-saddalrina-saddle-bag.html

        We’ve also done two big roundup posts on all the people ripping off Celine’s Luggage Tote over the past year, plus a post on contemporary brands ripping off the Trio. If you’re not seeing our coverage of people doing this other than Saint Laurent, then hey, drop by more often!

        More likely, though, is that Hedi has just engendered a lot of strong opinions. People who hate him feel it more with each collection, and people who like him are sick of being criticized for it at this point. I totally get that, but it’s not going to lower my expectations for Hedi. He should do great things, and he very well might.

  • Nina

    Looks good for me, I’d rather buy this than that of Chanel which priced ridiculously high. Agree with Justin on how other brands copy higher end brand and no one seems to care but this one they have to get annoyed on.

  • Harry

    I read both you and BagSnob. I am sorry but this story just turned me off and I may not return. Your bloggers are so inconsistent with their taste levels it kills me!!! Can we please go back to the intern who’s fav item of the week was that tacky Gucci monogram shawl trimmed in some cheap rodent fur! At BagSnob she relays a clear and consistent message, you people are all over the place!! I am sorry but hating on these bags but then loving tacky cheap shit?! Maybe Meg’s needs to proof read the articles a bit closer.

    • I edit the posts here, and I’m never going to ask any of our writers to change their opinions to fit mine or to fit the party line. We encourage a variety of personal styles and viewpoints among our editorial staff, which is why we always clearly label the posts according to who wrote what. In our opinion, a diversity of viewpoints makes for a more complete perspective on style. (And I actually like these bags, and would carry them, which is a different issue than recognizing that they look an awful lot like some very famous Chanel bags.)

  • Abbi

    The thing that makes me want to ragequit is the fact they call it ‘Saint Laurent’ but they still include the ‘Y’! Its either Saint Laurent (SL) OR YVES Saint Laurent (YSL)! To this day this marketing gimmick just annoys me to no end! I think it may be because im slightly ocd…

    • Casey

      Try to think of it this way: The CC logo stands for Coco Chanel but the label just says “Chanel.” The GG logo stands for Guccio Gucci but the label only says “Gucci.” It’s not a marketing gimmick is Yves Saint Laurent himself used only “Saint Laurent rive gauche” on his labels at the same time as the YSL logo.

  • Averil

    I enjoy this blog because of the myriad of opinions expressed, regardless of whether I agree with them or not. Keep up the great work!

  • TL

    I love Purseblog. I look forward to reading it every Friday, I only do it on Fridays for some weird OCD reason that I could never explain.
    Also, I don’t personally carry bags, I’m a guy, However, I like to see what is going on.

    I have always noticed that Purseblog never really votes yes to YSL or SLP or whatever we are calling it this week. Which is fine, Hedi did a lot of redundant things when he took over, and I consistently HATE their fashion shows (when I see the clothes on the rack, out of context, they are pretty nice and their leather fits like it was made by the hands of God)

    but I do love his bags. and I gotta say I my mind didn’t flash back to Chanel when I saw the first photo. I just saw some 1980’s Las Vegas-era chic. That seems to be such an.. it… thing right now. HOWEVER, The gold is minimal and gives it just the right amount of 80’s flare. and I think the logo flap is adorable, although, unoriginal. And the quilting seems a little less Chanel then Chanel.

    Regardless, the PBteam is great and I thoroughly love reading, even if we do disagree on SLPYSL. Thanks.

  • Lily G

    I have seen these bags and they are way cool. But then, I like Roger Vivier, vintage Chanel, all that kooky stuff. And have you seen the latest rash of 70s movies (American Hustle, et al)? The 80s are next!

  • Golfgrl

    I’m sick of obnoxious Chanel bag owners to be honest. It looks old lady to me. It’s great quality but I find YSL fresh and new. I own this beige tote bag and love it! The black cannot compare to Chanel but the beige is divine! Unique over expected Chanel. Those are easy to knock off and get away with bc of smaller hardware too! This bag looks rich and harder to replicate. I don’t like Sac ones-too heavy and birkin rip off. The quilting here is cute and different than Chanel! Gorgeous bag and I get told that whenever I wear it.

  • golfgrl

    chanel is so old fart/every Asian chick has it bag! SNOOZE! I think Lagerfeld too (Chanel house creator) is a total weirdo with his dogs and young boys. I find YSL has a fresh take here taken from the old or not. I’m so sick of the stupid Chanel double flap bag! Not a head turner or remotely “oooo shhhhhh” Once Kardashians started wearing them excessively it was “piece out!” for me. Get something different I say.

    • Kat

      Wow. So much “oh, no” (whilst grimacing) in this comment. “Every Asian chick has it” … just … wow.

  • Lisa

    Apparently Chanel ‘owns’ any and all types of quilting, all and any chain handles – and also totes. Got it.
    Looking forward to you ripping into Rebecca Minkoff then. She is so direct.

    Personally, I find it refreshing to have a genuine style alternative to Chanel. The CCs are over saturated, I don’t want to carry the brand and it is fine for me to say that.

    Saint Laurent has impeccable design history, the chevron quilting and logo has been used very consistently. Other houses also use these popular design items. What is your feeling about Dior, for example? They also use quilting and chain. Frankly I think this has been a vulgar story.

  • EJ

    Couple of months ago I bought black YSL Cassandre Matelasse bag; great bag, very sturdy, attracting many compliments. Bought this one as I needed a bag which can withhold underground crowds and to save my Pradas.

has got us obsessing...