Plenty of people prefer not to spend their money on embossed exotics, and I can see their point. The embossed pattern never looks as good as the real thing, and when you’re acquainted with the actual material, toting around the fake stuff can seem like a constant remind of how awesome a design could have looked. I like embossed materials from time to time, but I think the people who steer clear of them entirely have a very valid argument.

What I cannot abide, however, is a fake exotic embossed onto fake leather, which is exactly what we have with the Marc by Marc Jacobs Ozzie Square Lucy Tote, and I’m honestly a tad offended. I’ve had several Marc by Marc Jacobs bags over the years, and I’ve always been impressed with the quality of leather that the brand provides for its usually very reasonable price point. So what the heck is this?

For now, I’m going to give the company the benefit of the doubt and assume that the use of PVC was meant to appease the Marc by Marc Jacobs clientele who might be opposed to wearing leather. Since the brand tends to draw in a young, urban, hipster crowd, it stands to reason that a subset of the average MbMJ customers would indeed prefer non-leather bags. But if that’s the case, why still charge several hundred dollars when everyone knows that the material probably cost pennies? I have the same problem with Stella McCartney’s handbags – the manufacturing price and the final retail price seem almost entirely unrelated. At least Marc’s PVC purses are cheaper than Stella’s, though. A small victory. Buy through ShopBop for $398.

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • jen

    what you should consider:
    Stella McCartney’s aim is not only to produce vegan high-end fashion, but also to ensure the manufacturers and materials used are eco-friendly. This does cost a whole lot more. PVC does not equal PVC! Same with cotton and organic cotton. There are a lot (!) of differences.

    I’m not sure that is the same case with MBMJ, but I have seen this bag IRL and must say it is very well made. It is not an obvious fake leather bag, but it still does not pretend to be the real deal. It may be a great alternative if you like the look of ostrich, but would never want to wear the dead animal.

    • Chris

      I think you may have some very good and valid points here, Jen.

    • Vitta

      Actually, there’s nothing “eco-friendly” and “organic” about PVC, which is a petroleum product. Genuine leather is bio-degradable, but PVC and other plastics – not! Their production and disposal pollute the environment. I agree with Tracy that if it is a matter of principle, why even bother imitating “the dead animal” skin for $400?

    • Amanda Mull

      I know what Stella’s marketing angle on her materials is, but you have to be exceptionally careful with products that claim to be environmentally friendly – almost none of them are. Until she makes hard documentation available of how her materials are produced and what kinds of chemicals they use, I’m not sure that I buy the argument that her prices are justified. And if that documentation is available and I’ve missed it, I’d love for someone to point me towards it. I’m a skeptic by nature, though.

      • gg

        exactly! pvc is still made from oil.

  • Leslie

    This is hilarious to me, as I was looking for potential Christmas presents for myself…and I stumbled accross this bag and LOVED the look! However, I was crestfallen to discover that it was PVC. I cannot stomach paying that type of money for what I consider plastic. I honestly think you are paying for the name…that’s it.

  • Tracy

    I’m all for non-leather alternatives, but if you were against leather for animal rights reasons, why on earth would you want a PVC bag made to look like ostrich skin? EExotics clearly promote the use of leather because nothing else in the world looks like that.

  • Nico

    I got the Baby Aidan without knowing it was PVC. I found out on the Purse Forum and was conflicted. I loved the shape and the look of it, but it felt strange, had a shiny sheen, etc. I ended up returning it. I tried to justify with the “it costs less than some canvas/eco bags” rationale but I couldn’t do it. I ended up returning her for a Baby Groovee. Much happier now.

  • Constance

    Now I do like this handbag, although I don’t usually gravitate towards purses with shore handles.

  • 19yearslater

    I have more of a problem with the ostrich print (really not my style looks like chicken pox real or not real) than the PVC.

  • PhotoGirl

    $400 for plastic? No, no, no, no, no.

  • Stylista

    Ok, let me take my jaw off the floor first before I say NO! No PVC please! Ever! Especially not from someone like Marc Jacobs!

  • Mama M

    I’m really sad about this bag. I saw it in another color (light gray), and really liked it. It even has a center zipper compartment, which I love! Then, Amanda told me it was PVC. :>( Bad Marc.

  • ellez

    So sad this is PVC. Saw it on ShopBop and fell in love, but not if it’s plastic. Thanks for covering this bag Amanda! I almost made a huge msitake!!!

  • jacki

    thumbs down no way pvc forget it. it looks kind of puckered on the seams & that’s a dead giveaway not real leather not very good quality from the looks of it.