One thing I’ve learned from spending the past couple years of my life writing about handbags every day is that you can’t include a buckle closure on a bag without having it compared to Hermes immediately. And with good reason – the twist-lock belt closure is as central to the identity of the Birkin as diamond quilting is to a Chanel flap bag.

The Rebecca Minkoff Jane Satchel takes that element of handbag iconography and applies it to a younger, hipper, far less expensive bag, but the results are a tad mixed. Borrowing an identifiable detail from one of the world’s most expensive bags and putting it on one that retails for a few hundred dollars sets up an automatic comparison that’s almost always unfavorable for a contemporary designer.

This isn’t a bad bag by any stretch of the imagination, but crinkly glazed leather is perhaps not the choice I would have made when Hermes is going to be the first thing people think of when they look at you bag. It merely serves to underline the differences in quality between the two, and while the choice also might be an indication that Minkoff probably wasn’t out to imitate a Birkin, the comparison perseveres. Buy through ShopBop for $475.

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Lulugurl

    I love this bag! If I had a more coporate job I would definatly have this for a brief case, as there is now way I could justify the price of a birkin…

    My only complain is that it is a convertable bag, but I find how the longer strap attaches seems akward to me…but that might just be me! :)

  • Karin bag4bag

    I have never been happy with the idea that one company ‘owns’ a feature of a bag, unless we are talking a cheap copycat. The bag is a bit too structured for me, but I applaud Rebecca Minkoff for another change of direction with her bags.

  • justa9url

    I love the idea of naming this one Jane! I think it’s really cute because she’s admitting to where to got the inspiration from. And I love the RM because she likes the additional longer strap. =) But the I’m having mixed feelings about the finish, I think it makes it look like a cheap copy.

  • lchua

    If people think this as an everyday version of the expensive Hermes then why not? It’s not a downright copy so IMO it’s a great alternative with a more day-to-day appropriate price tag. I can see a lot of people carrying this bag to the border of “abusing” it, wearing the leather and relying on its dependability, making it one functional purse. I applaud RM for the approach.

  • mochababe73

    I don’t like the long strap, but the bag is nice. Rebecca Minkoff makes a good quality product. And, I like the shine.

  • Chris

    it needs aged brass hardware

  • 19yearslater

    It is too similar to Hermes for my taste. I try not to make those types of comparisons too quickly, but this has not only the buckle, also the briefcase styling of the Birkin.

  • Shannon

    I love this!! I think that it would look much better in person, than online. Don’t forget, they shot this in a studio with bright lights, so it may look a lot less shiny in natural light.

  • matahari

    did anyone pause to consider the practicality of the clasps?? One of the reasons I would never buy a Birkin is that reason. Who has the patience to undo and redo that darn belt and clasp everytime you go into your purse for money or keys??? It would drive me nuts. Give me a Louis Vuitton Galliera anyday.