Diffusion lines, as a concept, are often an extremely mixed bag. Miu Miu and Marc by Marc Jacobs? Fabulous! Just Cavalli and ZSpoke by Zac Posen? Not as fabulous! Not nearly. Red Valentino’s apparel has been around for a long while, but its handbags are just starting to reach mass retailers for Spring 2011, and thankfully, the first bag that we covered from the collection isn’t the only good one to be found.

I don’t necessarily like all of the line’s offerings as much as I like the Red Valentino Bow Tote, but this bag does a great job of demonstrating exactly why Valentino’s diffusion bags might just work. It takes the parent brand’s aesthetic and streamlines how its presented, and perhaps more importantly, it streamlines the price.

If you had told me that this was one of Valentino’s more basic bags, I would have believed you without question. The north/south tote and large bow detail are both staples of the brand’s handbags, and at least in pictures, the leather looks very similar to the chewy, soft stuff that you’ll find selling for five or six times this bag’s retail price. If you’re a Valentino enthusiast on a budget, you have nowhere else to look. This particular tote also comes in black. Buy through Saks for $450.

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