Ralph Lauren Collection Fringe Embellished Shoulder Bag, $3995 via Net-a-Porter. Ralph Lauren Collection Bull Head Embellished Leather Shoulder Bag, $995 via Net-a-Porter.

When I think of Ralph Lauren, there are some automatic associations I have that the brand has spent decades making sure I think of: Polo shirts, horses, women with carefully tousled blonde hair, people who have more money than Oprah. The reality of the brand’s average customer may be a little less glamorous, but based on the women who I normally encounter inside of Ralph Lauren Collection boutiques, those brand images do come from somewhere. What I can’t figure out is how that ties in with the Ralph Lauren Collection Fringe Embellished Shoulder Bag and the Ralph Lauren Collection Bull Head Embellished Leather Shoulder Bag.

Lauren’s Spring 2011 runway collection had a clear 1970s Western bent, and that’s clear in both of these bags. The metallic fringe bag looks like it’s covered in miniaturized belt buckles, and I guess you can’t get a whole lot more stereotypically Western than a bull skull rendered in silver, stuck to a weathered tan bag. That’s the problem, though – the references on these two pieces are too heavy-handed, the theme too obvious.

Perhaps my feelings would be more circumspect if the theme were one that appealed to me as a whole, so if you like Americana, these may be the sort of bags that appeal to a soft spot in your personal style. For me, though, they’re both a definite pass. I’d rather save my money for one of Lauren’s gorgeous Ricky bags.

Buy through Net-a-Porter for $3995.

Buy through Net-a-Porter for $995.

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Megan

    gag. for those prices? They have got to be kidding.

  • adrienne z

    don’t like the longhorn clasp

  • Lulugurl

    holy over priced batman! uggg..

  • Kat

    I wouldn’t buy these even if they were sold for $50.


  • nappy

    both look like stuf you can buy at the tourist stores down the desert… god, for those prices, i’d buy myself a Nancy Gonzales..

  • Amber

    Not a fan at all. Ew. What were they thinking???

  • Chubbydiva

    I kinda like them but not at those prices. I am so sick of bags that all look the same….maybe weirder is better…..

  • the proper order of things

    yuck…. they always do this weird western crap but my sources tell me it’s not what makes them any $$, it’s just for editorials (& ’cause RL likes it personally)

  • Mary

    They both look terrible.


  • Blaine

    Seriously Amanda – you need to save every single penny you can, take a year off and write a novel. Why else would I bother to click on these hideous bags other than to read you?

  • Lori

    LOL Blaine.

  • Mochababe73

    I have been born, raised, and still live in Texas, and I wouldn’t come anywhere close to wearing this. Well, maybe if I were going to the rodeo.
    And, I went to NAP to see what this looks like on the model. There must be about 20 lbs. of fringe on that first bag.
    Even then, I wouldn’t pay this kind of money. Although, I would wear the saddlebag if the longhorn head was removed.

  • 19yearslater

    This is way beyond a Western influence. Tone it down a little, RL.

  • rose60610

    #1 is for Rodeo Barbie; #2 looks like a canteen from Gunsmoke. You’d have to be one rich redneck to buy either. Not that I’m opinionated.

  • Staci

    Amanda, I totally agree. I’ll pass.

  • Eleanor

    Price notwithstanding – I won’t even dignify the $4000 [we may as well round up] price tag for the ugly bag with the tassles with a comment – what was the designer thinking? Yikes.

  • DJ


  • V

    Just, no. I’ve never liked fringe on my bags, or even on my scarves for that matter, and that skull would freak me out endlessly.

  • Lynne

    RL also has been using huge turquoises in recent years, don’t get it. Some of Lauren shirts even shrunk, so I stop buying their stuff.

  • dmaqtor

    I would definitely by one of these, if i’m going to hunt a dragon ^^.


  • Casey

    uhhhh NO thanks! $4000 for that tacky bag?!?


  • chloehandbags

    I actually like them – especially the bull head one.

    As a Brit, Western stuff holds a certain charm, for me.

    However, the bull head one is unlined and it appears to be made from that rather scatchy type of raw leather, meaning that it would probably damage anything more delicate you put inside it.

    Really think that, for that money, you should be getting a luxe, fully lined, version?

  • Abbi

    interesting you say that @chloehandbags i really love the second bag. It reminds me of RM Williams (an Australian brand) and could defiantly see myself wearing it. the bull horns are what make it.

  • chloehandbags

    ITA. :)