My personal feelings about fur notwithstanding, when I first saw the Roberto Cavalli Squirrel-Trimmed Brocade Shoulder Bag, it actually seemed like a rather judicious and attractive use of the material. And then I read the word “squirrel,” and it screwed up my entire perception of this bag’s reality.

Is it just me, or is there something positively Deliverence-esque about wearing squirrel fur? Are European squirrels more chic than their American counterparts, or are the animals just not regarded the same way in other countries? And if they are regarded the same way, why use a material that has such low-market connotations on a bag with a four-figure price tag?

The handbag itself is actually quite beautiful, when you don’t consider the fur or its source. The brocade embroidering is layered on top of what appears to be burnout velvet, and the details of the top flap and woven handle are intricate and extremely rich-looking. Cavalli managed to imbue his lush aesthetic into this bag without getting too far into tacky territory, and it would have been a textured, season-appropriate addition to many high-end winter wardrobes. And then, someone made the executive decision to cover it in squirrel, which apparently doesn’t confuse some people as much as it does me – the bag sold out soon after its Net-a-Porter debut. Buy through Net-a-Porter for $3650.

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Amy

    At first glance, it looks interesting, but i would never carry a squirrel purse.

  • Bir

    Yes id love too wear this love it very much my evening bag style I have a vuitton trompe pochette because I felt it looked like a bag made from a French castle tapestry , I love this one because it’s so cavalli and it looks like Versailles winter drapes featuring napoleons uniform I love it !!!!!!!

  • PhotoGirl

    Love it. Wish he’d make a few more with the squirrels that keep digging up my garden.

  • Chris

    Love it! I love fur, but that aside, the design is beautiful!

  • alisa

    I would NEVER wear it! This is far from fashion. Fur makes animal beautiful, people who wear fur are nothing but ugly!

    • Mochababe73

      Wow. Such anger. And insulting.

      • chloehandbags

        Well, someone should be angry on behalf of the poor squirrel. :(

        I love everything about this bag – except the unnecessary use of real fur, which I detest.

      • Stylista

        Insulting indeed. The point never gets across when it’s lost amid insults…

      • chloehandbags

        That’s probably true, but you can hardly blame caring people for, temporarily, forgetting that and becoming righteously angry, from time to time, can you?

    • twigs

      I am not personally a fan of fur bags, and think this one is unattractive. But a question to the people that are against fur because of the cruelty- do you carry leather bags? how is that any different? it’s still an animal material.

      • Alena

        Bravo!!! Let’s not be hypocritical, we love LEATHER shoes and LEATHER bags and anything leather. Fur comes from animals, what is there to be disgusted about? Let’s appreciate it rather. I love fur and I love leather. Back to the purse now. I would love to have it to go with some evening wear, but certainly would not pay that much money for it! :P

      • amanda

        I’m not really a fan of this bag, even if the fur was fake. I wear and carry leather shoes and bags, but I won’t buy or wear fur (even if I could afford it). Fur just rubs me the wrong way. Maybe it’s because I assume that most leather comes from domesticated animals, while fur comes from wild animals. Really though, it’s just a personal choice, and I don’t actually have anything against anybody who wears fur, it’s just not for me.

      • chloehandbags

        I’ve answered this question repeatedly, so I’m not going to do so, once again.

        The answers are all out there, if you care to take the time to look. :)

    • Chris

      I can certainly understand why some dislike fur, but there’s no reason to call those who like fur ‘ugly’ or anything else. I find it hypocritical that someone who says that when they’re visiting a ‘purse’ blog, majority of the purses covered here are made out of various types of leathers. Where do you think Hermes get their croc skin these days? They have their own farm to breed them just for the purpose of getting their skin for bags?! Unless one doesn’t eat any type of meat (no matter how ‘humane’ the animals are supposedly killed, they’re still slaughtered for one purpose–consumption), doesn’t wear any leather products (think shoes, bags, the leather interior of your car, that fabulous mike and chris jacket, that studded leather bracelet or belt that ‘makes’ the outfit), I don’t see how anyone deserves to be treated with disrespect. It’s a personal choice, you’ve made yours clear, but please refrain from attacking mine without merit.

      • MizzJ

        Well put! I totally agree with what you’re saying. Is it just b/c squirrels are associated with being “cute” too versus say the “uncute” cow?

      • Stylista

        Agreed! This is always such a huge discussion, and there will always be people on both sides. We just have to accept that.

  • purseloco

    No, I don’t mind fur, but I don’t think that this is worth the price.

  • Mochababe73

    I love real fur, but something about wear it seems a little disgusting. I guess it’s because I see them everyday running around.

  • Emily

    I’d wear moose testicles if WWD told me to…

    • dierregi

      Congratulations, you really must have a very strong personality if a magazine can convince you to do anything…

      • bldrboy

        at least she is honest to admit. choices are made for us via pop culture as a vehicle. no one, withstanding, is truly original!

    • Kira

      Love this comment!
      too funny!

    • Kira

      Love Emily’s comment-SHE has a sense of humor :-)

      • mochababe73

        I agree. Some around here definitely need to lighten up. As the saying goes, it’s fashion. It’s supposed to be fun!

  • Jen

    I love it! It seems very Anna Karenina – I think of luscious winter Russion landscapes and squirrel topped coats and hat, meant to keep you warm. I don’t think of squirrels as “low-market” – nasty racoons maybe (we recently had an infiltration of racoons in our building and now I hate the entire species), but not cute little nut eating squirrels with fluffy tails!

  • dierregi

    Although I like the “Russian inspiration” I find the use of squirrel fur totally disgusting.

  • mary s

    because of fur’s and leathers origins it to me should be first utilitarian and second if need be attractive.

    THIS bags use of fur is problematic: 1- it TAKES away from the look of the bag not add to it. 2- its squirrel dude? why not just use rat and be done it with 3- its totally over priced and makes a mildly attractive bag unattractive.

    i have YET to see a fur bag that is in anyway attractive.

    i am not opposed to fur if used within reason, i.e. to keep warm or to provide something that would be extremely difficult with other materials. i have shearling boots, gloves and head warmer, they keep me warm in a way no other material does. i have and will gladly challenge my friends and family who oppose fur/leather/shearling to find me a pair of boots that is as warm and comfortable as my current ones. so far no takers.

    but to make a decent looking purse ugly in this way? nope!!

  • EvaKnox

    outstanding, I`d kill for this!!!

  • jane

    Squirrels are rodents–tree rats. And I doubt they feel less when skinned than does a mink.

  • Staci

    The design is okay…but I’m not a fan of squirrel fur.

  • Stylista

    Yes and yes! The brocade and the handle is amazing!

  • 19yearslater

    Even without the mention of squirrel fur I really dislike this bag. It looks like something the King of France would use.

  • Shari

    It’s pretty, but I would never carry squirrel. If I can’t admit what the bag is made out of in front of mixed company, I just won’t carry it.

  • luvpugz

    HELL NO! What about it. Is the dude desperate? Are we?

  • Lori

    This bag is hideous! The whole fur thing is such a huge turnoff. And I agree with the poster above, even if the fur was fake, or no fur, I would not like this bag.

  • Ping

    This is GROSS and the price is adding insult to a normal person’s intelligence. Save your money and buy a chanel or better yet a Hermes! This is not even pretty.

  • Sher77

    NO, NO,NO, NO.

  • Mama M

    Squirrel?!! Yuck. I was raised in the ’60s and everyone’s Mom had a mink coat, so I don’t really have a problem with fur. But, squirrel? For $3650? That’s just wrong.

  • Anger

    People, do you know how fur farms work? They slit open the animal’s skin, peel it off and dump the still alive animal on the side to let it die slowly, not even bother to kill the animal humanely first. Wearing leather at least from humane farming. It is not a matter of what we consume. It is how we consume it. Human beings are meant to consume the earth natural resources but it is not our right to be cruel to other mother nature being. So hell yes, I am damn mad at Roberto Cavalli using squirrel furs or any designer using furs for anything.

  • chrissyk

    what’s crazy is that it’s actually sold out on net a porter

  • [coco]

    …actually i think this bag would look better without the fur.

  • Beth S.

    Eeeewwwwwww — ABSOLUTELY NOT!!

  • Constance

    Umm I just don’t know about this one!

  • James

    Oh please, if you don’t have a problem with fur in general, what difference does it make what kind of critter they come from? Squirrel fur has been used for centuries on coats,hats and even blankets etc. Do you know how cute the baby lambs are they make those coveted Chanel bags from?

    I love the bag by the way. Cavalli is genius!

  • Bir

    Having read many of the posts I know now that some people find me ugly and inhumane. and you know what I loooveeeee being ugly and inhumane ,because I look so wonderfully beautiful with all this ugliness I buy . Just as point since us fur and exotic skin lovers never called anyone names on this blog! .

  • gap

    I think they are plenty of other useful, reliable and in the same time can be as interesting and fascinating stuff can be used to make a mere purse rather than taking a whole outer-corp layers of some kind of killed squirrels, which in fact also none-disturbance to people.

  • lilobubbletea

    yes yes yes!! :D

  • Merve

    I dont want to be hypocritical because i eat meat and wear leather but I do draw the line at fur. This post is especially poignant for me because i spent last night with my friend’s pet chinchilla and I just cant wear that. I wear what i eat but I dont think its right for 100 beautiful animals to be killed for one coat. Nevertheless i dont judge anyone who does do it. But squirrel? I mean we hardly spend time with foxes/minks/chinchillas because they are not all around us but we see squirrels everyday. I especially cant wear that.

  • boredgirl

    i wear fur certain types of fur when i’m in my homeland (russia), but the idea of wearing squirrel fur kind of creeps me out.

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  • edoardo

    I don’t have any trouble with the furs: the sintethic fur sometimes cause more pollution and, by the way, I think that fashion is a kind of a necesisty and so as everyone eats also everyone has the right to wear fuyr coats and accessories.
    But this bag, as the related coat available on Net-a-porter, is a bit ugly. Cavalli loves the baroccan style but here it’s esasperated and the efeect is not so good!

  • Irene


  • shueaddict

    I shall not get dragged into the fur/non fur debate. I know where I stand (definitely pro-fur) and I am comfortable there.

    But in this pic the fur on the bag just looks cheap. It almost looks fake. (I know squirrels, the red kind, I feed them, they have fine looking red coats). What’s next, Mr.Cavalli ? Cat ? In that case my British blue would make a prime candidate with his luscious pearly mink-like fur.

  • babe

    Last time we watched squirrels in the park my daughter shouted: god is able to jump from one tree to another! Any more questions?

    • Merve

      wow what a well made point. Your daughter sounds soooo sweet.

  • Soeren

    Goodness… another Cavalli purse…
    I think the design is great and even the use of squirrel fur is a good idea because of its texture (he could have used colored racoon also) but this bag simply doesn’t match enough outfits to buy it. I think you could combine it whith a tight bandeau dress (maybe a Herve Leger) or even a little black dress (light fabric nothing to wooly) but if it comes to jeans or anything leisure this bag is ways to glamorous (not even a change in style). If you are a fan of classics don’t buy it, would be a waste of money.
    To finish this post I just want to praise the bearing of the fur foes. ‘People who wear fur are ugly’ – Such a comment is nothing but a precise sign of your missing intelligence, distinct intolerance and hypocrisy.

  • Gianna

    You know what seems odd to me? Squirrels aren’t native to Italy! So where is the squirrel fur for this bag even coming from????

  • CG

    squirrel purse?

    idk, the idea is a bit nutty to me..

  • Strawberry Girl

    I can’t believe how shallow some people are with comments ‘but you do wear leather’ and ‘we just have to get used to have different views’ etc. There is a difference between killing an animal for food and leather, or for fur. Unless you are Inuits, you better ‘get used to’ being judged for wearing it. And if everyone read on how it’s made, or saw at least one video of the way these animals are killed, you would think again, I’m sure. And ‘Fur is worn by beautiful animals and ugly people’ is a famous quotation. So shallow it’s almost stereotypical.

  • Rachel

    In the words of Carrie Bradshaw, “A squirrel is just a rat with a cuter outfit”. That’s totally what this makes me think of. Good points Megs….it’s weird to suggest luxury in something closely associated with a rat.

    • Rachel

      Oops! I mean Amanda! Amanda wrote this not Megs! LOL…sorry….good points AMANDA!

  • Geoni

    I dig your write-up Soeren! And, I think that this bag has so many things going for it! I like the front face with the all the embroidery detail! Indeed, I would have changed one thing by swapping the brocade should strap with a cleaner more dressed up gold chain! It is just too much to look at all the fur, the face and the strap, wondering where does my eye go?… If the shoulder would have been chain instead then the bag would have had a slightly more of a commercial feel and less of a wilderness bohemian hippie!

  • Emi

    First of all I don’t like fur bag, really unnecessary, money and credit cards don’t feel cold. On the second, I hate real furs, they’re disgusting and it’s not true that every person has his own taste which must be respected, I don’t respect people who kill animals to create, most of the time, horrible piece of clothes. And what does it mean, anyway? That if a designer decided to make a coat with human skin, his choice should be respected? It’s the typical way of thinking of people who don’t have moral ideals. As Stella McCartney said, luxury doesn’t consist in killing animals, but in using new materials and technology. Roberto Cavalli often says that he loves animals, I wonder what he would do if he hated them.

  • Marine

    Squirrels are regarded as cute animals in Europe. We mostly have red squirrels and they live in the country side. We never see them in towns (unlike in America)
    So they are realy not seen as filthy rats.
    I wouldn’t wear this bag because I’m against the use of fur, even more for a purse than for a coat!

    Love from France.

  • DirtyD

    Not that i dislike fur but this is a Total fail.

  • Jelita78

    if u didn’t mentioned the which animal fur it belongs to, i’d say “wow.. i loikeeee”
    but now that i know it’s from the squirrel species, “ohhhh my poor alvin, theodore, and simon!” (ipad)

  • helen

    No I would not wear squirrel fur. There’s something about squirrels that scares me a bit. Maybe because they have a reputation for being mean and on the verge of attacking people on the college campuses for food. lol (ipad)

  • Jen

    Kinda cute. (ipad)

  • michelle13

    the bag itself looks lovely.but when regarding the issue of it being made out of squirrel fur, im totally against it. Roberto used to be my favorite designer, he might not be anymore (as if my option really matters anyway).the fact of the matter is, those squirrel’s don’t deserve being skinned alive or hunted for that fur, no animal does. imagine if the human race wasn’t the dominate race in the world. would you allow another animal to torture you? would you allow them to hunt you, or eat you? how about skin you alive to make a coat, or purse? no one would go through the pain those squirrel’s went through. we have so many more options than real fur now. we can make a synthetically made fur that will be cruelty-free but i bet most people won’t even bother…

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