Object of Desire: Saint Laurent Classic Duffel Bag

Let's talk about Yves Saint Laurent. Pardon me, Saint Laurent. The incredibly talented yet perhaps a bit rusty Hedi Slimane took over for Stefano Pilati last year and showed his first ready-to-wear collection, for spring/summer 2013, last October. The collection was pretty much panned by critics, who were perhaps a bit ruffled by the questionable actions of Yves Saint Laurent's publicists. Retailers, however, were reportedly salivating over the very '70s-influenced styles, and, well, after all my years in this business, I tend to side with them. So, apparently, does Gwyneth Paltrow, who was spotted all over L.A. carrying Slimane's duffel bag and igniting many a fashionista's lust for the next It Bag. Hey, we're only human.

So, the collection has finally hit stores, Barneys New York in particular, and while the clothes are admittedly great, I only have eyes for the Classic Duffel. Admit it: It's a gorgeous bag. It's a totally classic shape, and it's not plastered with Ys, like the bags of the Pilati era (which are still great bags nonetheless). It's streamlined and clean, with one outer slip pocket, a detachable shoulder strap, and a subtle, tasteful, small embossed Saint Laurent logo at the front. Clearly there's a new sheriff in town. But like his predecessor's reign, I have a feeling the bulk of the fashion house's revenues will come from accessories, and thus the duffel is priced to get the most bag for the buck: The small size is $2,150 (the medium is $2,650), which puts it higher than even YSL's previous moneymaker, the Muse. The (perhaps sad) fact is that lots of people will totally pay that amount, and, if I had that amount of disposable income, so would I. Like I said, it's classic, and it's a beauty. The clothes may be subject to the whims of fashion critics, but the luxury houses know it's the bags that butter the proverbial bread. Pass the basket.

No comments