Mansur Gavriel Review: The Mini Mini Lady Bag

As I said before, I’m the Goldilocks of Mansur Gavriel Lady Bags. I started with the large (reviewed here, and no longer produced), then the regular (reviewed here), and then the mini (reviewed here). Well it’s been some time since I’ve purchased and reviewed an MG bag, but when I saw a friend carrying the mini mini Lady Bag I really wanted to try it out for myself. And luckily I found one on the RealReal where I had some leftover credit. Yay for buying used! And I especially love buying a used veg-tanned Cammello leather bag because it already has the patina of a loved bag. Of course there’s some scratches and marks on the bag but I love using my favorite leather milk to condition and revitalize the leather (and it’s especially fun to condition a bag when it’s already old and worn looking).

Mansur Gavriel Mini Mini Lady Bag Review

{Wearing: Only Child Alta top in black raw silk (reviewed here), Elizabeth Suzann Harlow Dress in silk (reviewed here), Mansur Gavriel Mini Mini Lady Bag, Martiniano Glove Shoes (reviewed here)}

So what do I think of the bag? I have to admit, I’m not sure I love it. The mini mini lady bag is quite small at 7" X 8.5" X 3.25" (for reference the mini lady bag is 9" x 10.5" x 3.5"), so it just fits my essentials (wallet, sunglasses, keys and phone). But since it’s so small, when I go to find my keys, I have to take at least one thing out to find the small stuff at the bottom. There’s not enough room to shuffle things out of the way to reach the bottom. Also the short handle strap is so small that it barely fits over my wrist. Sometimes I like to carry bags on my forearm, and that’s not really possible with this bag.

Mansur Gavriel Mini Mini Lady Bag Review

{Wearing in photo above Everlane denim chore jacket (c/o, review coming soon), Only Child Alta top in black raw silk (reviewed here), Linenfox wide linen pants (review coming soon), Mansur Gavriel Mini Mini Lady Bag, Everlane Boss Mules (reviewed here)}

However on the plus side, the mini mini works really well as a compact crossbody, and it doesn’t feel as awkward to carry it across my body as the larger lady bags. Also since it’s so small, there’s no chance of weighing the bag down with too much stuff. And it looks super cute. This would be a great casual going out bag!

I think I might have liked this bag more pre-baby. But as the baby gets older, I’m going to need to carry more and more things (snacks, toys, etc.) and I might not always want to carry a separate diaper bag. In those cases this bag is not a good fit. I also have similar feelings for my Celine nano belt bag, which used to be a favorite but I’m finding a bit too small these days. I do however like that I can hang both of these bags on the stroller by the top handle, and it’s easy to reach the compartments inside (just lift the flap). I find when I hang bags with two handle straps like the Everlane day tote mini or the Celine Soft Cube bag, I have to unhook one handle strap to be able to get to the inside of the bag.

how I really carry this bag most days

how I really carry this bag most days

 

Anyway I plan to keep this bag for a bit because despite some inconveniences I think it’s so cute! And since I’m trying to be mindful of the bags I accumulate, I’m doing a one-in-one-out policy and am selling the PB 0110 bag (reviewed here).

Mansur Gavriel Lady Bag Review part 3: a 14K lady

So if you've been following my Mansur Goldilocks problem with my Mansur Gavriel Lady Bag review and Mansur Gavriel Large Lady Bag review part 2, you know that I've purchased 2 different lady bags and still haven't found the right one. Well my search is finally over!  Last week at the Mansur Gavriel shop relaunch I was able to pick up a regular veg tanned lady bag in black and oro {gold}. And this is it, no more lady bag purchases!

What I love about this bag:  

- the veg-tanned leather: it smells amazing and it's super structured which works out perfectly for this bag style. I've been consistently using the calf-skin lady bag and I've been finding it too slouchy, which makes closing the bag through the loops much harder when carrying it from the top handle. But I find I don't have those minor inconveniences when using the veg-tanned version 

-the size is perfect. I can even fit my dslr and extra lenses, which I did on my recent trip to Chicago. It was the perfect travel bag with the ability to carry it from the top handle or cross body. 

-and that pop of gold whenever you open up the bag.  Yes, it is kind of flashy but that's okay since it's just flashy on the inside.

One thing to be aware of for this bag:

-the gold interior is just a coating on the leather so from reading other people's experience with the metallic interiors in the bucket bags, I know that the coating can scratch and fade.  So I'm taking precautions and putting my keys and any other sharp objects in pouches.  Also, since there is only one pocket on the inside, it can't hold much {I just put my phone in there so it's easy to reach}.  But you can always do a pro-bag lady trick and use purse organizers {which also makes it really easy if you're constantly switching which bags you use}.

Mansur Gavriel Lady Bag Review {Updated March 2019}

Hi fellow purse fanatics!  This post is for you!  I usually try to keep my review posts to Wednesdays but I just got this bag and since they haven't been shipped in the US stores yet, as far as I know, I thought I would go ahead and give all the deets for those thinking of buying it.

So this is the Mansur Gavriel Lady Bag Review.  I think the Lady Bag is their next hit after their bucket bags.  I got this one online at the French shop Colette, and lucky for me the Euro is at a fairly low point so I got the bag for only $12 more than if I had waited to buy the Lady Bag at Barney's (which not only doesn't have this color but is also shipping out in October).  $12 more is a small price to pay for next-week gratification.

This is the lady bag in the smaller size (only comes in the small or large size), and is the calf leather, not the veg tan leather.  So that means it comes lined instead of the contrasted coated color inside and it also means the leather is softer and doesn't require a breaking-in period.

The measurements:

10" x 13"x 4.5" 

The long strap is adjustable and goes from 18-20.5" and the short strap is about 6.75 inches (which is just enough to fit my arm in the summer, but definitely wouldn't fit under my arm in the winter when wearing a thick coat).  The bag can be worn over the shoulder or cross body when using the longer strap.

Like I said, this one is lined on the inside with a beige canvas (kind of boring, it would have been cooler if they had gone with different colors).  Inside there's two pockets on either side.  The bag closes using their signature drawstring.  The string can be passed through a loop on the flap and/or a loop on the front of the bag to secure the flap in place.

The pros:

-Love love love the style.  I'm particularly partial to this style of bag with both a handle and a long cross-body strap (see the picture below of the lady bag and the Givenchy pandoras-they're quite similar).  But the simplicity of the lady bag makes it look even more classic.

-Thick durable calf skin, with a canvas lining on the inside

-Ability to close the flap securely using the loops on the flap and on the bag.  This is actually fairly well-designed so that even if you have something heavy that's pulling the flap forward, the flap stays in place when holding it by the short handle.

-Fits a lot of things inside!  I was able to put in my 13" macbook, an old iPad with a bulky case, and still fit my essentials (phone, wallet, keys, sunglasses).

-The bag itself is not that heavy.

The con (wish I could say this bag is perfect, but unfortunately its not):

-My biggest gripe would be the quality of the leather.  Mansur Gavriel is supposed to be all about quality so I'm kind of shocked that the leather on this is kind of funky.  It smells.  It kind of reminds me of the leather in car upholstery.  So in a way it has that "new car smell" except I don't want my bags smelling of car interiors.  Even my Everlane petra tote, which feels like it's made from a similarly thick durable leather, doesn't smell like this.  If I didn't know any better I would think that Colette is selling a fake (especially since the MG stamp is also not perfect on this bag and it didn't come with the usual pink tag, just the white one).  But it's a bit early to be making fakes of a bag that hasn't even been available yet (plus its Colette, a really reputable store).  Also I read that the tumbled leather bucket bags also had a smell so maybe it's just a problem with some of their bags.  I know MG is in a rush to capitalize on the MG craze but if they're not careful they might lose some support.  I'm going to wait and see if the smell goes away, and if possible (and it's a big IF) get my hands on the veg tan one (which is the one I really wanted anyway).  But if anyone has any tips on getting the car leather smell to go away I would really appreciate the help!

Knowing what I know now, would I have still purchased the bag?  Yes, I really love the style of the bag and I'm willing to see what happens with the smell.  I'll keep y'all posted.  Below are various comparisons with other bags just so you get an idea of the size.

For other MG fans, if you were wondering about the measurements:

Classic Bucket bag: 12.25” H X 10” W X 6” D

Lady Bag: 10" H x 13" W x 4.5" D

Mini Bucket bag: 9.5” H X 8” W X 4.5” D

{08.13.15 update: So I've had the bag for about a month and a half now and the bag still slightly smells.  It doesn't smell up the whole room but I can smell it when I put my nose to it.  I also got an MG cross body in calf leather and that smells too, though not as strong.  So I'm thinking it's an issue with their batch of calf leather in general.  I used Chamberlain leather milk on the whole bag and it did help the smell some (I plan to write a whole review of that process soon).    For now here is the rest of the story of my search for the perfect lady: Mansur Gavriel Lady Bag Review Part 2 (the large lady bag) and Part 3.}

{3.25.16 update: And now I have a Mansur Gavriel Mini Lady Bag Review up!}

I also now have a post up about how to condition and protect your Mansur Gavriel bag.  And find all my other Mansur Gavriel reviews here.

{March 2019 update: Wow I can’t believe it’s already been almost 4 years since I wrote this early review and I’m glad to see the MG is still popular and their styles are still holding people’s attentions. Since the MG craze has died down a bit, you can find quite a few wonderful deals on secondhand MG lady bags. My favorite consignment sites for preowned bags are Fashionphile (find their selection of lady bags here) and TheRealReal (find their selection of lady bags here). If you can score this bag secondhand, you’ll get way more bang for your buck!}