Mansur Gavriel Lady Bag Review Part 2: the large lady bag

I've already done a Mansur Gavriel Lady Bag Review Part 1 and a Mansur Gavriel Bucket Bags Review, but this is to introduce/review my newest addition, the large veg-tanned Lady Bag.  If you read Part 1, you know my main gripe about the smaller calf-leather lady bag was the funky smell.  {And an update on that, after a couple weeks it still smells if you put your nose close to it.  But at least it doesn't smell up the whole room anymore--yea for the first week it was that bad.  I had to "quarantine" my bag in an unused room in my house because the smell was so strong.}

I purchased the large lady bag from The Line, and it was an easy and painless transaction.  The bag shipped the next day and I got it 2 days after that (and there was no tax!) so The Line might quite possibly be one of my new favorite online stores.

Without further ado, here's the review:


-Smells perfectly fine.  No strong smells, and in fact it has a good leather smell.

-The veg-tanned leather works really well for this bag.  I would say the veg-tanned leather is way better for the shape of the lady bag than it is for the bucket bags.  Since the bucket bags are so round, the stiff leather makes it too bulky.  But the lady bag doesn't have any of that bulk.  I even prefer the veg-tanned over the calf leather because for the veg-tanned the flap doesn't pucker like it does for the calf leather one {see pic above}.

-Cute contrasting interior.  This one is Ballerina on the inside {though you can't really see it when it's closed.}

-The classic style and the ability to securely close the flap.


-The size!  This bag is so enormous! (I'm 5'4" for reference) It's 16.5 x 6.5 x 12.75 inches and it's just too large for me to carry.  Plus I just don't have that many things I need to carry on daily basis.

-I don't think it's The Line (the shop I purchased this from) that did this, but my lovely MG bag came pre-scratched.  I don't know how it already got so many scratches, but I've read else where that someone else had this problem.  So I'm wondering if it's a problem somewhere along the distribution channel.  For over $1000, you'd hope your bag wouldn't have large gouges all over the body.  

So the final verdict on Mansur Gavriel Lady bags?  Not to sound like Goldilocks here, but I'm still having trouble finding the right one.  I think the one that will best suit my needs is the regular size, in veg-tanned leather.  Will I be able to get one during this Tuesday's Mansur Gavriel relaunch?  I have my fingers crossed!

{Some tips about the relaunch on the Mansur Gavriel website: it's on Tuesday 7/28 at 11AM EST, so that's 8AM for us Californians.  And I would say get on the site around 7:45AM, already have the bag you want picked out and just keep clicking refresh from 7:55AM or so.  And if you're lucky enough to snag the one that you want, go to checkout asap.  You only have 5 minutes to complete the purchase once you get it into your cart.  Also, they have a limit of one bag per customer.  If you don't get your first choice, you probably won't be able to get your second unless it's a tote or backpack but it doesn't hurt to try.  I predict the regular Lady Bags are going to go first followed by the bucket bags.  So good luck y'all}


{9.24.15 update: if you're interested, I've decided to sell my MG tote.  Details here on how to buy.}

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!}