The allure of Prada totes has dampened in recent years, as the original flooded the luxury market (where scarcity fuels demand) and similar styles at lower price points captured the rest of the segment. It’s unsurprising that Prada’s 2014 profits suffered a 28% drop from the previous year and sales of leather goods stagnated. I bought my first Prada Saffiano Tote with some hesitation and while it’s not a purchase I’ve regretted, I was nevertheless struck by how firmly I made the decision to buy the same bag again (this time in green).
“Larice,” Italian for larch, is a dark green, more blue than yellow with a fair amount of black mixed in. Many of you know that green is my favorite color so talking myself into the purchase was easy. And once the bag was in my possession, I couldn’t bear to part with it.
In talking to fellow lovers of the color green, I find that they are generally indiscriminate; they love mint, pine, olive, forest, emerald, teal, neon green, etc. equally. While I like all shades of green, I reserve a radical level of obsession for forest green.
I won’t talk at length about the bag’s workmanship for the same reason that I gave in my last review of the Prada Saffiano Lux Tote, but it has not improved (and for what it’s worth, the quality has also not worsened). I had kept the slightly larger BN1786 (14″ x 10″ x 6″) when choosing between the two medium sizes last time but have come to appreciate the versatility of the slightly smaller BN2274 (13.5″ X 9.5″ X 5.5″) with a shoulder strap.
At 2.5-3 pounds empty, it is not the ideal bag for bike rides or shopping trips. The bag is large enough to fit the smaller of my two work laptops so it on occasion doubles as a work bag but I use it primarily to run errands.
Another issue to contend with is while saffiano leather is scratch-proof, structured totes are all at risk of losing their shapes with time. Put simply, this bag cannot be stored improperly. One time, in a state of exhaustion, I threw my 15-pound carry-on bag on top of the Prada tote and passed out. I didn’t unpack my bags for two days and when I finally came around to it, the poor Prada bag had deep creases on one of its faces. I was able to salvage its appearance slightly by stuffing it with t-shirts in an attempt to undo the damage but some of the scars are still visible up-close.
I don’t consider Prada leather products a Veblen good so the rapid price increases are a deterrent. For someone who is less concerned with brands, the Coach Borough Turnlock Bag, at one-tenth of Prada’s retail prices on eBay, is a good choice. In fact, theses bags (Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, and Kate Spade) which I’ve reviewed in the past offer a better value than Prada bags.
While I can’t guarantee that this is my last Prada ever, it will be my last for the next few months. I am still tempted by the regal promenade bag, the ladylike bow crossbody, and whimsical mini satchel but feel that I need to exercise better (aka longer) judgment on future bag purchases.
Have a great weekend, all!