In late spring, while on a cookie/sticky bun run, I crossed paths with a woman dressed in all black, which is par for the course in Manhattan, but I did a double take: Her entire outfit was flowy, but fully practical and seemed custom-fit. In flats, her palazzo pants fell an inch above ground, just enough to cover her shoes but avoided sweeping the ground. I doubled back to catch up with her after deciding I would be remiss not complimenting her on her style: it’s clearly intentional but appears nonchalant. She was gracious and chatted with me for a few minutes, just long enough for me to convince myself that I needed the crossbody bag that she wore.
Not that I needed much prodding: The Salvatore Ferragamo Ginny Shoulder Bag had been on my radar since I reviewed the Miss Vara Crossbody Bag last spring. It’s a fairly simple bag with a clean design, but sometimes that’s what makes something enduring.
The Ginny Bag has undergone numerous (though each iteration is only mildly different from the previous) redesigns over the years, but my bags are all current as of Fall 2017. The “classic” Ginny Bag, constructed from cross-hatched saffiano leather and decorated with a grosgrain “Vara” bow, is phased out in seasonal colors, but is still available in boutiques and select department stores in “classic colors” (like “Nero” and “Oxford Blue”). The new design, which some department stores call the “Ginny Score,” is made from pebbled calfskin and has a leather decorative bow. The “score” likely refers to the thicker trim that frames the bag.
Apart from material and bow, the biggest difference between the two is in the strap: The Ginny Score has a semi-adjustable 21″ long all-metal chain strap that allows you to wear it as a shoulder bag, while the chain-and-leather strap on the “old” Ginny is 22″ long and non-adjustable–on 5’2 me the bag works best as a crossbody.
As I mentioned earlier, the Ginny is simple: It has one major compartment and a zippered slip pocket, and there is nothing more to it. The bags each weigh about a pound empty, but the Ginny Score is a little bit larger in size (mostly in depth)–6.5″T x 9-3/4″W x 3-1/4″D–compared to the original Ginny–6″T x 9-3/4″W x 2-3/4″D. While its size is modest, this is a truly versatile bag that is suitable for anything from running errands to attending a special occasion: it will fit most smartphones, a full-sized wallet (or a S/M cosmetics pouch), keys, gum, glasses or sunglasses in their cases, and a few additional small personal items.
At $1150, the “Ginny” is a solid entry-level designer bag. Salvatore Ferragamo participates in most department store gift card or buy more, save more events, and seasonal colors go on sale at the end of the season: if you are willing to wait, expect to receive gift cards or savings no less than $200. But the Ginny’s resale value is only about 30-60% of retail, even in new or mint condition, so this style doesn’t hold its value well.
You can also easily find something similar at Kate Spade or Ted Baker for much much less. But if you have the budget, the Ginny is beautifully (and sturdily) constructed and is a bag that has the potential to remain timeless.
I’ll end this post by admitting that I now own three Ginny bags. I’ll let that fact speak for itself.
Buy the Salvatore Ferragamo Medium Ginny Calfskin Shoulder Bag at Amazon, Bloomingdale’s, FarFetch, Harrods, Luisa Via Roma, Monnier Frères, mytheresa, Neiman Marcus (also here, here, and here), Nordstrom, Rue La La, Saks Fifth Avenue, Savannahs, Shopbop (additional colors here and here), and Zappos.