Senreve’s Maestra Bag, released in 2016 as the DTC brand’s first product, is an ambitious undertaking: the company’s founders set out to create a stylish laptop bag (already a tall order) that can transition easily from work to weekend. In the almost-four years since the Maestra’s birth, the brand has added two more sizes–a “Midi” and a “Mini”–while retaining the bag’s original design.
A bag marketed almost exclusively through social media (Instagram, specifically), the Maestra has quickly penetrated the consciousness of bag lovers on the prowl for the next “it” bag. And I was not immune to its marketing pushes. The Maestra’s appeal is simple: a stylish, functional bag with a convertible strap that effortlessly transforms a satchel to a backpack.
The Maestra is available in three sizes: the “Regular” (which weighs 3.4 lbs, and measures 12¼” wide at the base, 16″ wide at the top, 10¼” tall, and 6¾” deep, with a 3.5″ drop handles); the “Midi” (pictured, ~2.4 lbs empty, measuring 10½” wide at the base, 13¼” wide at the top, 8¾” tall, and 5¾” deep); and the “Mini” (which weighs 1.8 lbs, and measures 8½” wide at the base, 11½” wide at the top, 7½” tall, and 5½” deep). Of the three sizes, the “Midi” ended up being my Goldilocks for travel, it fits: all of my smaller electronic devices (Kindle, phone, headphones, etc.); a crossbody bag which further houses IDs and a full-sized wallet; a cosmetics case; glasses/sunglasses in their cases; and a Ziploc full of snacks.
Like other highly-structured bags with an assemblage of pockets, the Maestra’s capacity is more limited than slouchier bags with a similar footprint.
Details and Construction
Designed for the peripatetic city-dweller, the main compartment of the Maestra is secured with a top zip closure under a fliplock-tab flap. This level of security does make the bag fussier to open or close, but the mechanism itself is trouble-free.
The design is considered and the bag itself fairly well-built: with even stitching, a convertible strap, stain-resistant microsuede lining, metal feet that protect the base, and zippers that run smoothly.
The hyper-organized Maestra is likely not for those whose ideal bag is a utilitarian carryall with an open top. All three sizes have 7 interior pockets, 1 exterior slip pocket, and one main compartment. The level of organization built into the bag discourages chaos, which is a welcomed relief for people (like me) who habitually accumulate receipts and random items.
The Maestra is offered in five calfskin leathers: pebbled (shown, the most common–and inexpensive–of the options available), Mimosa, Smooth, Dragon, and Dolce. But pebbled leather is not as indestructible as its finish would indicate: I had to return one of the first bags I received because the bag’s exterior had several small, but noticeable, scratches and other blemishes. Abrasive contact that might cause permanent cosmetic damage aside, any grime can be wiped off easily with a slightly damp cloth.
The Maestra’s main selling point is its convertibility: the long strap can be converted to backpack straps without needing to be removed and reattached. Of the four ways to wear this bag–as a crossbody, handheld, worn on the shoulder, or as a backpack–I find the on-the-shoulder option the most cumbersome: larger shoulder bags, especially structured ones with long straps, aren’t particularly ergonomic as they distribute weight unevenly. This issue is (much) less pronounced in the “Mini.”
Senreve prices fall in the “affordable luxury” range, even though the brand is not well-established; but for those accustomed to paying Chanel prices, the Maestra feels reasonably priced, if spending several hundred dollars on a bag should feel like a prudent financial decision.
While the style doesn’t regularly go on sale, seasonal colors do occasionally get marked down; but, if you are after a “classic” color, Senreve holds a semi-annual “Handbag Revival” event, during which gently used bags–mostly display items or samples–are discounted about 25%.
If you order from Senreve directly, you can personalize your bag with “hand painted icons” or your initials for $250.