I’ve been using the Mansur Gavriel bucket in saffiano leather pretty often since I got it in late October. (Second runner-up is the APC textured half moon crossbody.) I also have reviewed the mini bucket in saffiano and mini lady bag in brandy; both were acquired after this bag.
What I really like about it:
- The simple design and almost invisible branding.
- It can fit a lot — including a work folder full of papers — and is great for traveling. I used it for a recent overnight trip and it fit my electronics, toiletries, and a change of clothing.
- The exterior saffiano finish is super durable. I can’t find any signs of wear. I rarely baby it — I wiped it down after a rainstorm (the umbrella was useless) and I wrap it in a regular Baggu nylon bag before I shove it overhead or under the seat on the plane. I don’t mind putting it on the floor in certain places (but would never do that with many bags).
- I hate zipping/closing bags in general. There’s comfort in its depth.
- It’s lightweight. I really hate when empty bags are heavy and excessive hardware.
- I can carry it comfortable on my shoulder and crossbody.
What I don’t like about it:
- It’s a cave. I have some pouches and a purse organizer at the bottom, but sometimes I have to use the flashlight on my iPhone to find something, and sometimes I have to sit it down and empty out almost everything.
- You still have to protect the matte interior from sharp edges… once I threw in one of those hinged, clear deli food containers, and it made a very small dent. I now carry a baby Baggu in the bag for that reason.
- I have the strap on the shortest setting and wouldn’t mind if it could be shortened another notch or two (for my 5’3″ height). The holes can’t be easily replicated by a cobbler from what I read online, but it’s not like I’ve seriously looked into it.
What I feel neutral towards:
- It takes time to break in, and it only breaks in a little. If you look at reviews of the other MG buckets in non-saffiano leather, especially the vegetable tanned one, you’ll see that it gets a lot softer and the patina. I can say it finally softened a little after two months of steady use, where I am in a happy place with the drawstring ties (and can somewhat easily tie and re-tie to my liking). It was really slippery, grip-less when it was new. So for those looking for smushy leather, look elsewhere.
- The detachable pouch. It’s a flat pouch and I’ve grown to not care for flat pouches that much because there’s barely any give. It makes no difference to me.
- The red interior. The black/flamma red is MG’s signature color, however, I would’ve much preferred a ballerina pink on the inside. Unfortunately, the black saffiano bucket only comes with a red interior (and maaaybe a royal blue interior?).
Conclusion: I’m very happy with the saffiano bucket and think I’m set, bucket-wise. At $625, it is slightly cheaper than the calf coated monotone buckets ($695). It is by no means a cheap bag, but I do find it very reasonable priced for the quality and more palatable than the typical designer bag. I haven’t seen another bucket that’s come close to its aesthetics.
I also checked out the mini saffiano bucket in rosa pink and concluded that the mini size is way too small for me.The mini bucket can comfortably fit inside of the larger bucket. My APC bag already serves a similar purpose. Additionally, rosa is very pink and not a neutral for me. It went back to Barneys.
Update: the Mansur Gavriel site is the best place for new saffiano bags. For used, check eBay, TheRealReal, and Poshmark.
Unfortunately, the saffiano MG styles are currently exclusive to Barneys (excluding the white saffiano bucket that Opening Ceremony carried at some point). I’ve never seen the buckets available for sale, I’ve only seen it available for pre-sale . Fortunately, as I’ve mentioned before, if you check the Barneys site often enough, you might be lucky enough to find a saffiano bucket in-stock for pre-ordering. The black bag was in-stock for pre-ordering as of press time. Your credit card is only charged when it’s shipped. Mansur Gavriel in saffiano leather at Barneys Saffiano large bucket in black/flamma ($625). Available for pre-order as of Feb 20, March delivery. Saffiano large bucket in white/royal. Saffiano mini bucket in black/flamma ($525). Available for pre-order as of Feb 20, March delivery. Saffiano mini bucket in rosa/rosa ($525). Available for pre-order as of Feb 20, March delivery. Saffiano large tote in black/flamma ($615). Was available for pre-order in mid-Feb for March delivery. Saffiano large tote in rosa/rosa ($615). Available as of February 11. Saffiano regular lady in black/flamma ($945). Available for pre-order as of Feb 20, March delivery.