to shop / {purse diaries} bao bao issey miyake

These Bao Bao Issey Miyake bags are super lightweight. Not as light as a Baggu, but I’m hard pressed to find anything similar in style that is so easy to transport. The Lucent fits a US letter-sized folder and other essentials perfectly, and is currently my work bag. My aunt is the lucky owner of the Rock tote (left) in matte black. The matte style is pretty hard to find. In addition to its horizontal style, the Rock also has a top zipper for those who have fear of carrying bags without zippers. Both styles have adjustable straps and the max setting fits comfortable over your shoulder (and a winter coat). I’ve been thinking of adding a Prism (similar to Lucent, but larger) or Rock tote in either white or black, but have been tied up on Mansur Gavriels of late (if you couldn’t tell).

I took this photo near a window in daylight so you can see that the bags (matte or not) reflect light easily. The material is very easy to maintain. While it won’t survive a downpour, a few random drops does no harm.

While I was writing this post, my aunt came out and showed me her new Tonneau in an off-white color. The material is thicker than the flat tote styles and you can somewhat sculpt its shape. It looks like a great travel bag (with a detachable crossbody strap and top zipper) and can hold much more than the two bags above. (E.g. the Lucent/Prism are flat totes.) My aunt loves that the white Bao Bao bags are low maintenance and stay clean.

Where to Buy

  • Saks Fifth AvenueLots of colors/styles. Some are pre-order. They had matte Rock totes at some point.
  • Museum of Modern Art – Momastore has discounts for their museum members. If you work at a company that is a corporate sponsor, you can get a 20% off on a designated day every month in-store and online.
  • Farfetch This is a global marketplace. I’ve seen sellers from the US and Europe. Prices vary due to the exchange rates.
  • Totokaelo – Open an account to get discount codes.
  • La Garconne
  • Azalea
  • Official Bao Bao Issey Miyake – They obviously have the widest selection.
  • Selfridges – UK based.
  • Matches – UK based.

Since this is a Japanese brand, it is in greater demand in Asia. I’ve heard of people lining up at the Japan stores before they open to snag coveted colors. I’ve stopped by a Narita airport store (pre-security, T2). The prices were amazing because you can get it tax-free with your passport, but they were wiped out of neutral colors. There is also a store in T1, post-security at Narita. It was a similar case in Taipei, regarding stock at both the Far Eastern/”The Mall” and SOGO Fuxing store. I rarely see these bags in NYC and if I do, it’s always carried by an Asian.


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