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The Mansur Gavriel pop-up shop in the Soho area of NYC has been open from mid-November through January 11. After MG announced the expansion of their Saffiano line on December 13, it gave me incentive to check out the saffiano bags. Unfortunately, MG bags are still final sale when you purchase from mansurgavriel.com, which I strongly dislike because (1) they are expensive (2) many styles/colors are only available directly from MG who normally doesn’t have a storefront and (3) MG can be difficult with any flaws on the bag (this is based on personal experience and what I’ve read on TPF). I consider myself lucky that I live near their pop-up.

The pop-up is very spacious, minimalist, and pink. If you don’t like rose quartz pink which is popular with MG and Glossier, tough luck! I went mid-afternoon and got personal attention from both SA’s — not all stocked items are displayed and they also mentioned that they have the large lady bag in stock. There is also plenty of seating for the men and a fancy flower shop.

As I was trying on the bags, I realized that if I ever were to get another, I would need a regular sized lady bag so I can hold letter sized paper. I also was surprised at how gorgeous the tumbled leather is! The tumbled leather bag was lying around (the sales assistants try their best to put away bags while answering questions) and I think I might like it more than the saffiano, which is unfortunate for my wallet. The tumbled leather style is thicker than expected, perhaps due to the canvas lining, and will not stand on its own unless you stuff it. Out of all of the MG bag styles, the lady bag is my favorite and uniquely MG.

Pricing is higher than the bucket, given the style and construction:

  • Mini Lady: vegetable tanned $750, saffiano $795, tumbled or calf $1050
  • Lady: vegetable tanned $895, saffiano $945, tumbled or calf $1195

Orders with MG sent to NJ, NY, and CA have sales tax.

This “baby bucket” is exclusive to the pop-up and designed for a baby/toddler. It fits your smartphone if it’s not XL.

The mini lady bag in black saffiano and rosa saffiano with matching interiors.

I compared the mini lady with a regular lady in calf leather and quickly noticed the fraying thread. Ick. I have a detailed post on regular lady vs mini lady bag size here.

The saffiano leather is a very structured leather. Maybe it’s a little too structured for the lady bag style.

It’s hard to see, but there were dirt marks on the rosa saffiano. Not impressed even if it’s a floor sample. This cemented my decision to steer away from a rosa saffiano lady. I have a rosa saffiano mini bucket (review) which has some dirt marks that couldn’t be easily removed with a baby wipe. I asked the SA how to clean it and referred me to Leather Spa. That’s a cop out answer to me.

Regular lady bag in peony pink calf leather, mini lady bag in royal blue tumbled leather

Circle of MG lady bags, clockwise from left: black saffiano mini lady, red calf lady, rosa saffiano mini lady, and blu tumbled mini lady.

Love the non-knot of this peony tumbled leather mini lady

Closer look

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Mansur Gavriel, previously reviewed: saffiano bucket in black/flamma and mini lady bag in brandy/brick.

I really wanted a smaller sized bucket for lighter days after using the regular sized one. My heart was set on saffiano given what a breeze it is to maintain. Currently, the mini bucket is only available in saffiano at Barneys in either black/flamma or rosa/rosa. I’m not really a pink person; I’m treating the rosa/rosa as a neutral (ballet pink). Inevitably I have some ‘on Wednesdays, we wear pink’ moments when I wear an item of clothing in the same color family. The rosa/rosa has gotten a lot of compliments.

Mini saffiano bucket and the regular saffiano bucket

Brandy mini lady in vegetable tanned vs. mini saffiano bucket

What I really like about it (that I didn’t already mention in my other bucket review)

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I got the mini lady bag in brandy vegetable tanned leather with a brick matte interior back in April. I’ve been using it on and off.

Leather – vegetable tanned vs saffiano vs calf leather: Ever since I laid eyes on MG, it’s always been love at first sight with the caramel brown hue called brandy. This color only comes in vegetable tanned. The saffiano lady only comes in black, which is a bit boring since I already have a black saffiano bucket bag. It is a nice bag though for those who are looking for a more structured, super low maintenance material, and another black bag. I also think the black saffiano makes it more formal — and a perfect work/travel bag. I never liked the look of the lady in calf leather — the top gets pulled by the rest of the bag.

Size – mini vs regular: I typically do not carry a lot. I already have a number of larger bags and was looking for something smaller, but bigger than my APC Half Moon bag. The regular lady would fit a 13″ Macbook Pro if you loosen the drawstring. If you’ve seen the buckets in its regular and mini size, the regular and mini lady bags hold about the same volume as its bucket counterparts.

Here are some size comparisons:

Brandy mini lady in vegetable tanned vs. regular lady in black saffiano

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(1) I love bringing Suja Mighty Greens juice to work in a S’well bottle, since it stays chilled. The extra large bottle from Costco is reasonably cheap and it lasts us for a few days. We grab a few bottles every time we go to Costco. You can find the S’well bottles here and here. I have a 9 oz for juice and a 17 oz gold one for water, which always gets comments.


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Pictured: cammello mini lady bag (returned), flamma/flamma mini bucket bag (returned), brandy lady bag (returned), black saffiano bucket bag

Mansur Gavriel’s made me a goldilocks.

I’ve been wanting a mini lady bag or lady bag in cammello or brandy, which are both vegetable tanned leather. I like brandy because it was always love at first sight, but photos of the cammello patina’ed get me and brandy’s always been harder to find. I’m wavering between the lady and the mini lady — because I can never see myself traveling with the mini lady. It doesn’t help that I repeatedly buy these bags (which is no easy feat), only to return them because they came with scratches. I’m not naming any names, but the scratches are not a manufacturer’s defect — I’ve seen plenty of perfect non-lady vegetable tanned bags and one cammello mini lady. Some of these bags have been very poorly packaged or handled by the retailer. I’m okay with the nature of the leather being susceptible to scratches, but I will not pay top dollar for a pre-scratched bag. Especially scratches in a non-conspicuous spot. I rather scratch it myself. And as much as I love my durable saffiano bucket, I don’t want another black bag (unless Mansur Gavriel decides to make a non-black saffiano lady…)

Isn’t the brandy gorgeous?

Image: PurseBlog

So, only buy from a shop with a return policy, pre-order where you can, and have patience.

P.S. Barneys has non-black saffiano buckets in rosa (pale pink)! If you were waiting for a mini, I think the ship has sailed and you will have to wait a while for the next round of pre-orders.
P.S.S. My mega post on where to find Mansur Gavriel is up to date. Even I use it to do my ’rounds’.

Published on February 13. Updated on June 20.

Image source: Mansur Gavriel

Mansur Gavriel isn’t stocking its own web shop until March, but you can find their SS2016 collection at a number of sites. Though you’re not getting a pink box, many of these sites offer returns. Buying directly from MG is final sale, which I learned the hard way, and they also charge shipping. The biggest perk of buying direct from MG is the selection.

New for SS2016 (Update: MG’s own site has been updated with all new styles and colors)

  • Shoes in four styles and five heel heights, in many colors. Sorry, none of these appeal to me. And you may have heard about the drama. The shoes pre-launched at Net-a-Porter two days ago, which means you can trust there will be plenty of popbacks.
  • New bag styles: the Moon Clutch, the Flat Clutch, the Volume Clutch and Circle bag.
  • New bag size: mini Lady bag. It looks substantially smaller than the regular Lady bag. Mini dimensions: 9″ x 10.5″ x 3.5″ vs regular dimensions 11″ x 12.5″ x 4.5″. The handle drop differs by 2″, which means the mini top handle won’t fit on your shoulder. Both have a crossbody strap.
  • New color: Rococo (dark berry pink) and Blush (between the existing rosa and peony).

Personally, I am not interested in the new colors, shoes, or new bag styles. I like the lady bag, but not sure if I like the mini or regular size, or if Barneys will have the mini in saffiano.

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I was out of town last weekend and last week was exhausting. My saturday six series is more difficult to maintain than I expected… Better late than never, right?

Six things from the last two weeks

(1) Tata Harper master class at Cap Beauty. The event was PACKED. Once the crowds subsided, I got to ask Tata a bunch of questions and try many products. I will be blogging details in a separate post.

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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.

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