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From Market to Runway: Balenciaga’s Bazaar Bag

Ahh yes, the Balenciaga Bazaar bag. Or should we say, Bizarre bag.

When Demna Gavsalia first sent the stripe-y bag down the runway last year, it quickly became the talk of town. With its uncanny resemblance to traditional shopping bags in Thailand, few thought it to be runway-worthy. But the tables soon turned when the Bazaar started selling. Fast.

Fashion icon Natasha Goldenberg with the Bazaar
Source: Laia Magazine

While some loved how Gavsalia had turned an everyday product into something luxurious yet functional, others didn’t share the same sentiments. Despite endorsements from fashion icons such as Pernille Teisback and Natasha Goldenberg, some still saw the Bazaar as a glorified reusable tote.

Today, we will review this much discussed (and possibly loathed) Bazaar and decide if it lives up to its price tag.

Exterior

Bazaar in medium (left) Bazaar in small (right)

It… looks exactly like your everyday shopping bags.

Seriously, although the Bazaar does resemble the actual shopping bag it terms of its design, it features something different – a two-way zip closure that all bag users will appreciate.

Unlike the actual bag, you can opt for a hands-free look by attaching the adjustable shoulder strap that comes with the Bazaar.

Also unlike the actual bag, Balenciaga’s luxurious remake is embossed with designer lettering. Take that, all traditional market-shopping bags.

However, we do agree that the bag isn’t exactly a revolution in design, and that we expected a little more from the house.

Score:

Interior

Fully lined with black canvas, the Bazaar’s interior has a zipped pocket for securing valuables – so say goodbye to the days of misplacing your grocery cards.

Like the market-shopping bag, Balenciaga’s version offers you plenty of space – even in its smallest available size. Not only can the bag’s roomy interior accommodate your day-to-day essentials, it allows you to carry them in style. Well, relatively more style.

Score:

Quality & Craftsmanship

Upon closer inspection, the Bazaar actually doesn’t look that much like your everyday shopping bag.

As mentioned above and in almost every other Bazaar review, the tote is crafted from lambskin leather and is made in Italy.

Although Balenciaga usually hides its threads with tonal stitching, the purposeful exposure of the tote’s stitches is to mirror the craftsmanship of the traditional shopping bag. Each colour stripe is a separate strip that is tightly pieced together.

Long story short, one need not be concerned about the bag’s quality. At all.

aScore:

Staying Power

Now this is a toughie.

We do recognise that the Bazaar is pushing the boundaries of high fashion. No matter how hard one may try, it is nearly impossible to look past the Bazaar’s resemblance to traditional shopping bags.

On the other hand, while some may have accused Gvasalia of being a fashion copycat, Balenciaga has managed to make the bag its own. Not only has it become instantly recognisable, this tongue-in-cheek bag is also highly functional.

So is the bag here to stay? While we do not have a definite answer, we’ll leave it at this – with the Balenciaga Bazaar, it’s all about acquired fashion taste.

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