Why I chose this bag: I needed a new everyday/work/errand running bag that would hold all my daily essentials and potentially a little bit more.
I considered getting a taobao Gucci Soho Disco first, but I’ve been on the fence about whether I like this bag enough or if I’m just carried away by how trendy it is right now. I also saw someone say that this bag only passes if you live in the mountains the day I was placing my orders, lol. I think the bag is slightly more passable than that and definitely great for the price, but come to think of it, a KS bag fit better with my requirements.
I sometimes need to leave my bag in locker rooms and other unsupervised rooms at work and I thought a KS bag would be more inconspicuous. A Gucci bag might also be too flashy for going to Sainsbury’s at 11pm on a Monday to buy a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.
Quality: 7/10 I am certainly impressed with the quality of this bag for the grand total of ¥76 that I paid for it. The bag is very structured and feels sturdy. It’s made of some type of Saffiano imitation rather than real leather (-1.0), it’s a bit stiffer than my auth Michael Kors bag of a similar material (-0.5). A couple of things could be better. The lining is very thin and the synthetic material it’s made of feels pretty cheap (-1.0). The hardware looks a bit cheap as well (0.5), it looks too gold, if that makes sense. The zipper runs smoothly though.
Accuracy: 7.5/10 Originally I had rated this bag a 3.75/10, when comparing it to the Cameron Street Hilli, which was the most similar style to this rep that I could find.
However, a few days ago I was talking to /u/HashtagSquidSquad about this bag and they linked me to the Cedar Street Mandy. I was very glad to find that this bag is actually a pretty decent rep of the CSM, rather than a poor rep of the CSH. Now onto the differences.
The first thing that stands out to me is that the rep looks like it's a little bit taller than the auth (-0.75), although likely only by a few cms. I believe the auth is also a bit more triangle shaped when viewed from the side (-0.25). The logo is thicker on the rep, and the "New York" looks a bit smaller on the auth. The spade is also a bit sharper on the auth (-0.75). It's a bit difficult to find reference pictures for this bag since it's from an older collection, but comparing it to this one and this one, the lining looks correct. Although on this other bag the black colour has a different pattern lining.
At this price point, the rep isn't made of real leather like the auth (-0.50). However, I think the Saffiano imitation that the rep is made of is spot on in terms of appearance. The hardware on the rep also looks a tad cheap compared to the auth (-0.25).
Passability I live in a very large city but Kate Spade is still not overwhelmingly popular. I see about a million Michael Kors bags every day, specially this one, but I only spot a KS bag every now and again. I’ve gotten compliments on this bag from people who aren't too much into fashion but are aware of MK/KS. I also doubt most people even know that someone out there has bothered to produce KS/MK reps.
The other day I went into a Yankee Candle shop and the girl who worked there said “Oh, I love your bag! We actually just had a Kate Spade shop open here in the mall, it’s really nice, someone walked in with a really similar bag the other day, I think they’re so pretty!”. Now, from the tone she said this in and the way she treated me I don’t think she was calling me out. My fiancee had a good laugh at this though. After that I went into said KS shop. At this point I still thought I was wearing a sub 4/10 Cameron Street Hilli rep and didn't want to rub my poor rep into the SAs faces, so I turned the bag around so the logo would face my body rather than the outside. The SAs were nice, no comments on my bag. There are enough inspired by and similar looking bags out there that you wouldn’t know this bag is a rep if the logo wasn’t visible. If I knew this bag was a rep of an older model I wouldn't have had a problem wearing it to the store.
What fits: pics of what fits
This bag fits a ton for a small-ish crossbody. I typically fit all my daily essentials + a snack with room to spare.
Wear and Tear: 9/10 wear and tear pics
I’ve been wearing this bag almost every day since I got it. It’s holding up very well so far. Surprisingly, the glazing still looks intact, I find that the glazing is usually the first thing to show signs of wear in bags that I use frequently.
There are a couple of nicks on the bottom (-0.5) and a few scratches to the hardware that holds the straps (-0.5), but that’s not surprising considering how carelessly I toss this bag around. The material is very resistant overall. It sometimes looks stained when caught under rain, but the stains come off with a wipe.
Happiness score: 10/10 This bag is perfect for what I bought it for,I've been loving it so far.
Conclusion This is probably the longest review for the cheapest bag ever bought on this sub, congratulations if you’ve made it this far. This is a cheap and functional little bag, well worth the price and passable enough imo. Potentially a great gift for teenage siblings/cousins etc.