Motorcycle Bag History
Balenciaga Motorcycle Bag History from 2001-2002It all started with 25 lucky models, editors, actors and friends of Nicolas Ghesquière at the 2001 runway show to become one of the most iconic designer bags with its lightweight and effective design. The motorcycle bag originally featured the highest-quality leathers with long leather strings (lariat/tassels) on the zipper pulls, round flat-brass studs, squareish buckles, and a 24"-27" long leather strap (without a weight distributor) ending with chunky brass clips.
In Spring/Summer 2002 (second season) a leather-bound mirror (without a backside pocket) was added and tied onto the bag by a leather tassel and tucked into either zipper pocket and fit perfectly inside. Dust bags came in plain black woven felt-like material, as well as white with a black BB logo, and black with a white BB logo, until the white cotton with black all-caps logo became standard around 2002/03.
The Gucci Group (now Kering) acquired Balenciaga in 2001 and took over production for Fall/Winter 2002 (third season) with small modifications in construction. Starting with the pewter hardware bags, a backside pocket was added to the mirror and a weight distributor was added to the extra-long 29" leather strap with slender clips and bales at each end. No need for a logo, the unique overlay and hardware details of the moto-bag were unmistakable to those in the know.
F/W '01 Balenciaga Black Caribou Pebbled Flat Brass First
Early Moto-Bags: Season Determined by Front Zipper Pocket & Interior Branding
Year of Prototypes & Official 1st Season, Fall/Winter 2001:
Zippers did not have stops on the ends and were just sewn in. Interior branded with a single-sided leather tag, either gold stamped "Le Dix Balenciaga Paris" or debossed "Balenciaga Paris". Linings could be black and often matched the bag in either a ribbed material or woven cotton and logo printed at least in the black/white stripe versions, a 24"-27" long leather strap with chunky brass clips (without a weight distributor), and no mirror. Only 25 "Lariat/Classique/First" bags were made for "the girls" Nicolas Ghesquière to carry and given to those that admired the prototype bag seen at the '01 runway show.
2nd Season, Spring/Summer 2002:
Zippers with stops on the ends. Interior branded with a single-sided leather tag debossed "Balenciaga Paris" with black woven cotton linings and sometimes random pieces of "Pierre Cardin" lining, a 24"-27" long leather strap with chunky brass clips (without a weight distributor), and a tassel attached leather-bound mirror (without a backside pocket). Limited production quickly sold out at select retailers and their Paris boutique.
3rd Season, Fall/Winter 2002:
Interior branded with a double-sided leather tag debossed "Balenciaga" & "codes/made in italy" with minor hardware and construction changes, a longer 29" leather strap, and flat brass hardware bags came in "Moto-tough Arena" chèvre leather, and pewter hardware or multi-zip versions came in "Suede" or "Monk" leather, plus a weight distributor on the strap with slender clips and bales, also a backside pocket on the leather-bound accessory mirror.
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Go to questions: » Learn about 2001 to 2002 Balenciaga moto-bags.