Motorcycle Bag History

   Balenciaga 2001-2002


2001 to 2010: First Decade of Balenciaga Motorcycle Bag History

Are you ready for a trip down memory lane? It's the early 2000's when Nicolas Ghesquière was creative director of Balenciaga and designed the now-classic motorcycle bag. This lightweight handbag combined soft leather with studs, buckles and zippers pulled by long lariat tassels and became an "It Bag" after editor's and model's admiration and publicity.

For me it was love at first sight when I spotted Kate Moss holding this beautiful black leather "Le Dix" Lariat/Classique/First bag inside the pages of Harper's Bazaar magazine. My quest began to acquire one, and after many phone calls I got lucky at Barney's New York. This bag was my first designer purse and the start of my handbag obsession. I would like to share with you all the history of the motorcycle bag.

– Corey Palmer, Founder and Senior Authenticator, Real Deal Collection 2001 BALENCIAGA Motorcyle Lariat Bag

A Close Call for Balenciaga's Motorcycle Bag

On August 15, 2011 WWD Accessory magazine featured an interview with Nicolas Ghesquière talking about the 2001 Balenciaga runway show and how the motorcycle bag was close to never being made.

N.G.: And we did this prototype and nobody cared; we had a couple of prototypes for a year. Every girl who was walking [the show], including Kate [Moss] came in and was like, 'What is that? Is it vintage? Is it something that you found at the flea market?' I was like 'No, it's a handbag that we prototyped but just didn't produce.' We didn't produce it because I think when I showed the prototype to the people who asked me to do it, they weren't happy with it.

WWD: Too fashiony?
N.G.: Accessories [at the time] were rigid. Luxury leather, especially, was about rigidity. So they were not really happy, and they decided not to produce it. Then when it was in the studio and the models noticed it, I said, 'I think we should just do 25. Let me just give them to the girls because at least some people will be happy.' And that product started from a very, very fashion point of view [and extended] to a very, very large, global audience.

WWD: Why do you think it resonated so dramatically?
N.G.: No logo. Very light. Very effective. There is something familiar with the vintage side. Women and girls thought it was something they'd always have. It was a new fresh thing, but it looked like an old, good, friendly thing. And I think the brand also was becoming desirable. People had desire for my goods and [the bag] was the most accessible piece. You could be a Balenciaga girl with that bag.

Balenciaga Original Motorcycle Bag - 1 of 25!
Go to next page: » Balenciaga 2001-2002