Balenciaga Motorcycle Bags only exist because models liked them

August 19th, 2011

We don’t often get a peek behind the scenes at the business and logistical decisions that go into making our favorite handbags a reality, but thanks to a recent Women’s Wear Daily interview with Balenciaga genius Nicolas Ghesquiere, we now know a little bit more about one of the most popular bag designs in the modern accessories world: The Balenciaga Motorcycle Bag.

Namely, we know that it almost never existed in the first place. Ghesquiere tells WWD that he made the prototype at the behest of company brass, and they dismissed it as too soft, too lightweight and too lacking in structure. As it turns out, all the things that they thought would make it unpopular are what make the design so beloved. Those of us who have loved and adored our fair share of Balenciaga bags over the years have one group of people to thank for it: Models.

That’s right; if it weren’t for the models, we wouldn’t have a single Motorcycle bag in our collections. Ghesquiere says that he convinced his corporate minders to allow him to produce the bags just for the runway show so that the girls would have something to carry while they walked, but the models (most notably Kate Moss) were so immediately smitten with the design that he knew he had a winning bag on his hands. When Kate Moss tells you that something is cool, it’s in the best interest of everyone who stands to profit to listen to her.

And so here we are, more than a decade later, many of us with multiples of the bag in our closet histories. Me? I’ve had four of them in four different colors and three different shapes. I doubt the one I have right now will be my last. Not by a long shot. Read the full (fascinating) interview via Women’s Wear Daily.

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