A bit of backstory for those unfamiliar with the brand. Strathberry was founded in 2013, establishing itself as one of Scotlands upcoming luxury bag brand. Relatively new in the luxury bag market, Strathberry has been consistently gaining exposure and recognition, successfully launching several lines for their classic bags. Most recently, Strathberry signed on with Saks Fifth Ave. (with a few designs exclusively at Saks), where their bags will be sold alongside other established brands.
With that being said, today I'll be coming back with another bag review, except this time I'll be covering four bags that I've accumulated from Strathberry in the past year, including their soon-to-be released East/West bag. I will be focusing mainly on the newer selection, as the two luxury calf hair bag I own are no longer available on their website.
I first came across Strathberry back in October of 2016. I stumbled on their website after a few of my favourite fashion bloggers sported their newest line at the time. I instantly fell in love with their signature bar closure featured on all their bags... and it was history from there. Recently I've noticed there's been a lot of brands that advertise their bags as luxurious well-crafted piece of work to justify their $500-$1000 price tag. And like most brands that heavily depend on social media marketing, their quality is often compromised for the aesthetic. However, I was extremely impressed to find that this was not the case for Strathberry, and I'm going to show you why.
Of course we have to talk about their luxurious packaging. Something about heavy beautiful boxes that add to the experience of buying a bag like this. They opted for a sleek theme, choosing the colour scheme of black and gold for their sticker, thank-you card, and dust bag (the drawstring is gold).
East/West Strathberry in Ruby
The first bag I want to talk about: The East/West. This bag hasn't officially launched as of writing this blog post and is currently unavailable on their website. They come in two size, mines being the standard size coming in at Width: 23cm (9"), Height: 16cm (6"), Depth: 9cm (3.5"). They have the same bag in a mini which is slightly smaller and has the dimensions of Width: 18cm (7"), Height: 12cm (5"), Depth: 7cm (3"). The size and feel of the bag is very comparable to the Chanel Boy old medium. This bag retails for $660USD ($842 CAD).
Me, being such a fan of red, decided I needed to get this bag in the shade Ruby, which was such a beautiful and vibrant red. The gold hardware complemented the colour perfectly. The chain is very beautifully structured, very similar to the chain used on Furla's mini cross body bag.
One thing I wished they did a little differently would be to extend their chain. It appears that their models hold the bag by double strapping it, but the bag doesn't hang nearly as low as I'd like unless I single strap it. I think it would definitely give the bag a little more weight too.
Close up shots show that the bag is secured by their signature bar closure, but also a small magnetic button, which is a nice added touch.
As you can see from the side profile, the bag itself is quite roomy, and has no problem fitting all the essentials. I especially love how they exaggerated their space division, giving it a fan like effect from the side. Much like all their other bags, the east/west is extremely structured and high quality, with quite some resistance when opening the flap. This bag features two compartments, one in which features an interior pocket that could fit anything slim like your driver's license or credit card. The interior is made with a suede-like finish, which seems to be consistent in all their bags. I find this bag most suitable to use on a night out as it is big enough to hold all of the essentials, and yet small (and light) enough to not weight you down (it's only 1.7 pounds).
MC Midi Strathberry in Ruby
This second bag is my favourite of the two. I've already decided it's going to be my work bag because it fits my MacBook Air perfectly. The size I have is their regular size, coming in at Width: 34cm (13.5"), Height: 24.5cm (9.5"), Depth: 8.5cm (3.5"), Handle drop: 7cm (2.75"). They also have this bag available in two smaller size: Mini and Nano, which would make great night bags. Interestingly enough, this bag is not available on the American site, but is still purchasable through their UK website. This bag retails for the equivalent of $641USD ($816 CAD), though it may be a little more as the bags do sell for much more compared to the converted rates from their UK prices on the American website.
This bag is not just about the aesthetics, it's about function too. It features three interior pocket and one exterior pocket, which is great for putting anything you want to quickly access. The straps are adjustable, which is a nice bonus. Again, like all their other bags, it's extremely study and structured. Note the flap opens from the back, which could be a little difficult to open up on the go. But for the aesthetics right? I totally get it.
If you couldn't already tell, the gold and red colour combination is just my favourite as of late. This bag is all about the detail, just look at their Strathberry branded hardware. I love how the straps are removable, giving us the option to carry it by the handle if we prefer. It should be noted that their clasp are extremely well made - solid and smooth with a bit of weight to them.
Luxury Calf Hair Series
My first two bags from Strathberry came from their Luxury Calf Hair series. I was absolutely in love with this collection. It was breathtaking. Granted, it was a little more expensive than their classical style of the same bag, but it is worth every penny. The two bags I owned from this collection was the Strathberry tote in black calf hair and the Strathberry backpack in black calf hair (although I don't see anymore backpacks available on their website anymore?). With that being said, both bags of this style are currently unavailable on their website (the tote is available in the calf hair leopard print though) so I'll be very briefly covering these two bags, largely on their durability, which should be applicable to their two earlier bags, since I've had time to test it.
Pros: The look of this bag is like none other. The calf hair exhibits a soft sheen in natural lighting that gives the bag some dimension. I find that with the calf hair, the bag is not as fragile when it comes to wear and tear. It does a better job hiding any imperfections or scratches, which definitely helps the bag look as new as when I first got it nearly a year ago. The bag itself is extremely sturdy in all aspect, with a very structured body and high quality zipper used in the interior. The bag also has some resistance when opening, even to this day, clearly indicating the high quality of their leather. The interior is covered completely in a suede-like finish, which again, does a great job at hiding any signs of age. The tote is actually huge and can carry way more than I expected, and the backpack is the perfect size for my MacBook, which is super fitting to use for school.
Cons: Again, this series is a little more expensive with the classic Strathberry Tote priced at $750USD ($956CAD) and the Black Calf Hair Tote standing at $875USD ($1116CAD). With the Tote, I find that I cannot stuff my bag because it strains easily, with the clasp attached to only one side of the bag, connecting diagonally to the other (it'll start to slant). Overstuffing it may cause for a distortion of the handle since the bag will expand and the handles will bend, although the bag is huge and it's rare that you cannot fit everything you need for a bag with the dimensions of 37cm x 27.5cm x 15.5cm. With the backpack it does take a little more work to open it up because of the way you'd have to remove the flap with the bar, which isn't really a big deal to me, but be warned it's not as easy as a traditional backpack where you can just zip and toss your belongings.
Strathberry continues to impress me with their newest line of luxury bags. I've been a huge fan of the brand since I first laid eyes on their calf hair collection, and have been continuously supporting their brand since. You may have caught me wearing their bags over on my Instagram a few times, and it's honestly because I personally find Strathberry to be just as luxurious as any brand name bags I own. I would like to note that when it comes to luxury bags, I don't always expect for it to be created for optimal efficiency (focusing on aesthetics, sometimes it's too small, difficult to use, etc.). For Strathberry, It's not as simple because the bar closure makes it a little difficult to toss all your belongings on the go. But, it's ultimately what makes the bag as it is their signature look, and I wouldn't compromise it any other way. All in all, Strathberry creates unique pieces that are certainly eye catching and well worth it for the craftmenship.