My first Balenciaga bag

I first started wanting a Balenciaga bag in March of last year, when I saw this picture:

Source: Just Jared

I’m not that familiar with LeAnn Rimes – but HOW ADORABLE is her bag??? I adore small bags – and I needed this bag in my life! I started researching Balenciaga and discovered several things:

  • This bag style is called “the First” and is the current version of the original Le Dix motorcycle bag first produced in 2001
  • First bags used to made out of goatskin (chevre). After 2006/2007 they switched to lambskin (agneau). Many Bal enthusiasts prefer the earlier chevre leathers as they are thicker and “chewier”. Chevre bags can cost the same if not more than purchasing a new agneau bag.
  • Bal leathers are delicate and can be prone to discolouration. Darker colours can fade unless protected from sunlight, while lighter colours are affected by colour transfer and handle darkening.

Choosing MY bag was an ordeal – this bag is quite an investment, yet unlike other high-end bags (like Chanels) their appearance changes over time, even after careful use. I didn’t want to end up with a shabby looking bag!

I went to my local Balenciaga counter (at Holt Renfrew). They don’t carry many colours in the First style, as other styles (like the City) are more popular. They currently only have bleu lavande (a purplish blue), cyclamen (hot pink) and black in the first size. At the same time I was checking reputable/recommended e-stores for a mint bag from a previous season. I ended up purchasing a Black first from Holt Renfrew and a mint Sahara first online.

Pros of the Black bag:
-Don’t have to worry about colour transfer or handles darkening
Cons of the Black:
-Had a greenish tinge that would only grow more prominent over time (even if I changed this particular bag, I may end up with another bag with a similar problem – even if it doesn’t fade to green, it may fade to grey).
-from far it just looks like an ordinary bag
-I don’t wear a lot of black
Pros of the Sahara:
-Light colour allows you to see the Bal design details clearly
-neutral colour  to match a lot of outfits
Cons of the Sahara:
-Handles may darken over time
-Could end up with colour transfer

CELEBS with Bal bags:

Kourtney Kardashian with a 2010 Sahara
Kate Moss with a Black First
Lo Bosworth with a Sahara bag
Gisele Bundchen with a Black first

 Which would you have chosen? From these pictures it’s clear that Supermodels choose Black while Reality stars choose Sahara LOL!
 In the end, my heart was with the Sahara bag – so that’s the one I kept (guess I’m not supermodel material!):

I also purchased the Balenciaga leather protectant kit from Lovin My Bags, to hopefully prevent darkening and marks over time (fingers crossed). I hope I got lots of use out of this bag and that it holds up well!

I’m also still on the lookout for my Chanel WOC from hubby – I called the Chanel stores but apparently they’re out of stock until October!

Liked this post? Read my other bag reviews here!

28 Comments

  1. Katherine
    September 12, 2011 / 9:36 pm

    congrats on your first B! I love Balenciaga and carry my bags a ton – my first was a lighter colored beige First as well! 🙂 Yours is gorgeous!

  2. Ella Pretty Blog
    September 12, 2011 / 9:51 pm

    Thanks Katherine! What year and colour was your First – was it a chevre? And did you end up with any discolouration? I love the black Bal you have in your outfit posts – it's such a jet colour – just my luck that I end up with a greenish one!!!

  3. Anonymous
    September 12, 2011 / 10:05 pm

    SQUEEE!!!!! I am so excited for you Ella–congrats! I think you made an excellent choice. As someone who doesn't wear a lot of black either, I am always prone to choose the lighter option. This bag is truly gorgeous. My first Bal was a cognac color, it goes with everything and still looks good 7 years later. SOOO Happy for you, I know how long you've been eyeing this 🙂

  4. Leticia
    September 12, 2011 / 11:23 pm

    Congrats!

  5. Make Mommy Chic
    September 13, 2011 / 1:17 am

    Ella, this is so awesome. I am so happy for you- i know that you've wanted a bal for a long time. The sahara color is gorgeous, extremely versatile and I know that you will wear it very well. i really like the size of the first, i actually regret not getting my red bal in a first and am thinking of selling my city. My black city bal has held up very well after 6 years, i was told by my rep at holt's at yorkdale to use Lubriderm unscented lotion as a protectant but never have. I look forward to outfit posts with your new purchase 🙂

  6. Ella Pretty Blog
    September 13, 2011 / 1:50 am

    Andi – thanks so much. I love your cognac Bal – it goes with so many of your outfits! While I was at the store I saw the Marc Jacobs quilted bag and thought of you :-)I love how roomy it is, and it seems pretty durable too.Leticia – Thanks!MMC – I'm so envious of the shiny gorgeous black bal bags – just my luck that the only one left at my store was greenish – yuck! You're lucky that yours held up so well without the need for any protectant – you chose well!

  7. Yu
    September 13, 2011 / 2:52 am

    I'd definitely pick the Sahara! 🙂

  8. Tali
    September 13, 2011 / 8:01 am

    Congrats!! Great choices!!! I think the sahara is lovely!!

  9. C'est La Viii
    September 13, 2011 / 5:17 pm

    I've also been wanting a Balenciaga bag so bad! Love yours!!Check out my blog at:www.cestlaviii.blogspot.com

  10. Ella Pretty Blog
    September 14, 2011 / 2:19 am

    Yu – yay, I made the right choice :-)Tali – thanks – I adore your Black Bal – especially the rose gold hardware – I love ANYTHING rose gold LOL!CLV – Hope you find one you like – apparently they'll be doing a price increase early next year!

  11. Beautygirl24
    September 14, 2011 / 6:44 pm

    I am so excited for you! We both got dream bags 🙂 I love the sahara color, and I think you really made a wise decision. The black is nice too of course, but the details of this bag can better be seen in lighter colors.

  12. Lilly's Style
    September 16, 2011 / 7:57 pm

    Oh that is SOOO exciting! Love both colors but Sahara a bit more 🙂

  13. Ella Pretty Blog
    September 16, 2011 / 8:57 pm

    Noelle – your dream bag is SO amazing – you had the best bday EVER!t- thanks so much!Lilly – Thanks…I do love the black one too, because it is a classic – just wish I could have found a guaranteed "black" and not "green" one!

  14. Mary and Dyer
    September 19, 2011 / 12:14 am

    Yay!!! Love your new bag!! You made a good choice with the tan – I like the color a lot! I would love a Balcenciaga bag someday, but a classic black Chanel is definitely top on my list. xoxI just became your newest follower. I'd love for you to check out my blog & follow back if you'd like! :)Also, we are doing a giveaway for a Tiffany & Co. necklace!Blessings,Katwww.maryanddyer.blogspot.com

  15. Ella Pretty Blog
    September 19, 2011 / 2:37 am

    Thanks so much for following – I've already checked out your blog and am following it too…sisters blogging together sounds like a great idea 🙂

  16. Something About Kerri
    September 19, 2011 / 7:56 pm

    love your post on balenciaga. i just made a post about balenciaga as well =) i really like your blog and i just became a follower!

  17. Ella Pretty Blog
    September 19, 2011 / 8:33 pm

    Kerri – your post is very informative – I didn't know Bal was going to increase their prices! Thanks for following – I love your blog (and sense of style) and am a follower of yours too 🙂

  18. Emily
    September 21, 2011 / 5:00 pm

    This bag is so gorgeous! Great choice :)Your blog is lovely! xx

  19. ♥ Sadie ♥
    September 21, 2011 / 11:05 pm

    Oh I love it <3.Sadie xwww.brandnewbutterflywings.com

  20. Fashion Meets Food
    September 22, 2011 / 6:32 pm

    Congratulations on your first balenciaga bag. They are absolutely stunning and I have always wanted one. Definitely saving my pennies so I can get one! xo

  21. Ella Pretty Blog
    September 22, 2011 / 8:34 pm

    Thanks Emily and Sadie!Fashion Meets Food – thanks – it took me a while to save for my bal bag (I felt guilty spending so much on a bag!) but they're definitely worth it!

  22. Louise @ cosmetic bee
    September 23, 2011 / 2:46 am

    Hi there, I stumbled across your blog completely by random (I was searching for reviews on the H & M necklace which is a knockoff of the J. Crew bubble necklace and your blog showed up!), and I'm loving it! Congrats on your Balenciaga bag, it is so nice. Also, thanks for following my blog!xo

  23. Ella Pretty Blog
    September 23, 2011 / 8:53 pm

    Louise – thanks for stopping by – I love your blog as well – especially your lovely outfits!

  24. BooBooNinja
    September 21, 2012 / 7:07 am

    Do you have a post on what you can fit in your First?I think it's an adorable bag!

  25. Anonymous
    November 13, 2013 / 8:47 am

    do you think in balenciaga first it is possible to put a laptop?

    • Ella Pretty Blog
      November 14, 2013 / 3:58 am

      No – it's definitely too small, even an iPad wouldn't fit in it. I'll try update my post with a picture of what fits in it when I get a chance 🙂

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