It goes without saying that one of the biggest trends to develop over the past several seasons has been the omnipresence of the clutch bag as the new “it bag” for Autumn/Winter 2012. Nearly every major fashion house pushed their own interpretations back in Spring 2012 with Céline and Balenciaga’s sleek document holders notable standouts from Paris, as was 3.1 Phillip Lim’s Roy Lichtenstein inspired pop-art numbers from New York, and even young start-ups in Tokyo such as Roggykei building buzz with their youthful punk interpretations and street-wear staple Phenomenon getting in on the action with their Head Porter collaborations for Spring/Summer 2013.
I’ve been meaning to buy a clutch portfolio for my day-to-day fashion work and couldn’t find the right one that has just the right amount of understated sleek design, quality craftsmanship, and ability to hold my Macbook Air and other essentials without screaming “Hey look guys I’m carrying a Macbook Air!”.
The search ended when I found this Céline FW 2012 portfolio. Even though Céline is a women’s collection line, the bags and accessories are thoroughly understated/unisex with a growing legion of male fans. This particular version has three large pockets with the middle pocket closeable with a zipper at the top. It perfectly fits my laptop without any bulkiness but still has enough room and compartments for my other items without ruining the case’s sleek lines. Sadly things of beauty do not come cheap with this white version (black, blue, and brown versions are also available) in Spazzolato calfskin costing me 14,000 HKD (roughly $1800 USD) when I purchased it on a business trip to Hong Kong last month.
For those male readers that may be turned off by the idea of carrying a women’s clutch, another recommendation I have is from Valextra. They are an Italian high-end leather goods maker that does an equally subtle but drop-dead gorgeous Macbook Air portfolio in fine-grained calfskin leather. This particular earlier black model has two sleeves, one for the Macbook Air, and another for various documents, an iPad, etc. Sadly this also was quite expensive, running me over $1600 when I purchased it in Tokyo last summer.
Writing and photography by Rajiv Sawhney