Mary Kate in New York with her City Bag, February 2016.
Everyone remembers the Balenciaga City bag, the slouchy leather motorcycle bag that every famous and fabulous woman had on their arm at some point between 2000-2007. It was kind of the anti-It Bag to begin with, less polished looking than most with its distressed, worn-in leather and no obvious branding to speak of (although a well trained eye could spot those famed tassels a mile away). It was a cash cow for Nicolas Ghesquiere and a staple for the boho chic wardrobe that was popular at the time, due in no small part to the influence of boho chic ambassadors Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen. I was reminded of the City Bag’s glory days recently when photos surfaced of Mary Kate this February in New York with her City Bag in tow. Not just any City Bag, that is, but the City Bag, the medium sized mint green one which was draped over her little frame for most of the aughts like it was stuck there. Despite the fossilized gum and massive purple stain on the bottom of the bag, she carried it everywhere. Since 2005 was the height of the “Trollsen Twin” style era, the battered and bruised City Bag gave a hefty dose of authenticity to the look. But now, the City Bag past its It Bag prime and the Olsen twins having moved on to a more refined, art gallery owner kind of modern look, its not what you might imagine to be her bag of choice. Trend and aesthetic consistency be damned, she still loves her City Bag, flaws and all. It’s terribly endearing. In honour of Mary Kate and her trusty, crusty motorcycle bag, I give you a glimpse of their enduring twelve years (and counting!) relationship. Long live the City Bag!