A couple of months ago, as I was walking around Marina Bay Sands doing some window shopping, I came across a rather intriguing clutch bag. This clutch bag is highly versatile, with the ability to convert to a handy sling bag just by adding or removing its signature burgundy red shoulder strap. It’s a smallish bag, being able to hold your phone, wallet and a Kindle at most. But the versatility to be able to use it as a clutch bag (without the shoulder strap) or as a sling bag (with the shoulder strap) was what caught my attention. Other plus points include high-quality bovine leather, hand-made in Italy and from a Swiss luxury brand, Bally.
Bally as a brand never really caught my attention until now. I know the brand as makers of fine leather shoes from Switzerland with their signature red and cream stripes that run down some of the shoes, bags and wallets. It is pretty iconic. One can recognise an item fairly easily that is made by Bally just by identifying these design elements. Earlier on, I have always noticed that most of their bags were made mainly from nylon. While I kinda like the design, I wasn’t very enthusiastic about them using nylon as a fabric and sticking and the high price tag on their products.
It was not until recently when they released a new lineup of clutch bags, messenger bags and backpacks that were entirely made of leather (at least from the outside) that I came across the Brogann from one of their stores at Marina Bay Sands.
So here it was, the Brogann, handsomely displayed behind the shop window of Bally. I remember the first thing that caught my attention was the size of the bag. It’s practically a sling bag. I have been on the market for a good, small-sized sling bag, but couldn’t find one that is minimalist, simplistic, and subtle. The second thing was obviously the shoulder strap. It’s red, burgundy red to be more precise if I am not mistaken. It’s not every day that you see a sling bag that comes with a burgundy red shoulder strap. That is pretty unique. After studying the bag outside the shop for a minute or two, I noticed that the bag is all leather. Grained leather in fact. Exquisite. As I mentioned, I don’t usually see Bally making that many all-leather bags in recent years. Most of them were nylon if my memory recalls. And the last thing that I noticed was that this bag does not have its signature red and cream stripe running vertically. It’s more subtle than usual, coming from Bally. One needs to look at the bag really closely to tell that it is actually a Bally bag.
So I went into the store and I enquired about the bag. A sales lady was happy to oblige by bringing out the bag for me to try on. The leather was supple, soft and luxurious. The B-monogram embossed leather at the front of the bag that served as a flap to store small items added character to the bag.
When the sales lady mentioned that the bag can be converted to either a sling bag or a clutch bag via a detachable shoulder strap, I was completely sold. I tried on both looks, looking at myself in the mirror, holding the bag as a clutch bag and as a sling bag. Either way, it looked great.
I was extremely impressed with the bag. When I asked the sales lady about the price, that was when my heart sank. I had no intention of buying anything that day while out window shopping at Marina Bay Sands, but here I was in the store, trying out this amazing-looking bag from Bally.
The sales lady told me the price. It was S$1500. Much more expensive than I was expecting especially given the size of the bag. My original guess was S$900, no more than S$1100, but I was apparently way off the mark. I was initially hesitant to pull the trigger. I was torn. I know that if I don’t get it, it will be gone. The bag is so versatile, that you are practically buying two bags with two different purposes for the price of one.
I remembered spending a good twenty minutes debating internally whether I should just go for it.
I went for it. I never looked back since.
Thankfully, I never regretted buying it. Every time I use it, it feels amazing.
In fact, as of today, the bag is no longer listed on Bally’s website. It might be temporary or it might be permanent, a one-time-only release of such a unique bag. If the latter is true, I am truly lucky.