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Nicolas Ghesquiere: Balenciaga's Lariat Bag Almost Never Got Made

Balenciaga Lariat, photo via <a href="http://www.thebaglady.tv/2010/12/iconic_bags_cou_24.html">The Bag Lady</a>
Balenciaga Lariat, photo via The Bag Lady

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Today's WWD Accessory magazine features an interview with the elusive and brilliant Nicolas Ghesquiere, the creative director of Balenciaga. In it, he talks about the luxury fashion house's take on accessories—especially the It-bag. Did you know that when Balenciaga first created the Lariat, it almost didn't get produced?

This is what happened at the show:

N.G.: Yes. Every girl who was walking [the show], including Kate [Moss] came in and was like, ‘What is that? Is it vintage? Is it something that you found at the flea market?’ I was like ‘No, it’s a handbag that we prototyped but just didn’t produce.’ We didn’t produce it because I think when I showed the prototype to the people who asked me to do it, they weren’t happy with it.

WWD: Too fashiony?
N.G.: Accessories [at the time] were rigid. Luxury leather, especially, was about rigidity. So they were not really happy, and they decided not to produce it. Then when it was in the studio and the models noticed it, I said, ‘I think we should just do 25. Let me just give them to the girls because at least some people will be happy.’ And that product started from a very, very fashion point of view [and extended] to a very, very large, global audience.

WWD: Why do you think it resonated so dramatically?
N.G.: No logo. Very light. Very effective. There is something familiar with the vintage side. Women and girls thought it was something they’d always have. It was a new fresh thing, but it looked like an old, good, friendly thing. And I think the brand also was becoming desirable. People had desire for my goods and [the bag] was the most accessible piece. You could be a Balenciaga girl with that bag.

· The Balenciaga factor [WWD Accessory]