The biggest ‘it’ bag in the recent years has been the iconic bucket by Mansur Gavriel. I credit the revitalization of the bucket silhouette to this contemporary NYC brand’s success.
Although I’ve been a fan for a while (as seen here – photographing Adrienne!), I was quite hesitant on actually purchasing the bag. I was mainly head over heels for the cammello color since I had nothing in my collection in that versatile ‘natural’ shade. Buuuuut, the cammello bags are only made using the vegetable tanning process – which makes the leather extremely sensitive and requires excessive care. I still stalked every release that Mansur Gavriel had anyways, hoping to get my hands on one of these mini buckets. This was tough since Mansur Gavriel is notorious for selling out almost immediately, especially in the more popular color combinations.
However, with the increasing demand for their bucket bags, Mansur Gavriel’s list of stockists have also grown. I was able to purchase my coveted size/color/interior combination from Bergdorf! I took the plunge as soon as I saw that there was a mini cammello bucket available with the rosa interior.
I was a little hesitant in writing a full review since I only purchased this beaut two months ago, but I’ve been using it non-stop! I know I’m still in the honeymoon phase but I think I have a pretty decent understanding of this bag to give it a full review now. However, I will need to update this post with a complete wear and tear analysis in a year or so. As always, all categories are rated out of 5 stars – I deducted half/whole stars based on whether or not the bag fulfilled all my needs in that category.
I’m not going to lie, my favorite part of bucket bags is being able to stick my hand in without looking and grab exactly what I need. That rings true with the Mansur bucket as well, but! there is a caveat. I took one look at the beautiful matte pink interior and immediately wanted to protect it from harm’s way. I decided to use the pouch method and dumped all of my miscellaneous items into smaller cloth sacks. This worked, but basically cancelled out the convenience principle of a bucket bag. Over the past two months though, I’v been able to refine my pouch method by letting everything roam free except for the few known sharp objects (keys, square compact mirror, and wall charger). I’m knocking off half a star because of the pouch method (I really hate fishing for my keys).
On the plus side though, this ‘mini’ bucket isn’t really so mini. There’s so much space for me to stuff just about anything in. I typically am carrying the following: iPhone, small wallet, keys, bits and bobs of makeup, hand cream, sunglasses, and a 9 oz S’well bottle. I think this would fill about 3/4 of the bag, which is amazing! I don’t think any of my other day bags can fit a full water bottle.
The cammello was the PERFECT shade of tan – and the main reason why I was so set on getting nothing but that. This tan color also makes it a seasonless bag – I carried it all summer and can see it also complementing beautifully with a fall palette. I also can’t wax on enough about how much I love the contrast against the pale pink interior. I am, however, a little anxious to see how the leather will patina over the years due to the tanning process. On the Mansur Gavriel website, the patina does look quite significant over the course of a year. I’m knocking off half a star for how much darker the bag will inevitably change over time.
One of the most readily identifiable traits of the Mansur buckets are the bow ties. I personally struggled to tie it perfectly when I first got the bag. But since then it has stayed in place and doesn’t flop around. I do tighten it sometimes to be safe if I’m walking through a larger crowd.
The craftsmanship of this bag is incredible. The stitches are even and taut, the interior paint is smooth and unblemished, and the hardware has still no scratches! I feel like this bag was meticulously made with the little details in mind.
I also noticed that even when I put a lot of stuff into the bag, the leather never distorts. The integrity of the shape is not compromised by the weight or oddly shaped objects in the bag. This is a solid piece of leatherwork and surprisingly doesn’t smell overwhelmingly pungent like certain leathers do.
As I mentioned before, the vegetable tanning process is definitely something to consider before purchasing the cammello bags. This process makes the leather extremely susceptible to nicks and blemishes. As someone who runs into brick walls on a daily basis, I was extremely worried. After two months of continuous wear, I’ve seen two visibly significant scratches on the bag. I purchased this pricey leather conditioner to buff out any marks that accumulate over time. I’m knocking off a half star for the scratches.
On the rectangular base of the bag, the corners have started to discolor and fade a bit. This is probably because the stiffness of the leather makes the corners jut out. Over time I’m assuming these corners will see extreme wear and be an unsightly contrast to the patina on the rest of the body. I’m deducting half a star for these faded corners.
With the recent weather, I’ve also started to carry the dust bag around a lot. Rain or liquid exposure can cause water spots on vegetable tanned leathers. I also use the dust bag frequently when I’m out eating and there’s a high chance of me spilling my drink or food on my bag. This is definitely not a bag where you can just wipe away any mess and be good to go. I’m knocking off half a star for how much I have to protect the exterior from the elements or my own clumsiness.
I do want to make a point and note that all three of these deductions really stem from the vegetable tanned leather. I knew and understood the risks when purchasing this bag, but I am purely reviewing this bag against my lifestyle preferences.
I have to admit, $495 is extremely pricey especially if you think about how much effort you have to put into taking care of this bag. But even with all of its drawbacks, I get so excited to use this bag. It goes with 90% of everything I wear and it holds everything I need on a daily basis. The cost per wear makes this bag very much worth it.
Mansur Gavriel bags also sell out quickly – which drives up the price of a new bag on the resale market. I’ve seen mini buckets for $695 which is the retail price of the regular bucket bag, so taking the plunge at retail value is a good deal. I’ve also never seen these bucket bags go on sale.
If you’re purchasing this bag pre-loved or from an unofficial channel, be careful! There are a ton of fakes floating out there, so try to purchase from a proper stockist or a resale site that offers authentication.
You can find the cammello/rosa mini bucket on the Mansur Gavriel website for $495. The mini bucket is offered in a variety of leathers, exterior colors, and interior shades.