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Is Polene considered a designer brand? The French brand has taken the fashion world by storm but opinions are divided of whether or not Polene is a designer brand. Read our analysis to make your own, informed decision of whether or not you should invest in a Polene bag.
Polène’s timeless and chic designs are quickly becoming popular throughout France and are a brand any handbag lovers really need to know about – so let us give you all the details.
The Paris-based brand, Polène was only founded in 2016 by two brothers and a sister, Mathieu, Antoine, and Elsa Mothay. The siblings were inspired by iconic French and Italian designers who were innovative with their craftsmanship and materials, including Mariano Fortuny, Madeleine Vionnet, and Madam Grès.
These inspirations are clear to see through the silhouettes and techniques used in the Polène leather goods. High-quality materials and a luxurious finish are high on the brand’s agenda after their great-grandfather highlighted the importance of these aspects after founding his own French clothing brand, Saint James in the 1890s.
Since Polène is a relatively new brand, their product range is quite limited, with only handbags, a few wallets, and a few belts on offer to customers. Their leather goods are available in a curated range of styles and gorgeous colors, to make choosing the right bag simple.
The Pricing Of Polène Goods
The pricing of Polène goods is straightforward since there is a small range of handbags available alongside the small leather goods and belts.
The handbags range between $250 and $500 USD, with the majority of bags sitting around the $400 USD mark.
The small leather goods include belt bags, card holders, wallets, and AirPods cases, and these retail for between $95 and $250. There are two different styles of belts available in a range of colors and finishes, available for either $125 or $145. The prices of Polène leather pieces are relatively affordable compared to some of the well-established luxury brands such as Gucci, Chanel, and Bottega Veneta.
Is Polène a Designer Brand?
As Polène is such a new brand in the world of luxury handbags, it can be difficult to establish whether Polène is a designer/luxury brand.
As you will soon see, the time and attention invested in the materials and craftsmanship of the leather goods matches the high-quality finish on designer and luxury handbags.
However, the limited brand reputation and low price tags put Polène in line with more affordable handbag brands.
3 Reasons why Polène is not a designer brand
- Small range of products
Firstly, the small range of leather goods available means that Polène does not have the same plethora of products available that many other designer and luxury brands and fashion houses have.
There are approximately 14 different bags available in a curated range of colors, along with around 10 small leather goods and 2 different belts. This limited, albeit beautiful, range does not give customers the same wide choice they would have at a well-established luxury brand.
2. Limited brand reputation
Since Polène was only established in 2016, there is limited brand reputation and awareness. When you buy an item from a luxury brand, you are partly paying for the brand name, whether that is Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton, or Chanel, and the luxury status that comes with that brand name.
Polène is not yet a world-renowned brand with an instantly recognizable logo or distinctive motif, so the brand does not have the same reputation and status, meaning it may not yet qualify as a luxury brand.
3. Low(ish) price point
This leads perfectly to the third reason Polène may not be considered a designer or luxury brand – the price.
The price of Polène handbags ranges between $250 and $500 which is an incredible price for the sophisticated style and high quality of these bags. However, most luxury and designer brands have a much higher price range, often well over $1000, which adds to the exclusivity of the luxury brand and its products.
This lower price does mean there is also less exclusivity with these Polène leather goods, which, for some, is an important part of a luxury brand.
4 reasons why Polène is a designer brand
- The brand uses luxurious materials
The luxurious materials used by Polène in their handbags is on par with some of the top luxury leather goods brands, ensuring these Polène bags are built to stand the test of time.
All Polène goods are made from calfskin leather with a grained finish to ensure the durability of each piece.
2. Polene is commited to sustainability
Polène only works with Spanish and Italian tanneries that are a part of the International Leather Working Group to ensure the top working conditions for its staff and sustainability in the production of the leather. The brand’s commitment to sustainability also means they make use of leather scraps so there is little to no waste left over.
Polène uses a chromium-based method in the production of their leather to guarantee a resistant finish, so your bag or wallet is tough against scratches and marks.
3. Great Craftsmanship & Made in Spain
The craftsmanship of each of their leather goods is very important to this French brand, and a strong relationship has been built between the founders of Polène and the artisans who create their bags and wallets.
All Polène items are made by expert craftsmen in Ubrique, Spain – a town that specializes in crafting luxury leather goods. The shaping, stitching, edging, and hardware on each Polène item have been considered in much detail to make sure all pieces are expertly finished. These details and the commitment to craftsmanship means Polène bags will stand the test of time, making them the ideal everyday handbag.
4. They retain their value on the secondary market
Since Polène bags are made to such a high standard from top-quality materials, they really retain their value well since they do not often show signs of wear.
Many Polène bags will sell on the second-hand market for close to their original value, with most Polène handbags selling for between $350 and $400 on sites such as Vestaire Collective. The fact that Polène bags do in fact retain their value so well like handbags from well-known luxury labels, means this brand should be considered a designer or luxury brand.
See also: Is Michael Kors considered designer?
Polene bags – outfits and inspiration
Our Top Polene Picks
Arguably Polene’s most famous bag – the Numero Un or Number One bag comes in three sizes: regular, mini and nano.
We like how sturdy this little bag is. As most Polene items, the Numero Un bag is handmade in Spain and it’s made out of great quality calfskin leather. We love the subtle branding on the bag and the fact that even the nano version has feet!
The number 7 bag comes in two sizes: regular and mini. If you want a more dressy Polene bag, then the mini Numero 7 is the bag for you. It has a beautiful golden strap and a gold clasp with minimal Polene branding. We like the very sleek and classic look of this bag as well as all the gold details.
Polène Numéro Huit – $400
Polene’s answer to the bucket bag! Like many of the brands’ bags, it features unique lines and beautiful colors. The Number 8 bag comes in two sizes, has feet and an adjustable shoulder strap.
Polene Numero Neuf – $490
Saved the best for last, as the number nine is my personal favorite. This beauty comes in two sizes, both are great for everyday use. We love how slouchy and easy to wear this bag is. The only thing that I would change is the strap for the largest Numero Neuf as I would love a thicker, more comfortable strap. There’s no visible branding with this bag, so it’s a great one for those who don’t like loud logos.
Our Verdict: Is Polène a Designer Brand?
It is a challenge to definitively state whether Polène is or is not a luxury brand due to the many factors we have considered in this question.
The craftsmanship and materials, in particular, are in line with other luxury leather goods brands, while the price range and brand reputation suggest that Polène is not a designer/luxury brand.
After considering these multiple aspects, we see Polène as an affordable luxury brand that really deserves a place in your handbag collection. The lower prices, brand reputation, and exclusivity mean that Polène cannot yet be considered a firm designer/luxury brand, but as the label grows and becomes known all over the world, it may grow into a favorite luxury brand for leather goods.
If you are thinking about adding a Polène bag to your collection, which we would highly recommend, here are some of the top choices to go for. Polène is known for their beautifully unique silhouettes that take inspiration from top fashion designers, which you can see in the handbags we have mentioned below.
OUR FAVORITE FINDS