What I Love (And Hate) About Sezane Bags

sezane bags with model and product shot

Sezane bags are excellent, stylish and well-made. Here’s what you need to know before you buy one — especially if you’re buying it from overseas.

Sezane has a collection of ten leather bags (the Claude (love), the Milo, the Romeo, not to be confused with the Romie, the Mara, the Marcel, the Abel, the Victor, the Gabin, and the Farrow) in a variety of colors and finishes), as well as a collection of small leather goods — wallets and that sort of thing.

Generally speaking: What I love about Sezane bags is how classic they are. Like many of the best French goods, they stick with the tried and true. There’s nothing wildly outré here; I can’t imagine Emily (as in Emily in Paris) ever carrying one into Saveur, unless she was cos-playing a Parisian It girl. Buy it once, use it ’til the stitching gives out — these are bag, in my opinion, made to last a long time. What I don’t like: Compared to similar bags from similar brands, I find them a bit heavy, and a bit expensive — likely two factors related to their durability. The prize, as my mom likes to say, is the price: Our best advantages often come with their own problems.

I’ll also mention the woven summer bags, in natural fibers (primarily raffia), even though they’re seasonal — they’re extremely distinctive and very cool, though they’re not available six months a year. My opinion is that the leather bags are a good buy for the money, due to the quality of the construction and the durability of the style — they’re designed to last. The summer bags? I’m not as enthusiastic.

Let’s get into it.

Sezane Leather Bags: The Milo and More

sezane bags - milo product shot

The leather portion of the Sezane bag selection is led by the Milo ($475): It’s 100% vegetable-tanned smooth cowhide leather, and made in Italy. It’s smallish: shorter and narrower than a letter-sized piece of paper (6.7 inches x 9.4 inches x 1.8 inches). It has a very satisfying metal clasp on the front, with a zipped interior pocket. It’s great — there’s no other way to say it, it’s just like Sezane in a nutshell: fashionable without being trendy, well made, expensive but actually pretty reasonable when you break it down on a cost per wear. You could use this bag every day for years.

The Milo comes in slightly exotic finishes, including a python-embossed leather and a snakeskin-embossed leather, but personally I think you need to go classic all the way, with the Natural Heritage (a rich warm brown, shown here.). It also comes in a classic black that I feel is a bit stark. I’m generally against raffia for its durability issues, but I do love the Milo in raffia.

milo mini classic

The Milo also comes in a mini size (seen above): 4.7 inches x 7.5 inches x 2 inches. That’s the same size as a 5″ X 7″ index card. And you’re only saving $40 versus the full-size price. Noting the size issue, I’m obsessed with the patchwork lilac leather mini Milo — we’ll see if it makes a return.

milo vintage bags

There’s one more variation of the Milo: a “vintage” take in taupe sueded leather (seen above on the left — on the right is the embossed brown), that’s just a little bit cheaper ($405). I do like the vintage-y leather clasp that replaces the metal one on the regular Milo.

Ranking the Rest of the Sezane Bags: Leather Edition

#2: The Claude

I love the Claude ($450). The Claude is coming for the Milo’s crown, and it’s going to win. It’s the most pocketbook-y of all the options here — style-wise maybe somewhere between the Milo and the Romeo. It’s more of a half-moon shape than the Milo, and it has the same flap-centric vibe as the Roméo (with less pocket vibes).

three claude bags - sezane bags

In addition to the brown crocodile print above, the Claude comes in a satisfying six colors: vintage blue, olive, rosewood (all shown above), glossy black, sand, and a kelly green. To my eyes, it’s much bigger than it looks — I was expecting something about the same of a paperback book from the images, but — IDK, paperback books come in lots of sizes. The Claude is about 6″ X 8″. Maybe it’s the depth (a little over two inches) that makes it feel more substantial than I expected.

romeo bags from sezane

#3: The Romeo

Like the Milo, the regular-sized Romeo ($345) is made in Italy from leather with a cotton liner. I really love the Large (Grand) Romeo, a classic flap-closure bag in some fun colors (well, taupe and black, both $365).

The Grand size is the biggest of the leather bags (outside of the largest Farrow, which I think doesn’t count since it’s a bucket bag): 7.8 inches x 10.6 inches x 4.7 inches.

milo multicolor bag

The regular-sized Romeo is smaller: 6.2 inches x 7.4 inches x 4.7 inches. The one I like best is the one that mixes a brown woven with peach and seafoam (seen above on the left).

#4: The Victor

Does this look like a car’s headrest? A bowling bag? I don’t know, but I don’t love it. Same specs, generally speaking: made from leather and made in Italy. The regular-finish Victor is only available in the Natural Heritage color (seen above), that same cognac-y brown ($375).

croco print victor bags

The Victor also comes in a “croco-print” leather for a little more ($390), in ecru (beautiful but I personally would destroy it) and black.

the abel - sezane bags

#5: The Abel

Sézane is calling this their “new signature bag,” and I believe it — in the pantheon of the best Sézane bags, I feel like this must come very high. I love this bag, and the leather feels great IRL. (I mean, it’s all the same leather, but something about the Abel, it’s just extra good.) Maybe it’s the addition of the chain? Obviously this is very similar to the Victor, above, just without the headrest vibe.

The Abel, fascinatingly, is only available in two finishes: two-tone black and brown crocodile print.

farrow bag from sezane

#6: The Farrow

Maybe you love a bucket bag. Moi? J’aime pas a bucket bag. The Farrow comes in three sizes, with the biggest 10.2 inches x 9.2 inches x 6.7 inches. The strap is 38.2 inches and adjustable.

The more interesting variations include a crocodile-embossed leather and an embossed blue leather. It also comes in a mini version ($250): 8.3 inches x 5.9 inches x 6.3 inches, including a brown python print ($250)

sezane bag - illustsraion of two romie bags

#7 and #8: The Romie and the Marcel

This continues the trend of me, personally, not loving bucket bags. I do much prefer the Romie (seen above) to the Marcel (seen below). The Romie is bigger — it’s 33 x 28 x 21 cm / 13 x 11 x 8.3 in — and available in four finishes, which I present in order of preference: brown python print, sandstone, rosewood, and black. It’s $430.

The Marcel ($410) is roughly the same size, I guess from a volume perspective? It’s 28 x 19 x 37 cm / 11 x 7.5 x 14.6 in. It’s available in that single size and three colors: smooth chocolate, smooth sand, and smooth black.

marcel bag

#9 and #10: The Mara and the Gabin

I’m not going to lie: I just think these two large work/weekender bags are not good value for money, so I cannot recommend them here! (I just think they’re boring, anonymous, and available for less at other brands, for similar quality.) I will revisit them in a bit and see if my opinion has changed!


Sezane Bags: The Raffia Summer Collection

sezane raffia bags

So the other main category of Sezane bags is the summer raffias. I find it amazing that they can charge these prices — if you’ve ever had a raffia bag, you know that they’re doomed to fail, the raffia is just too delicate a fiber to withstand day-in, day-out wear. They show incredible craftsmanship — it’s no surprise that they’re made in Madagascar, not Italy — but I would be stressed every time I took it out. (Also Sezane advises you not to take it out in the rain — which, like, sure, but that just seems even more stressful! It’s summer! It rains!)

 

justine bag in raffia

The Justine, new for Spring 2024, is the perfect example of the cognitive dissonance of this style, and the pricing: This is a classic French market bag, but somehow it’s $285(!!!!???). It’s still made of raffia, and you can add as many lovely leather details as you like, but none of that elevates this bag in a meaningful way, or justifies the almost $300 price tag for a material that by definition degrades. (And sure, leather degrades too, but not as fast as raffia!) I think is the worst buy on this page, and that includes the bucket bags above.

carla pouch

I do think the Carla pouch is very cute and could be great at a very specific sort of summer wedding, but it’s a lot of money. This is one of those tricky things: Sezane makes a big deal (as they should) of using audited factories, and it highlights the number of hours (54) necessary to braid one of these pieces. To pay that worker a fair wage, a higher price is appropriate. But this might not be the piece to prove that, given its durability factor and limited style vocabulary — I don’t know about you, but I feel like I would use this twice a year, whereas that Grand Romeo above would get constant use.

Frequently asked questions about Sezane bags:

Where are Sezane bags made?

Most of the leather bags are made in Italy, while the raffia pieces are mostly made in Madagascar. This information is clearly shared in the “Details and Composition” pane of each product listing.

What are Sezane bags made of?

The leather bags are vegetable-tanned cow leather.

How much does it cost for shipping?

Sezane offers free shipping to the US for purchases over $200, which happily or unhappily covers most bags.

How long does shipping take for Sezane bags?

I think many people are surprised by how fast Sezane’s shipping is, even from France. They ship within 2-4 days, and all my packages have arrived within a week after the ship date. It’s not Amazon, but it gets there.

See much money you’ll save by buying Sézane in France here

Buy Sezane bags here. Updated March 2024 (these will surely change). Affiliate links above. 

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Hi, I'm Diana. I've written about travel for The Wall Street Journal, Buzzfeed, The Cut, Travel + Leisure, Outside, and lots of other places. This is my blog.