WORDS BY STEPHEN YU
The Saint Laurent Niki bag is Antony Vacarello’s follow up to the already legendary Lou Lou bag, and though it’s only been around for a couple of seasons, just like its predecessor it’s already gained cult status. Making its debut alongside actual rock’n’roll royalty, the world was introduced to the Niki bag as it hung nonchalantly from iconic supermodel Kate Moss’ shoulders in her first ever Saint Laurent appearance for the SS18 campaign. As Buying Manager for Womenswear Non-Apparel at Browns Fashion, Hollie Harding, mentions below, the YSL Niki bag blends the aesthetic of a vintage flap bag with contemporary design detailing and that trademark Saint Laurent rock chic.
‘One of the key features of the Niki bag is the vintage-effect crinkled leather which gives it a worn-in aesthetic. The tone-on-tone logo and heavy chain are a nod to SLP’s signature style, making it just as rock’n’roll even though it’s a larger sized bag.' - Hollie Harding, Buying Manager Womenswear Non-Apparel at Browns Fashion
But while the Niki excels at channelling its inner rock goddess, it’s how it functions as a bag that makes it a bonafide ‘it’ bag hall of famer –– the slouchy design feels effortless to wear on the outside, yet feels expansive on the inside with plenty of clever pockets for all your possessions, while the adjustable shoulder strap allows the bag to be worn in a myriad of ways.
‘The Niki is made from a more relaxed leather and its softness makes the bag more comfortable and less restrictive to carry compared to a stiffer leather. It moves with the wearer whether worn tucked up as a shoulder bag or used as a crossbody and filled to the maximum.’ - Hollie Harding
So if you’re looking for a bag that exudes Parisian sophistication and combines stunning craftsmanship with day to day practicality, the Saint Laurent Niki bag is definitely it. But with several different sizes to choose from, which one is best for your lifestyle? Whether rock chick or French chic, read on to find out which Niki is the right size for you.
‘We love the Niki bag. It’s challenging to make a good-sized functional bag that’s also chic and luxurious, but Saint Laurent Paris have managed to deliver and this is why it’s a bestseller.’ - Hollie Harding
Saint Laurent Niki Bag Sizing Guide
Saint Laurent Niki Baby Bag
‘The Niki can be styled in a variety of ways –– during the day you can wear it crossbody but it transitions easily into the evening by doubling up the chain to turn it into a shoulder bag.’ - Hollie Harding
The Niki Baby was the third and smallest of the main bag sizes and was released in May 2018. Coming in a smooth lambskin leather with gold hardware, this Saint Laurent Niki Baby shows that this usually casual and understated bag is still capable of being the perfect statement piece. With enough room for your smartphone, a small purse and your essential beauty products the Niki baby is an ideal evening bag, especially when worn crossbody or held in the hands like a clutch. For those searching for something even smaller, take a look at the Niki Chain Wallet or Body Bag.
Dimensions: 21 x 16 x 7.5 cm / 8.2 x 6.2 x 2.9 inches
Shoulder Strap Drop: 57 cm
Folded Shoulder Strap Drop: 30 cm
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Saint Laurent Niki Medium Bag
‘The Niki Medium in black is our most popular bag. It appeals to a wide variety of customers from the die-hard SLP girl who loves the signature chain detail and vintage look, to the luxury customer who wants a good-sized bag that’s subtly branded.’ - Hollie Harding
The Saint Laurent Niki Medium is bound to become your new everyday bag. With a main compartment that’s big enough to fit in a 9.7” iPad as well as a water bottle and small notebook, there’s room for everything you carry from day-to-day. The additional zippered pocket was practically made for keeping creams, powders and liners away from your other things to protect against any explosions, while the patch pocket is great for organising business cards or receipts. We like to use the external pocket for items that need quick and easy access, things like your smartphone, keys, wallets and travel cards. No need to worry about security either, the back pocket features a magnetic closure. Meanwhile, the front flap pocket helps keep often-used products like power banks, masks, sanitisers and wipes within reach.
‘I have a Niki Medium on my wish list right now. In the SLP showroom I actually got all my belongings out and tested what I could fit in there –– my iPad, smartphone, small makeup bag, hat, keys, perfume and an apple all fitted perfectly and it didn’t lose its softer look.’ - Hollie Harding
Dimensions: 28 x 20 x 8.5 cm / 11 x 7.8 x 3.3 inches
Shoulder Strap Drop: 53 cm
Folded Shoulder Strap Drop: 30 cm
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Saint Laurent Niki Large Bag
The Saint Laurent Niki Large fits everything the medium size does, and then some, making it a good alternative to a shopper or holdall for day trips. Equipped for both business and pleasure, the large Niki can squeeze in an A4 notebook or portfolio as well as a full-sized iPad and even a 12” laptop. Meanwhile, we’re convinced that Rosie Huntington Whitely is using hers as a luxurious gym bag, and we can see why –– you can easily fit sunglasses and an extra set of clothes, as well as a hairbrush or hairdryer inside. Again, organising the compartments is vital with the larger sized Niki, but with the ability to squeeze a large iPad in the back pocket and an iPad mini in the front flap pocket, the world is really your oyster. We like to double up the straps and wear the large Niki as a shoulder bag when it’s full –– it just feels comfier especially with the weight distributed across both leather pads.
Dimensions: 32 x 23 x 9 cm / 12.5 x 9 x 3.5 inches
Shoulder Strap Drop: 52 cm
Folded Shoulder Strap Drop: 26 cm
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Saint Laurent Niki Shopping Medium Bag
The latest shape of the Niki, the Niki Shopping Medium takes this series signature soft and slouchy shape and gives it some structure. While the chevron matelassé stitching and tonal leather-coated ‘YSL’ detailing remain, the vintage flap bag silhouette is replaced with a more boxy tote-like shape. What the Niki Shopping Medium loses in pockets (it features just one compartment with two internal flap pockets) it makes up for in room –– the medium-sized shopper is a touch bigger than the large standard Nikki meaning it can fit in all the same things. The square shape seems more business-like, so we like to think of this as an SLP bag for the boardroom without sacrificing any rock’n’roll edge.
Dimensions: 33 x 27 x 11.5 cm / 12.9 x 10.6 x 4.5 inches
Shoulder Strap Drop: 47 cm
Folded Shoulder Strap Drop: 27 cm
Saint Laurent Niki Shopping Large Bag
Released for Saint Laurent’s Cruise 2018 collection, it’s clear that the French fashion house has positioned this shopper as a luxurious alternative to a tote or beach bag. The Niki Shopping Large bag can handle whatever you throw at it, easily fitting in your groceries, a full-sized laptop or even a change of sneakers. Featuring the same ingenious chain strap as the other Niki’s, the large Niki tote can be worn with the straps doubled up over the shoulder as a large handbag or held in the hands like a shopper for maximum versatility.
Dimensions: 39 x 31.5 x 12.5 cm / 12.9 x 12.4 x 4.9 inches
Shoulder Strap Drop: 42 cm
Folded Shoulder Strap Drop: 24 cm
Shop the Saint Laurent Niki Shopping Medium and Large Edit: