Tipping the Scales: Top 6 Crocodile Handbag Picks

Crocodile and Alligator Handbags

Clockwise from upper left: Hermes Crocodile and Diamond Birkin, Ralph Lauren Ricky Bag in Red Crocodile, The Row Crocodile Drawstring Backpack, L'Wren Scott Lula Bag in Crocodile, Victoria Beckham Hexagonal Chain Crocodile Bag, Louis Vuitton Clutch Historique

The upper echelon of the handbag world is dominated by exotic skins. The stranger, the more in demand, it seems. From Missoni’s chicken-foot leather bags to Yves St. Laurent’s shagreen (that would be stingray) handled Roady totes, it seems like any animal that sits still for too long is in danger of becoming the latest It-bag. But we do love a classic at FTD, and croc has always been at the top of the list. Perennially chic, the classic skin never goes out of style even if your budget takes a dip. Here are our top picks for six croc stunners:

Hermes Crocodile and Diamond Birkin ($64,800 at auction)

It’s no surprise that our top choice would be from Hermés, but given that getting your mitts on a regular (non-exotic) Birkin is already the stuff of legend, this black crocodile version seems about as elusive as the Yeti. Complete with diamonds inlaid into the hardware, it’s truly a collector’s dream. To keep up with demand, Hermés even started their own crocodile farms in Australia, meaning we might actually get to see a croc Birkin in it’s natural habitat the next time we stop into an Hermés boutique.

Ralph Lauren Ricky Bag ($16,995)

Inspired by the luggage carried by cross-country travelers during the advent of the locomotive, Ralph Lauren’s answer to the Birkin is no less luxe, and still difficult to procure. Available in different materials each season (his latest is denim and lizard) the classic croc gets an injection of the unexpected in this rich red hue.

The Row Drawstring Backpack ($39,000)

Designers Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen got a little bit of grief when they debuted their line — not for the designs, which were almost universally praised — but for the extravagant price tags. Why, yes, for the price of this backpack you could buy a nice SUV. But aren’t there already enough of those? After spotting Mary-Kate herself with this backpack, even some of the naysayers were doing an about face and clamoring for this chic knapsack. It’s selling out at Barney’s and on the Row’s Web site (no surprise there), but the plain leather version is still up for grabs.

L’Wrenn Scott Lula Satchel ($20,500)

Inspired by a bag her mother used, L’Wren Scott’s first foray into full-sized bags (she’s only done pochettes in the past) has already garnered her rave reviews from Style.com. Why? They’re deceptively large. With slots for an iPad — we’re guessing her mom didn’t have that convenience — and lengthy straps that will go over anyone’s shoulder, Scott bags will close even when stuffed to the brim. And to justify the price tag of the exotic-skinned versions, she’ll be throwing in one of those petite pochettes for free!

Victoria Beckham Hexagonal Chain Crocodile Bag ($13,950)

We love that Posh always looks  perfectly turned out for any occasion (pregnant? Check. Fashion Week? Check. Soccer games? Check and check). It’s no surprise that her handbag line is just as chic. Inspired by classic bags — we spy more than a dash of Chanel in this one — she updated the shape with multiple interior compartments, gave her bag no discernible logos and made our hearts skip a beat with the chic chain and croc combo. It was love at first sight.

Louis Vuitton Clutch Historique ($21,700)

Though it’s meant for the guys — it debuted at LV’s latest menswear runway show at Milan’s Pitti Uomo —  this versatile clutch is one the ladies could easily carry. With its  luxe croc and gold hardware, it’s the perfect mate to the LBD or the most casual jeans-and-tee outfit. And like we said, it’s for the guys, but what girl can resist something as chic as this?

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Author:Christopher Luu for Fashion Trends Daily

Christopher Luu is a Fashion Trends Daily Senior Writer and Menswear Editor.