History of the 'It Bag' | Balenciaga Lariat

You may know it as the ‘City bag’ or ‘Motorcycle bag,’ but the iconic Balenciaga bag was officially named Lariat.


In 1997 Nicolas Ghesquière became the creative director at Balenciaga. He is the designer responsible for reviving the house after closing in 1968.

In the early 2000s, designer handbags were hot items. It was actually the Fendi 'Baguette' which initiated the craze for the "It Bag". At the time, handbags were rigid or splattered with logos, aka ‘Logomania’.

Well, the people at Balenciaga asked Ghesquière to create a handbag since the house didn't have any. He thought why not create something soft that is recognisable without a logo. And thats how the Lariat bag came to be.

He created a prototype, showed it to the people at Balenciaga, but they didn’t like it. He left it at his studio for over a year.

Meanwhile, "It girls" like Kate moss, and Chloe Sevigny saw the bag in his studio and loved it. Ghesquière decided to create 25 samples of the bag to give to the girls who like it, a couple of editors, and sold a couple in the Paris boutique,

The bag became a celebrity must have, and started producing them in different colors and sizes.