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  • Kristen Shirley

The Saddlebag Is a Space-Conscious Way to Welcome Summer Soirees

A classic shape for just the essentials.

The Fendi Moonlight bag. Photographer: Ryan Jenq for Bloomberg Businessweek

Given our collective interest in the great outdoors over the past year, it’s no wonder designers are embracing the classic silhouette of the saddlebag. Although originally inspired by the equestrian staple, they’re being reinvented with unique design details and bright colors in buttery leathers. Italian brand Fendi introduced one of the bolder takes on the shape in spring with the $2,100 Moonlight bag in bright yellow.


• Loewe is known for its supple hides, which are on full display in the Heel Duo saddlebag ($1,750). The front flap is made of smooth, unblemished calf leather that’s embellished with the Spanish house’s discreet motif on the top right corner.

• Hedi Slimane immersed himself in Celine’s archives and created the Besace 16 bag ($2,450) on his first day at the historic French house. It has a vintage-looking turn-lock closure and a cropped front flap.

• The Gucci Horsebit 1955 collection takes the equine inspiration to the next level with gold double-ring-and-bar hardware, which looks like a piece from a very chic bridle. The shoulder bag ($2,700) comes in a rainbow of colors and exotic skins.


Fendi’s Moonlight bag adds an unexpected twist on the shape with an acrylic detail that frames the sides with a glossy tortoiseshell effect. The surprises continue inside: Open its gold-toned closure, and you’ll find a Fendi Roma logo underneath, hot-stamped into the leather as in the cowboy days of old. It’s completely hidden when the bag is closed and remains discreet when open. The edges are trimmed with the house’s signature exposed Selleria stitching. This satchel is available in seven colors, each finished by hand at the company’s leather ateliers. Measuring only 5.5-by-8.3 inches, the Moonlight is large enough to hold a phone and a slim wallet. There’s also a small inner pocket to stash cash for tips. $2,100

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