This Sold-Out Designer Bag Has Started A New Trend We Didn’t See Coming

The 'It' bag's distinctive shape can also be found on the high street for £14.99...

Alaia bag

by Natalie Hammond |
Published on

You might not have used a pencil case for what feels like a lifetime, but if you used to pride yourself on your selection of gel pens and Stabilos, you might be interested to know that spring’s hottest bag is unironically shaped like your primary school companion. Alaïa’s Le Teckel, which translates as ‘the dachshund’ in French, has the oh-so-slender silhouette of a pencil case (or, indeed, the dog it's named after) and is so deliciously quirky with its long body that it became an instant talking point on the front row (Jessica Willis, The Cut's fashion director, looped the handles around her knee so that it hovered around the mid calf instead of touching the ground).

Spotted on Rihanna, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Tracee Ellis Ross, Alaïa's bag definitely has friends in high places - and, with its elongated silhouette and elegant straps, it's not hard to see why.

This is the latest development in the world of handbags, where the microscopic v supersized debate has raged since ‘ludicrously capacious’ became the ultimate put-down (© Tom Wambsgans). Frankly, most of us have no choice but to carry a bag that’s big enough to accommodate a laptop during working hours. But once you’ve downed tools - and the only things you need to carry are your phone, cards and AirPods - the pencil case bag, with its look-twice appeal, really comes into its own (Le Teckel even has its own removable mirror).

Tracee Ellis Ross
Tracee Ellis Ross at an event for Mercedes-Benz

Alaïa’s is the ultimate, already counting several tastemakers as devoted owners (see Rihanna, who took hers for a spin with a varsity jacket and baggy jeans, or Tracee Ellis Ross, whose lipstick red version stood out against her slick leather tailoring on a recent step-and-repeat at an event for Mercedes-Benz). Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, who until now has almost exclusively been carrying The Row’s Margaux, even tucked it under her armpit to ring in her 37th birthday.

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley ©@rosiehw

But just like school, where mesh receptacles were pitted against see-through pocket styles for that week’s coolest plus one, there are several bags in competition. Adele left a recent birthday party with her bag shading her eyes from the waiting paparazzi: Hermès’s Kelly Cut Clutch, a rectangular leather receptacle that looks suspiciously like a pencil case but with a resale value starting at £8,000. Magda Butrym’s roomier trapeze bag has a leather flower blooming from one strap (the grown-up equivalent, perhaps, of a key ring).

Renia Jaz
Renia Jaz at Paris Fashion Week ©Getty

The shape has already filtered down to the high street. Massimo Dutti’s tubular woven nappa leather handbag with a hoop-style top-handle would look decidedly chic in the crook of your elbow (£149). Mango’s braided cylindrical bag, meanwhile, looks a lot more premium than its £29.99 price tag.

Once you’ve streamlined the contents of your bag - slipping in a pen for nostalgic if not practical reasons - you’ll be top of the class.

Shop: The Best Pencil Case Bags

With its braided exterior and nappa leather fabrication, Massimo Dutti's mini bag is a keeper.

Available in brown or vanilla, Zara's rectangular leather shoulder bag will make a great addition to your wedding guest wardrobe.

H&M, Small Shoulder Bag
Price: £14.99

A fraction of the price, but with all the right characteristics for a pencil case bag, H&M's sleek take gets our seal of approval.

Shaped like an elongated cylinder with a neat shoulder strap, Mango's braided bag will be your new best friend.

Natalie Hammond is Grazia’s Senior Fashion News Editor. She loves winter, hates summer and can often be found writing about the weather (and what on earth to wear).

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