I’ve had my eye on the JW Anderson Pierce bag ever since its arrival in 2016 and thanks to a certain oversized gentleman in a red suit at Christmas one finally landed on my lap. I’ve been putting it to the test over the past 2 months to see if all the obsessing and hint-dropping was worth it. And with the new JW Anderson Disc Bag now on the market (and arm of every fashionista worth her salt) it seems timely to consider the Pierce Bag’s relevance and cult status. So if you’re thinking about getting the Pierce Bag keep reading. There are things you should know.
I have two purchasing levels when it comes to bags – cheap and on trend (usually from High Street stores like Zara or Mango) or high-value designer classics. When I’m spending big I try to go for bags that I’ll love and use forever, like the Chanel Timeless, Gucci Dionysus or Chloe Mini Marcie. I find I’m buying one or two designer bags a year and genuinely use them all regularly, so I do feel I get my money’s worth.
The Practical Bits
JW Anderson’s Pierce bag came out of the brand’s Pre-Fall 2016 collection. Named after the gold barbell hardware, it’s a one-compartment concertina style bag with foldover flap (no zip or button closures) and removable shoulder strap.
The bag comes in two sizes – Mini and Medium. The Mini measures 16 cm (Height) x 21.5 cm (Width) x 5cm (Depth). The Medium measures 21.5 cm (Height) x 27.5 cm (Width) x 8 cm (Depth). I have the Medium.
The Medium currently comes in a range of colours: Dust Rose, Tan, Ash, Navy, Black & White, Scarlet, Green & Blue, Black, and new season shades Emerald, Desert and Checkerboard Red & White. Mine is Navy.
Price wise the Mini retails at between €1,180 – €1,280 on the J.W. Anderson site and the Medium between €1,345 – €1,470. My Navy Medium bag was €1,345 on the Net A Porter site.
Things You Should Know About The Pierce Bag
What’s Good About It?
- It’s not heavy! Unlike some of my other bags with hardware, this bag is manageable and easy to carry. Even when it’s full it’s not weighed down. So for other weak limbed people out there don’t worry, you can stuff it to the brim and still lift it!
- It’s spacious. With dimensions of 21.5 cm x 27.5 cm x 8 cm it’s fair to say the Medium is a decent size for your essentials and more. It has one large compartment and a smaller pocket inside for need-to-get-quickly items like keys, phone and lip cream. The accordion design allows it to expand easily with it’s contents. Comparison wise it’s substantially larger than the Loewe Barcelona bag (11 cm x 19 cm x 8 cm), Chloe Nile Bracelet bag (14 cm x 19 cm x 7 cm) and Victoria Beckham’s Half Moon bag (18 cm x 23.5 cm x 7 cm). All of which retail at a similar price on the Net A Porter site.
- It’s easy to wear. This bag goes with everything, whether it’s jeans and hoodies, dresses or suits. It compliments rather than dominates. I think the colour helps with the versatility – navy is a great neutral. That and the classic design. It’s a solid piece.
- The quality is superb – the buttery leather, solid fittings and workmanship denote high quality that you would expect with a luxury purchase.
The Downside of the Pierce Bag
- It’s a shoulder bag that doesn’t go over your shoulder. Ok it does but it’s not easy. The key issue here is the length of the shoulder strap – it’s limiting. It is extendable but only by 7 cm, from 31.5 cm to 38.5 cm. That means you can hold it comfortably by hand, hooked in the crook of your elbow or as a clutch. It absolutely can be worn over the shoulder though I found when I was wearing it over a lot of layers or with a large coat it was difficult. On warmer days I suspect this won’t be a problem but it’s a bit of a pain having to carry it by hand all the time. It’s possible to buy a long strap for the bag to wear it on the shoulder or as a messenger bag across the body so I’ll probably do that. At the moment JW Anderson don’t sell long straps for their bags but I’m considering this Fendi bag strap or Loewe strap. Or you could take the strap off an existing bag and add it to it.
Compared to other designer bags I would say this bag is a solid all-rounder. It’s a decent size, versatile and easy to wear, high quality, priced on par with other luxury pieces and has a knockout design. All that being said, the shoulder strap is a problem. I think JW Anderson should either market this as a tote bag or provide an additional long shoulder strap that can be added/removed based on the users’ needs. Would I get it again? Yes. Would I recommend it? Yes. And if the whole shoulder thing doesn’t annoy you then you should absolutely get it too!
I can certainly see the appeal of the new JW Anderson Disc Bag but I doubt the Pierce bag’s cult following is going anywhere soon.
Thanks for dropping by! J ♥