2019 was the year of the micro bag. For the uninitiated, micro bags are purses shrunken to a miniscule size that demands you to bring nothing but the essentials—like you know, spare change and lip gloss. Amongst the mini bags that ruled the runway, there’s one undisputed winner: Jacquemus’ Le Chiquito. It’s toy-like design, featuring a boxy shape and exaggerated handles, instantly became a social media hit amongst celebrities like The Kardashians, Dua Lipa, Bella Hadid, and more. And it’s still making waves today. Here, we dissect just what makes Le Chiquito so buzzy and if it’s really worth its hefty price:
What is Jacquemus' Le Chiquito?
The bag, aptly named after the Spanish word for “tiny,” comes from the French luxury fashion brand Jacquemus. A relative newcomer in the industry, Jacquemus was established in 2009, but it was through its jaw-dropping S/S 2018 collection that propelled it to the forefront of fashion.
Titled “La Bomba,” the collection was essentially luxe resort wear made contemporary with sensuous cuts and ruched draping that hugged the female figure. In a year when luxury street style reigned supreme, Jacquemus’ sunkissed collection—and that super tiny bag—were a breath of fresh air.
For F/W 2019, Jacquemus released Le Mini Chiquito, a tinier version of the same. A mere two inches wide, it instantly went viral online, with many poking fun through memes. Still, this only cemented the bag’s unwavering popularity.
Who designed Jacquemus' Le Chiquito?
Jacquemus is the eponymous fashion label of Simon Porte Jacquemus. The 31-year-old designer started his brand in Paris in 2009 after his mother’s untimely death. He is originally from Brame-Jean, a small town in Southern France. Before becoming a designer, he studied in ESMOD (École supérieure des arts et techniques de la mode) and later on took on a job at Citizen K magazine.
Despite being based in Paris, Porte Jacquemus is always inspired by his southern background, which is why his designs take on a youthful, sunny aesthetic—far from the glamazons that most Parisian luxury brands espouse. Porte Jacquemus is also always inspired by his late mother, whom he fondly describes as “warm” and “a bit childish.” It’s this carefree outlook that best characterizes his designs; as evidenced by his off-kilter silhouettes, experimental layering, and fun color combinations.
What are the different kinds of Jacquemus Le Chiquito Bags?
Perhaps what’s so likeable about Le Chiquito is its simplicity and joviality. There are no bells and whistles. It’s just a classic leather handbag with foldover closure that just happened to be scaled down four sizes smaller. It’s fun. It’s delightful. It’s something you don’t need to take too seriously, and we could all use a bit of that.
Jacquemus is embracing this playfulness, as seen in the five different kinds of Le Chiquito. All designs feature the brand’s sans serif logo plaque, a removable shoulder strap, and a magnetic snap closure (so you don’t lose your valuables). You can choose from a range of colorways, from simple black or white to candy pink or pistachio green. All bags come in leather and canvas versions, with more colorway options for the former.
1. Le Chiquito
The classic Le Chiquito is 12 centimeters tall (4.7 inches) and 9 centimeters wide (3.5 inches). There’s also a special wicker version that makes a viable summer holiday companion.
Le Chiquito, $510 (approximately P24,654), JACQUEMUS, jacquemus.com
2. Le Chiquito Noeud
The bit of functionality that will surprise most bag collectors or fashion fans would be the “flexible handle” on this Le Chiquito Noeud. You could unravel the pressure loop knot handle and use it as a shoulder strap.
Le Chiquito Noeud, $660 (approximately P31,906, JACQUEMUS, jacquemus.com
3. Le Chiquito Moyen
Moyen is French for “medium.” Le Chiquito Moyen is a slightly larger version of the itty-bitty bag with dimensions of 18cm (7 inches) and 13.5cm (5 inches).
Le Chiquito Moyen, $630 (approximately P30,455), JACQUEMUS, jacquemus.com
4. Le Grand Chiquito
Perhaps in response to those asking “What can you even fit inside Le Chiquito?”, Jacquemus enlarged the bag by a bit. Le Grand Chiquito features a height of 22cm (8.6 inches) and a width of 18cm (7 inches).
Le Grand Chiquito, $750 (approximately P36,257), JACQUEMUS, jacquemus.com
5. Le Chiquito Long
A baguette-sized version of the classic, Le Chiquito Long has generous width so you could finally bring your mobile phone. Current versions come in summery yellow, orange, and beige.
Le Chiquito Long, $620 (approximately P29,972), JACQUEMUS, jacquemus.com
How much is Jacquemus' Le Chiquito?
The classic Le Chiquito retails for $510, approximately P24,654. The Noeud version retails for $660, approximately P31,906, while the Moyen is priced at $630 or P30,456. Le Grand Chiquito will cost you $750, or approximately P36,257.
Why is it so expensive?
A quick glance at the brand’s website will reveal that the French brand’s bags are either made in Italy or in Spain. While many may gawk at the tiny bags’ hefty price tags, one must consider the fact that small leather pieces are expensive because they are cut from a new piece of leather. That’s why designer wallets are also expensive, with some pieces retailing for the same amount as other handbags in the market.
Is Jacquemus' Le Chiquito worth it?
Although Jacquemus’ Le Chiquito isn’t as expensive as the go-to luxury brands for handbags (Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Chanel), its price range matches contemporary brands like By Far and Mansur Gavriel where you can shop for regular-sized bags for the same price. That said, whether or not Jacquemus is splurge-worthy is totally up to you. If you’re the type of person who loves shopping or collecting trendy bags, then Le Chiquito might be worth the investment. On the other hand, if you’re a practical shopper, then you’d probably be more comfortable shelling out $500-$700 dollars for roomier handbags that can store everything you need.
How do celebrities wear Jacquemus' Le Chiquito?
Fashion influencers and celebrities love how fun Le Chiquito is, and they often use it not as an actual handbag but as an accessory. However, some of them do find that the piece is pretty functional.
1. Renee de Guzman fashions her ivory croc print Le Chiquito as a belt to punctuate her fuschia jacket. It also matched her white sunnies!
2. For New York Fashion Week, Janine Gutierrez travelled light with her tiny tangerine Le Chiquito to match her monochrome look.
3. Fashion is no balancing act for Heart Evangelista who flaunted a crimson Le Chiquito as a statement piece.
4. Even Beyonce couldn’t resist the Le Chiquito trend! Here, her emerald green piece is worn as a belt to blend with her striped ensemble.
5. Never one to shy away from body-hugging outfits, Kim Kardashian adds a playful touch to a tonal acid yellow look with her Le Chiquito.
6. Hailey Bieber was spotted with a black Le Grand Chiquito to go with her nude monochromatic look. Proof that this size can fit more than just spare change.
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