Literally no one is talking about the quality: The Row Margaux review

Margot: Your reviews aren’t that good.
Eli: But the sales are.
The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), written by Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson

No one knows the origin of why the Row’s Margaux bag is called “the Margaux.”

… but, I believe that this bag is named after Margot Tenenbaum and her iconic Birkin.

That would explain why this bag is heralded as the “new” Birkin.

In my mind Mary-Kate and Ashley decided to be silly and call it the Margaux — like a faux Margot, get it?

Bad jokes aside, but when a bag is getting this many TikTok and Instagram Reel “reviews,” admittedly, I’m curious.

… especially because at the time that it came out, in ~2018, I was distracted chasing technicolour tiny Ascot bag dreams.

With its recent proliferation of good reviews, let’s dive into my review of The Row’s Margaux bag.


The Row Margaux Bag Review

For reference’s sake, I’m 5’5.75.”

… and for comparison here’s how some other bags look on my frame:
A.P.C. Mini Demi Lune
Celine Small Trio
Chanel Classic Handbags
Isabel Marant Maskhia Bag
Telfar Shopping Bags

This is how The Row’s Margaux Soft 15 Bag, in white pebbled/textured leather (similar to Hermès’ Taurillon Clemence leather), looks:

Showing how the Margaux bag looks on a 5'5.75" person

With a weight of 1,069 grams/2.35 pounds, the Margaux bag is a relatively heftier bag when empty.

… and (obviously) only gets heavier once you put your laptop and other necessities in it.

Here’s what fits in The Row’s Margaux 15 bag…

A 13" MacBook, iPad Pro, phone, sunglasses case, eyeglasses case, pouch with necessities all fit in the Margaux 15 bag

Left to Right: 13″ MacBook, iPad Pro, pouch with necessities (hand sanitizer, Calvi card case, gum, etc.), sunglasses in their case, eyeglasses in their case, and an iPhone Pro Max.

… and after all that stuff is in it, it weighs a whopping 4263 grams/9.4 pounds.

At 15 W x 11 H x 9 D in (or 38.1 W x 27.94 H x 22.86 cm), it is the Mary Poppins of handbags.

It should be noted that despite this weight, the 15 size does not come with a shoulder strap.


Is the Row’s Margaux bag worth it?

Right now, everyone is saying that The Row’s Margaux bag is the “new Birkin.”

I strongly disagree…

1- They don’t look similar
The Margaux bag looks more like an Hermès Bolide went out for tea with the Hermès Garden Party, then caught up with Mulberry’s Bayswater and got “Mossed” by the Kate Moss x Topshop’s Bowling Bag afterwards.

Showing how the Row's Margaux bag is more like the Hermès Bolide or Garden Party, or a Mulberry Bayswater or a Kate Moss x Topshop bag

Center photo (with Georgina Grenville carrying the Margaux and styled similarly like a faux Margot Tenenbaum) is from The Row’s Pre-Fall 2018 Collection

2- It even doesn’t seem to be finished like a Birkin
The Row Margaux bag’s edges are finished in what feels like plastic.

It also feels like it is something that will crack over time (similar to my wallets of years past or like a Goyard St. Louis tote).

Splitting and bubbling on the edges of The Row's Margaux bag

Ex: There’s all ready a split and some of the edges arrived bubbling on my brand new Margaux bag.

Ostensibly, it looks as though 5 pieces of leather were glued together with wax, plastic, or some other material (note: they are stitched together though!).

This bag does not seem to be finished in a way that will last a lifetime and then some.

Showing the differences in the Hermès Birkin and The Row Margaux bag

Left, Hermès 3-in-1 Birkin (photo c/o hermes.com); Right, The Row Margaux bag (photo c/o TheRow.com)

On the other hand, the top and straps of a Retourne Birkin are finished differently — from what I can make out by studying photos (I don’t have a Birkin… yet), the edges on a Birkin are bevelled, burnished, then sealed and finished.

A Retourne Birkin doesn’t have a thick coat of sealant on all of its edges.

The sides of the bag are all edge piped in leather (unless it’s a Sellier model) and even a Birkin’s base is held together with leather piping.

The bottom of the Margaux bag

The bottom of the Margaux is held together like the rest of the edges on the body of the bag.

Note: Edges/glazing cracking on Retourne Birkins does happen after years of daily use, as it could happen with the Margaux bag.

The biggest difference is that all of the edges on the Margaux are glazed vs. only the top/handles/sangle edges are glazed on a Birkin.

When the entire bag is held together by glazing/glue, like the Margaux, it would speed up the likelihood of all the edges cracking.

3- The Row’s Margaux bag isn’t “new”
It made its debut in The Row’s Pre-Fall 2018 collection in a burnt cognac crocodile and burgundy brushed leather (whose colour does hold similarities to Margot Tenenbaum’s (possibly) Cuivre Birkin).

So, the only thing new about this bag is that people all of the sudden want it.

I blame “quiet luxury,” but I digress.

Much like the unassuming yet intricate lives of the Tenenbaum family, The Row’s Margaux bag embodies a quiet sophistication.

Showing where "The Row" is written on The Margaux bag - on the side of the bag

Basically no logos on the Margaux — only one little embossed “The Row” on the outside” and a subtle “The Row” is stamped on the top of all hardware.

This understated elegance lets you wear it for sophisticated occasions, with faux fur, and casual outings, in tracksuits, with equal ease.

… or in any other which way you’d please…

Outfits with the Row's Margaux bag - left to right: Kate Moss x Topshop vest with a J. Crew tank top, Diesel denim shorts, and Repetto Cendrillon flats; Holt Renfrew cardigan with a Neiman Marcus cashmere tank top, Isabel Marant belt, AGOLDE jeans, and Repetto Cendrillon flats; Chanel 06A jacket, G. Label tank top, Kate Moss x Topshop belt, Rag & Bone skinny jeans, and Loeffler Randall Goldy boots.
Left to Right: Kate Moss x Topshop vest with a J. Crew tank top, Diesel denim shorts, and Repetto Cendrillon flats; Holt Renfrew cardigan with a Neiman Marcus cashmere tank top, Isabel Marant belt, AGOLDE jeans, and Repetto Cendrillon flats; Chanel 06A jacket, G. Label tank top, Kate Moss x Topshop belt, Rag & Bone skinny jeans, and Loeffler Randall Goldy boots.

So, is The Row’s Margaux bag worth it?

If this is the one bag that you are going to buy for the next 10 years, I would consider your options a little more.

The edges just feel like they will crack with wear over the next 5-10 years and it’s still an expensive bag to have for only a decade before you need to get it repaired.

If it’s another bag that you’ll use in rotation with your other bags and you’re comfortable with the price, then sure — why not!


Pros & Cons

Pros
Fits a lot
Easy to get: Unlike a Birkin, you don’t have to spend 1+++:1 for the privilege of buying The Margaux bag.
Can get at a discount: FWRD offers a 10% off discount and Matches offers a 15% discount (when you use my link though) on your first order when you sign up for their emails.
Structured base: So the bag doesn’t get all smooshed.
Open top: Easy access to your belongings.

Cons
Open top: Easy access for pickpockets.
Structured base: The bag doesn’t get all smooshed, which also means that it can’t smoosh against your body in tight spaces.
Quality: Due to the edges, it does not seem to be finished as totally quality handbags should be finished.

Not a pro or con, just a note — Margaux 15+ bags do not come with a strap or have the ability to add a strap.

If you wanted a strap, you would need to loop it around the sangles on the sides and run the risk of breaking them over time.

The Row Margaux 15 bag, in white on a white oak table


Raleigh: You don’t love me any more, do you?
Margot: I do, kind of. I can’t explain it right now.
The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), written by Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson

It’s not that I don’t love this bag.

I do, kind of…

It’s hard to explain

If it won’t be a financial burden and you don’t mind the idea that this bag could break down over time, then it’s a fine bag to add to your collection.

… but if this is going to be your be all and end all bag, there are higher quality bags on the market for less.

The Row’s Margaux bag is available from a wide variety of retailers including FWRD, Matches (save 15% on your first order with my link), and Net-a-Porter.

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