Which One of Your Bals Has the Worst Leather?

BPC

Blue Jean Baby Queen prettiest Bal I've ever seen
Mar 31, 2012
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Last night I took out all my Bals, with the intention of rotating my least used bags.
As I was going through them, I was paying close attention to how the leather's held up over the years.

My 2011 Anthra Velo, ironically is a bag I use a lot because it's utter crap. The Anthra has that greenish tint to it, and the leather is dry. I just don't care what happens to it. The only reason I haven't sold it is because I don't wish that bag on any Bal fan.

My other one is my Cumin. I love the color, and the bag gets lots of use in the warmer months. It's held up well and it's not nearly as thirsty as my Anthra, but it's still on the dry side. I see a coat of leather honey in it's future.

I still can't get over how utterly crappy my Velo is. I must of been in denial when I got it because I just don't understand why I didn't return it. Also disappointed in Bal for allowing it to even be sold, and from their online store!! No quality control.

So I'm wondering, does anyone else have any craptastic Bals?
 
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SomethingGoodCanWork

It's a clown world after all
Feb 10, 2017
4,213
9,820
Oh, I hope lots of Bal owners will chime in here.
A month or so ago I posted a pic of the current 2017 black Bal City with RH from Bal's own site and asked if anyone had bought it and what they thought of the leather etc. But I had no responses. I wanted to know because I've been contemplating for some time now to just let go of trying to buy an older Bal and just buy a new one already. Or look at pre-owned Bals from 2010/12 and on. Not so old of course, but it would still be incredibly interesting to see how these younger Bals have held up as well. Fab or crap? Especially the black ones.
 

ccbaggirl89

Member
Mar 26, 2015
7,821
11,841
my 2005 chocolate has held up amazing, it's butter soft, no fading despite tons of use, and only a little dry, never conditioned it. 2010 outremer got broken in but never got super soft like i imagined, but also never faded. a special edition (2009 pecan i think?) didn't age well, stayed stiff and no softness, and got a bit yellowish. my newest bal is the chewy chevre on my 2016 black clutch, already softening much better than i imagined. i didn't think i'd like the new leather but it softens very well with constant use.
 

SomethingGoodCanWork

It's a clown world after all
Feb 10, 2017
4,213
9,820
my 2005 chocolate has held up amazing, it's butter soft, no fading despite tons of use, and only a little dry, never conditioned it. 2010 outremer got broken in but never got super soft like i imagined, but also never faded. a special edition (2009 pecan i think?) didn't age well, stayed stiff and no softness, and got a bit yellowish. my newest bal is the chewy chevre on my 2016 black clutch, already softening much better than i imagined. i didn't think i'd like the new leather but it softens very well with constant use.
Do you have a picture of your 2016 clutch (or a link)? I would love to see how the leather looks. And do you know if it's the same chévre as in the Hamilton and ME bags?
 

squidgee

Member
Jan 20, 2015
768
666
Not sure I'm much help as all my current Bals are from the 2003-2007 seasons and all of those have held up amazingly well. Very soft, chewy leather and vibrant colors. My 07 black has had no fading issues even after so many years of wear.

That being said, I used to have a Coquelicot First from 2011 which just felt very plasticky, despite massaging it and trying to get it to 'break in' over many months. Eventually I gave up and admitted the texture just wasn't going to be my cup of tea and sold it.
 

BPC

Blue Jean Baby Queen prettiest Bal I've ever seen
Mar 31, 2012
3,748
1,798
Oh, I hope lots of Bal owners will chime in here.
A month or so ago I posted a pic of the current 2017 black Bal City with RH from Bal's own site and asked if anyone had bought it and what they thought of the leather etc. But I had no responses. I wanted to know because I've been contemplating for some time now to just let go of trying to buy an older Bal and just buy a new one already. Or look at pre-owned Bals from 2010/12 and on. Not so old of course, but it would still be incredibly interesting to see how these younger Bals have held up as well. Fab or crap? Especially the black ones.
I have something like 5 black Bals from 2011 on. I'm not at my apartment now or I'd post pics so you can see the differences, but even with that said, my two favorite are my 2011 Black city GSH and my 2013 Black city RH. They both have beautiful leather, albeit different. My 2011 (yes, from the same year as my dreaded dry Anthra) is gorgeous. Thick, and supple.
My 2013 Black city isn't as thick, but it's become soft and chewy and broke in beautifully. The only thing is the shine didn't go completely away, but at least it doesn't look plasticky.

I found some pics that I posted here years ago of both bags when I first got them. They're both broken in now and look even better. And yes, both bags are extremely black.
My Hip and clutch are not, that's one of the reasons I'm not thrilled with them (can tell you the year when I'm back in the city.)



BBAL1.jpg BBAL2.jpg bcity1.JPG bcity2.JPG

Here's one of the GSH more broken in. The leather is gorgeous, almost "fluffy" lol
compare3.JPG
 
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Catash

Member
May 3, 2014
2,487
950
Maryland, USA
My 2012 Vert Poker. The leather was horrible. It was dry even after many layers of LMB moisturizer and leather honey. 2012 Cumin was also dry. I ended up selling them both.
 
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jellyv

O.G.
Mar 29, 2006
8,764
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It's interesting, I have a Cumin City and I love it even though the leather is on the more dry side. It's got variation in tone, and the gorgeous color really pleases me, and the bag has held up really well. A keeper.

The only one I'ved had with less than ideal leather is my little Gris Pyrite Flat bag, another bag I carry an awful lot and find very useful. I must be forgiving of leather, to an extent, if the bag performs well.

BUT...the great leather Bals are in a class of their own. Having had 2005 and 2007 browns with absolutely silky leather, I know what that's about.
 
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muchstuff

"Add to cart"
Authenticator
Jun 6, 2014
21,674
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Vancouver
My 2012 Vert Poker. The leather was horrible. It was dry even after many layers of LMB moisturizer and leather honey. 2012 Cumin was also dry. I ended up selling them both.
It's not that they're dry, it's that Bal started putting a protective coating on their bags in 2012. There's great leather underneath dying to get out IMHO. I have a 2012 latte mini pom and it's getting softer the more I use it but still has that coating on it. I'm going to use it as a test bag and see if I can find a product the will remove the coating without killing the leather. I'll keep you posted.
 
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Dec 28, 2012
304
72
Scotland
Oh, I hope lots of Bal owners will chime in here.
A month or so ago I posted a pic of the current 2017 black Bal City with RH from Bal's own site and asked if anyone had bought it and what they thought of the leather etc. But I had no responses. I wanted to know because I've been contemplating for some time now to just let go of trying to buy an older Bal and just buy a new one already. Or look at pre-owned Bals from 2010/12 and on. Not so old of course, but it would still be incredibly interesting to see how these younger Bals have held up as well. Fab or crap? Especially the black ones.
Personally I think the old leathers are by far the best,in a league of their own...Anything after 2008 just doesn't compare.
2005 and 2007 for me are just fabulous ...soft,smooshy,wonderful to the touch and fall into a puddle on the carpet when empty...A true Bal. So sad they don't make them like that anymore.
I have bags from 2005 ,2007 and 2008 and although they took years to find (In new condition) they were worth the wait.
I have avoided later years due to the leather being stiff, horrible dry, plasticky, and that fake looking shine,that to me doesn't represent a Bal...It could be any leather bag.

The only newish leather I still have is 2015 Rouge cerise, some of 2015, in the second batch made of that colour are quite nice...Not plasticky,dry or too shiny, and soft/smooshy, but,...never in the same league as 2005 or 2007.
I think all years have had good and bad leathers, however when visiting my Bal stockist over the last 8or so years,there's nothing there that made me feel "I just have to have it"...

Each and every Bal's leather used to be unique and had to be seen and touched by the individual ...some people liked smooth and others puffy,marshmallow ...Mmm
Over the last few years I personally feel sadly, they're all much the same.

The Fabulous Oldies are still out there,in great condition...well worth holding on for.
 

Kendie26

Member
Sep 7, 2014
17,041
35,828
Last night I took out all my Bals, with the intention of rotating my least used bags.
As I was going through them, I was paying close attention to how the leather's held up over the years.

My 2011 Anthra Velo, ironically is a bag I use a lot because it's utter crap. The Anthra has that greenish tint to it, and the leather is dry. I just don't care what happens to it. The only reason I haven't sold it is because I don't wish that bag on any Bal fan.

My other one is my Cumin. I love the color, and the bag gets lots of use in the warmer months. It's held up well and it's not nearly as thirsty as my Anthra, but it's still on the dry side. I see a coat of leather honey in it's future.

I still can't get over how utterly crappy my Velo is. I must of been in denial when I got it because I just don't understand why I didn't return it. Also disappointed in Bal for allowing it to even be sold, and from their online store!! No quality control.

So I'm wondering, does anyone else have any craptastic Bals?
Ha :lol:this is an interesting thread BPC! I'm also laughing at your comment about your 2011 anthra Velo as "utter crap" but you use it a lot:tup:....I agree w/ you because of all the Bal's I've ever owned, my 2011 Anthra Clutch is my least favorite leather....i guess it looks ok, but the feel of it is "ehhhh" compared to all others I've owned. I'm not saying it's terrible, just my least favorite for sure.
 
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BPC

Blue Jean Baby Queen prettiest Bal I've ever seen
Mar 31, 2012
3,748
1,798
Personally I think the old leathers are by far the best,in a league of their own...Anything after 2008 just doesn't compare.
2005 and 2007 for me are just fabulous ...soft,smooshy,wonderful to the touch and fall into a puddle on the carpet when empty...A true Bal. So sad they don't make them like that anymore.
I have bags from 2005 ,2007 and 2008 and although they took years to find (In new condition) they were worth the wait.
I have avoided later years due to the leather being stiff, horrible dry, plasticky, and that fake looking shine,that to me doesn't represent a Bal...It could be any leather bag.

The only newish leather I still have is 2015 Rouge cerise, some of 2015, in the second batch made of that colour are quite nice...Not plasticky,dry or too shiny, and soft/smooshy, but,...never in the same league as 2005 or 2007.
I think all years have had good and bad leathers, however when visiting my Bal stockist over the last 8or so years,there's nothing there that made me feel "I just have to have it"...

Each and every Bal's leather used to be unique and had to be seen and touched by the individual ...some people liked smooth and others puffy,marshmallow ...Mmm
Over the last few years I personally feel sadly, they're all much the same.

The Fabulous Oldies are still out there,in great condition...well worth holding on for.
I've only been buying Bals for something like 5 years so I don't have the extensive experience that others here do. But based on my bags, some of which do go back to the 2004-2007 era, I have to disagree with your statement.
While those years most definitely have some beautiful leather, that doesn't mean you can't find something comparable these days. I know that I have.

If you put my 2007 Mogano city, side by side with my 2011 Black city, you'd swear the leathers were the same. They're both thick, chewy, and fluffy..lol. Someone may prefer one over the other, but it won't be because either leather is better.
My 2012 Cassis WE can rival any year, any bag. It's just that good. Supple, thick, puddles like Bals are meant to.
It reminds me of my 2004 pumpkin, except it has more wrinkles. Just pure high quality leather.

I do think quality was the norm in earlier years. Maybe because less bags were produced so it was easier to control? Dunno. But that just means that these days, you'd need to sort through some "junk" - to find that perfect bag. But they do exist.
 
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Catash

Member
May 3, 2014
2,487
950
Maryland, USA
I've only been buying Bals for something like 5 years so I don't have the extensive experience that others here do. But based on my bags, some of which do go back to the 2004-2007 era, I have to disagree with your statement.
While those years most definitely have some beautiful leather, that doesn't mean you can't find something comparable these days. I know that I have.

If you put my 2007 Mogano city, side by side with my 2011 Black city, you'd swear the leathers were the same. They're both thick, chewy, and fluffy..lol. Someone may prefer one over the other, but it won't be because either leather is better.
My 2012 Cassis WE can rival any year, any bag. It's just that good. Supple, thick, puddles like Bals are meant to.
It reminds me of my 2004 pumpkin, except it has more wrinkles. Just pure high quality leather.

I do think quality was the norm in earlier years. Maybe because less bags were produced so it was easier to control? Dunno. But that just means that these days, you'd need to sort through some "junk" - to find that perfect bag. But they do exist.
Agree. My 2011 coquelicot and vert menthe both have beautiful agneau leather and that's why I still have them!
 
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