The verdict is in: quiet luxury is here to stay. While the movement of buying stylish, subdued, and well-made closet staples for all-year-round may have been the de rigeur for the wealthy since time immemorial, it has only just begun to catch on with the rest of the world with the popularity of shows such as Succession. Consequently, brands such as Valextra, The Row, and Polène have led the charge with minimalist but well-made bags among this new demographic.
Polène is perhaps the most fascinating of the three labels mentioned, given its relatively nascent status as a competitor in the luxury space. Founded in 2016 by three siblings from the Mothay family led by Antoine Mothay, Polène is especially well regarded among fashion insiders for their approach to handbag design, offering clean, contemporary, and functional shapes that are well-made and most importantly, sensibly priced.
That said, If you’ve stumbled upon this article hoping to learn a little more about Polène’s offerings and which of their bags you should put your money into, here are our picks for the best Polène designs to jump-start your collection with.
The top 6 Polène bags to add to your style arsenal
1. Polène Numéro Un
Synonymous with the Parisian label since its inception, the aptly named Polène Numéro Un, otherwise translated into English as Polène Number One, was the very first bag that the company debuted.
A top-handle moment that offers more than a few tricks up its sleeves, the Numéro Un has proven to be a sales hit for Polène, with many customers lauding the bag’s effortlessly feminine and chic sensibilities, expressed through a design punctuated by gentle curves and round shapes. The bag is available in a range of sizes, from a dinky Nano iteration all the way up to the full-sized unit measuring 32cm in length.
Our pick of the range would definitely be the Polène Numéro Un Nano, which measures 20.5cm in length. While it may sound small, the bag features expandable gussets that are held in place by snap buttons, allowing for added capacity when required.
2. Polène Numéro Neuf
While Polène’s first offering was a classic, structured top-handle handbag, a subsequent handbag design ran towards the opposite end of the spectrum with a considerably more relaxed aesthetic. Supple and soft, the Numéro Neuf makes a bold statement with its gathered folds of exquisitely crafted leather that are held in place by hand-stitched seams.
The shape lends well to those who are seeking a truly capacious handbag that retains dainty dimensions overall, with the Numéro Neuf’s ability to contain all of your essentials without distending.
Go for the Numéro Neuf Mini if you’re looking for a bag that can transition from daytime boardroom duty to dusky boardwalk cocktail evenings. Its smaller dimensions make it perfect for crossbody wear as compared to its larger sibling, which may feel unwieldy on those with more petite frames.
3. Polène Cyme
If you’re serious about taking everything and the kitchen sink with you when you’re leaving the house, then Polène’s Cyme tote bag is the only bag to look out for in their range. In many ways, the design of this bag is evocative of Celine’s Phantom tote with its winged sides but refreshed for the current decade.
You get two carrying options with the Cyme, using it by either its top handles or on the shoulder with longer straps. As is the case with the Phantom, you can cinch the winged sides closed using the provided strap pieces for added security.
While it is also available in a smaller size, the Cyme tote is best had in its original 32cm berth for utility’s sake. Better still, you can even order it in a canvas colourway combined with contrasting leather trim for added visual appeal.
4. Polène Numéro Sept
If you want a top-handle bag but find the Numéro Un to be a little too bulbous owing to its use of rounded edges, the Numéro Sept will be your next best bet. Unlike its stablemate, this bag is as structured and rigid as it gets from Polène, bearing 90-degree angles at every corner.
Bearing a trapezoidal shape that is most commonly associated with handbag design from the 1950s, power dressers will easily fall in love with the Numéro Sept‘s no-nonsense style. Pop the bag open by its top flap, and you’ll find an ample main compartment that is extendable by its accordion gussets, further complemented by a slip pocket at the back.
A removable top handle and a wide, non-removable crossbody strap maximises comfort in every wear, especially when on the go. But our favourite is the Numéro Sept Mini, which has the added benefit of a (once again, non-removable) crossbody chain strap for you to mix and match with. And with the gold accents, this is the best bag from the brand to take out to a an elegant soiree or tête-à-tête.
5. Polène Numéro Huit
Remember what we said about design being a hallmark of the Polène brand? Well, this is especially true when you cast your gaze upon the Numéro Huit bucket bag, which blurs the line between handbag and sculpture. A stunning piece that uses multiple pieces of half-moon leather concaves to create the appearance of a flower from a top-down perspective, this bucket bag is unlike anything else you’re likely to find in the segment.
Naturally, it can be expanded by loosening the drawstrings that hold the bag’s opening closed, which means that despite its stiffer sides, you can still get away with filling it quite a bit in the Numéro Huit.
However, owing to its rigidity you will be best served going for the bag’s bigger size as opposed to the Mini, given how the latter will be less forgiving where capacity is concerned.
6. Polène Numéro Dix
Of all the bags in the Polène roster, the Numéro Dix sticks out as the only design made by the brand that is truly meant to be carried on the shoulder from the get-go. A delightfully casual crescent bag that can be worn on one shoulder or crossbody depending on the length of the adjustable strap, the Numéro Dix is offered in a one-size-fits-all solution.
Measuring 24cm in length, this means that the bag falls into the ‘Goldilocks’ region of sizing, which typically works well on bodies of all sizes. What’s more, the curvature of its opening means that wearing it crossbody would be considerably more comfortable, as the bag would conform to one’s waist or hip.
Feature and hero image credits: Polène/Instagram
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Where is Polène from?
― Polène is a luxury accessories brand from Paris, France.
What is Polène known for?
― Polène is known for making quality leather handbags that are also reasonably priced.
When was Polène founded?
― Polène was founded back in 2016.
Who are the founders of Polène?
― Polène was founded by three siblings from the Mothay family led by Antoine Mothay.
How much do Polène handbags cost?
― Polène handbags start from USD $290 (Aprx SGD 392.14).