When a design is as revered as the Dior Saddle, any attempts at refreshing its look could be potentially contentious. But Dior Men artistic director Kim Jones is not one to stay on the side of convention. After all, this is the man who has been tapping into the House’s more feminine-centric haute couture history to build and expand its menswear universe. And with the Dior Saddle, Jones continues to revisit the fundamentals of its design and to transmute them into inspired accessories.
The Dior Saddle bag was first conceived more than two decades ago by former artistic director John Galliano. It’s essentially a shoulder purse, meant to be worn tight right in the armpit with its short top handle sitting on one’s—typically a woman’s—shoulder. It wasn’t until Jones’ debut collection for Dior Men that the bag was officially de-genderised. The top handle strap was replaced by a more industrial-looking adjustable one that adapts for crossbody wear and differentiated from its women’s counterpart by a Matthew M. Williams-designed buckle.
If the Saddle bag designed for men captures a more defiant spirit from the original, the latest inspired creation refines the look further. For the Dior Men winter 2023 collection, Jones opts to pay tribute to the elegance of the equestrian world—the origins of the Saddle bag.
The Dior Saddle Boxy bag looks more simplified from the outside. The leather tails attached to the magnetic flap of the original have been removed altogether for a more graphic focus on the curved lines of the bag. With this new iteration, what you’re getting is pretty much a storage upgrade—the Dior Saddle Boxy features an extended body acting as the main compartment topped with a zipper. The original Dior Saddle silhouette then becomes the bag’s smaller front compartment. The dimensions of the Dior Saddle Boxy are about the same as the Dior Saddle but now divided into two compartments for better organisation.
Instead of grained calfskin, the Dior Saddle Boxy is dressed in the house’s new Dior Oblique Gravity leather. Not only is the entire body embossed with the signature Dior Oblique motif, it’s also done in a cloudy effect that is further emphasised through the patent treatment. The straps—a top handle as well as an adjustable shoulder strap that are both detachable—have too been refined. They’re cut from leather and are intentionally thin in width to reflect the more elegant profile.
Regard this latest take as the more grown up, elevated version—one you could easily pair with a suit without feeling as though you’re making the entire outfit a touch more casual. The look of the Dior Saddle Boxy may be a slight departure from the original, yet the functionality and versatility remain. And that’s exactly how you rework an icon.
The Dior Saddle Boxy is now available in boutiques and online.