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Belle Reviews the Modalu Pippa Grab

This summer, Pippa Middleton was spotted carrying a Modalu handbag.  The bag quickly sold out, and the company christened the re-released bag in her honor.  But the popularity of the bag hasn’t waned, and shoppers wanting to purchase the bag need to get on a waiting list.

Pippa Medium Grab (Modalu, 169 British Pounds, about $289)

I’ve written about the Modalu bag before, but only in the abstract.  Last month, my Mother asked for one for Christmas (I don’t like to guess what people want, I like to know. Certainty is king, holiday spirit be damned.), and I was happy to oblige.  And let me tell you…seeing the bag in person, I don’t just love it, I worship it.

Like a lot of women, my biggest complaint about my handbag (a Rebecca Minkoff Mini-MAB) is that things tend to disappear into a void. And I hate rooting in my purse for my keys or my Blackberry and coming up empty handed. 

Unlike most bags, the Modalu Pippa has separated pockets that make finding things a breeze.  Place your wallet, keys and Blackberry in one pocket.  Then put your other essentials (brush, lipstick, etc.) in the middle pocket.  And the third pocket leaves room for your other belongings.  (I, for one, think it is the perfect size for my iPad.)

While this bag may not be ideally-suited for all working women–you’d have a heck of a time fitting a pair of shoes in it–it is perfect for women who crave organization.  The pockets are a game changer.

In person, this bag is beautiful.  It is well-crafted, and the size is perfection.  The bag is about the same size as a Minkoff MAB, but thinner.  

I adore the Pippa Medium Grab Bag by Modalu so much that my Mother is extremely lucky that I don’t need another black handbag.  But never fear, I just ordered the cognac one.  

What?!? I don’t own a brown purse.  This purchase is essential.


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  1. Tiffang says:

    Are the handles long enough to wear as a shoulder bag?

    November 15, 2011/Reply
  2. Texas123 says:

    My aunt bought me this bag in the light brown/cognac for my birthday when she was in England over the summer. I'm more than obsessed with it. I carry it everywhere and use it so much that the bottom corners are beginning to show wear and tear. And, I have yet to see another girl with one. I've been seriously considering buying it in another color. I love it.

    November 15, 2011/Reply
  3. M says:

    Belle, will you clarify if there is also an optional longer shoulder strap? In this photo, there appears to be one, but the other colors/photos don't look the same. Thanks!

    November 15, 2011/Reply
  4. Mom In Heels says:

    I bought the cognac this summer and adore it!!
    Yes there is a detachable long strap and no the short handles cannot comfortably hang on your shoulder unless you are super tiny.

    November 15, 2011/Reply
  5. annie says:

    from where did you buy it–their british website or does somewhere else stateside offer it? it's beyond gorgeous.

    November 15, 2011/Reply
  6. Laura says:

    Gorgeous bag and being in the UK I have been tempted many times to purchase one! Particularly in the black or mock croc. (FYI Pippa M has one in each color/style!)
    Annie, you could try John Lewis- I believe the UK does ship to the US.

    November 15, 2011/Reply
  7. amy b.s. says:

    an organized bag? sign me up!

    November 15, 2011/Reply
  8. Belle says:

    Annie-I bought it from the Brit site. Shipping wasn't too bad for International ($25, I think), and it arrived within ten days.

    November 15, 2011/Reply
  9. Tara says:

    I purchased the camel color over the summer. I use it every day and also love it so much that mine is showing wear at the corners. I can actually fit my laptop in the middle pocket. The short handles aren't big enough to comfortably fit on the shoulder, but there is a shoulder strap that is great!

    November 15, 2011/Reply
  10. kbrown says:

    Love my Pippa! I carry it everywhere. A pair of flats fits if you're a bit strategic. I'm always amazed by how much I can fit in this bag.

    November 15, 2011/Reply
  11. annie says:

    thanks, belle!

    November 15, 2011/Reply
  12. katherine says:

    I bought the black last month and i totally love it! it is beautiful and like belle said, makes organization easy. some ppl have commented that the straps aren't comfortable for over the shoulder, but i disagree. i carry mine on the shoulder and it is fine! mine also did not come with a shoulder strap?

    November 15, 2011/Reply
  13. Laura says:

    Love this! I just can't decide which color to get…..

    November 15, 2011/Reply
  14. Belle says:

    I recommend whichever one is in stock. Currently, the black.

    November 15, 2011/Reply
  15. S says:

    I was able to purchase the shark color in an online auction. It is one of my most prized accessories. Belle's description is right on point. But watch out- the gold nameplate gets scratched easily. I am still researching polishing cloths to try and buff it out. And I will be ordering it in another color. It is so worth it.

    November 15, 2011/Reply
  16. J says:

    I got the shark in July and am obsessed with it. It does come with a long shoulder strap which is usually what I use. The shorter straps are a bit too short to fit comfortably on the shoulder. It's great for organizing and can fit an obnoxious amount of stuff. I fit 3″ heels for work in it all the time. For plane travel I've also fit a small makeup bag, pillow, book, magazine, and bottle of water in addition to all my everyday stuff. I can't fit my laptop though. The bottom portion is large enough but the sides slope up at the top where the zippers are so it's too small at the top. An Ipad would definitely fit. The only complaint that I have is that even though i sprayed it with a leather protector it's gotten some stains on it – especially from dark blue denim rubbing off on it. This might not be an issue with a darker black or brown but on the light grey it shows.

    November 15, 2011/Reply
  17. elz says:

    This is on my Christmas list, but I want the gray which is still out of stock! AUGH. Pretty purse, O, won't you be mine? NOW!

    November 15, 2011/Reply
  18. JLHS says:

    I got this purse in the shark color this summer and LOVE it. It is an essential. The only complaint is that the bag even without the 10 million items I put in it, is pretty heavy to begin with. Definitely spray on a leather protector, that is crucial.

    November 15, 2011/Reply
  19. S says:

    Oh no- I got mine 4 months ago and didn't apply a leather protector. Is it too late? And if I can still apply it now- does anyone have a go-to leather product you would recommend?

    November 16, 2011/Reply
  20. Jessica says:

    I am dying to have this bag… it seems perfect for me for the same reasons– I hate rooting for stuff in the bag I own now. My only problem at this point: The pricetag. Do you have any suggestions for similar bags less than $100-$150?

    December 13, 2011/Reply
  21. Erika says:

    They have a replica of this bag in the tan and shark color on for $129 I think. Looks basically the same except it doesn't have the gold nameplate on the front. Just to clarify, the first edition of the bag came in tan and shark, these two color have shorter handles and an attached longer strap. The new colors have slightly longer handles but do not come with an attached strap. I have it in both the chili color (orange red) and shark and I have never received more compliments on a handbag before and I have a lot of handbags! If there is a color you really want that is out of stock just e-mail the company and ask when it might be back in stock, they seem to answer right away.

    February 14, 2012/Reply
  22. Fiona says:

    I adore my Pippa in a lovely wine colour, and I plan on getting the orange for summer. A fab bag all round!

    February 24, 2012/Reply
  23. Betsy says:

    Just curious has anyone purchased the smaller version available(Dimensions: H20 x W32 x D10cm), that includes the shoulder strap? And if so, is it too small as an everyday commuter bag? Thanks!

    March 8, 2012/Reply
  24. Julianne says:

    Hi Belle, I purchased the pippa modalu in shark on ebay (I could never catch it on the modalu site) and am in love! Did you purchase the tan or toffee one as well? If so, which one do you prefer? Please let me know as i'm thinking of purchasing the tan (Modalu said they might bring it back soon). Thanks!

    March 22, 2012/Reply