Behind the Discount: A Closer Look at Michael Kors' Saffiano Leather

Michael Kors Small Saffiano Leather Envelope Crossbody Bag Review by Tanner Leatherstein

When it comes to luxury fashion, the name Michael Kors often pops up, synonymous with style and quality. However, for savvy shoppers, the allure of a brand must be matched by the value and craftsmanship of its products. Today, we take an in-depth look at one of Michael Kors' offerings: the Saffiano leather bag, which has been priced at an eyebrow-raising markdown from $398 to $89. Is this deal too good to be true? We're here to dissect the details and give you an unabridged review.

DISCLAIMER: This is an UNSPONSORED review. I purchased all of these products myself and am not affiliated with the brand mentioned in any way. All statements and expressions made about the products are solely the opinion of Tanner Leatherstein and are not meant to be conclusive or definitive. The purpose of this video is for informational and educational purposes only. We recommend that as a consumer, you exercise your due diligence and research on the products before adopting the opinion of Tanner Leatherstein. 

The Allure of Saffiano Leather

Saffiano leather, a prized material within fashion circles, owes its origins to Prada's patented process. Characterized by a cross-hatch pattern, it is produced using a specialized stamping technique that not only grants it a unique texture but also strengthens its resilience to wear, including scratch and stain resistance. This blend of aesthetic appeal and practicality is why items like Michael Kors bags made from Saffiano leather are so coveted. Its textural cross-hatch is the result of a deliberate embossing process applied to full-grain leather, which serves to toughen the material.

The Material: Is It Truly Saffiano?

The tag on the Michael Kors bag says it's made of "100% Saffiano Leather," which sounds pretty fancy and high-quality. But when you actually touch the bag, something feels off. You'd expect the leather to be sleek and somewhat rigid, typical of high-quality leather, but it's unexpectedly sticky and has a plasticky touch to it—resembling rubber more than the premium, waxy texture you'd anticipate. It definitely raises questions about whether the material is as top-notch as claimed.

Saffiano leather is supposed to be made in a special way that gives it a cross-hatch pattern, making it tough and giving it a slight shine that shows it's a top-notch material. The bag's leather doesn't feel or look like that at all—it's closer to plastic, which isn't what you'd expect for what you're paying for. This kind of mix-up makes you question whether the bag is actually as fancy as advertised and whether you're getting your money's worth for what should be a long-lasting luxury item.

Craftsmanship and Hardware of a Michael Kors Bag

The reality of this bag paints a different picture. Skipped stitches, visible needle marks, and remnants of glue suggest a product that may have bypassed certain quality assurance measures. These imperfections, typically absent in products from Michael Kors mainline stores, hint that this particular item could be part of a batch produced with cost-cutting measures in mind.

Delving into the hardware, while the initial impression may be subpar, a closer examination reveals the use of a metal alloy, likely zinc. This is a common industry practice for accessories where cost is a determining factor. While the choice of material doesn't inherently signify poor quality, it aligns with a broader pattern of decisions aimed at producing a bag with a lower production cost.

Pricing Gimmicks Uncovered

The significantly reduced price tag on this Michael Kors bag, slashed from $398 to a tantalizing $89, is bound to catch the attention of savvy shoppers. However, upon further examination, it appears that this 'discounted' price is not the limited-time offer one might assume. The dissection indicates that the price point of $89 has been consistent for quite some time, suggesting that the original price of $398 may be more of a constructed figure intended to give an illusion of value, rather than a reflection of a temporary price cut. When considering the estimated cost for materials and production, which is around $29, the sale price of $89 reveals a substantial profit margin. This underscores the reality that, while profitability is a natural aim for any business, the way the price is presented to consumers may be misleading.

Is It Worth the Price Tag?

The final verdict is somewhat mixed. For consumers looking for a functional fashion piece with the Michael Kors branding, the $89 price might be acceptable, especially considering the durability of the material (even if it falls short of true Saffiano quality). It's a workable everyday bag that carries the brand's design ethos at a fraction of the cost of its high-end counterparts.

On the flip side, those expecting the luxury that comes with a $398 price tag will likely be disappointed. The questionable material quality and craftsmanship do not justify such a premium. It is paramount that customers manage their expectations and understand that they are purchasing a bag that likely prioritizes cost-effectiveness over the luxury standards upheld by premium Saffiano leather goods.


In conclusion, the discounted Michael Kors Saffiano leather bag might seem like an attractive deal, but it's important to look beyond the marketing and see the product for what it really is. Although it's advertised as being made of 100% Saffiano leather, it feels sticky and plastic-like. Clear signs of cost-cutting are evident in the missed stitches and the use of likely cheaper metals such as zinc for the hardware. The constantly low price suggests that the original price might have been exaggerated. Considering the estimated production cost is $29, the profit margin seems significant. While the bag may meet basic needs at a reduced price, it may not provide the luxurious experience that one would typically expect from the brand's more premium products.


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