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If there’s one bag that has made serious waves on social media, it would be the Maestra Bag by Senreve, a female-founded start-up brand that specialises in direct-to-consumer luxury bags. Founders Coral Chung and Wendy Wen had built successful careers in consulting and investment banking before creating Senreve which stemmed from their realisation that luxury brands weren’t keeping the needs of professional women in mind when designing their handbags. The rest, as they say, is history.
Seemingly everywhere (but not yet as recognisable as a Chanel or Hermes), the Maestra Bag first launched in 2016 and it now comes in three sizes, at least five different leather finishes and around 40 different colourways. The overall aesthetic of the bag is quite minimal (and mirrored across all three sized of the bag) featuring a subtle logo on one side of the bag, though the design features are rather distinct – there is a flap and buckle closure, with the thick buckle strap over the centre of the bag. The design of the Maestra Bag reminds me a lot of my Celine Belt Bag, which a lot of you have noted in your DMs to me when I posted about initially receiving the Maestra a couple of months ago. I compare both bags in my review further below.
Since the bag was launched, it has been embraced by celebrities like Olivia Palermo and Brie Larson and its social media presence has exploded over the years, thanks to its strong use of social media marketing. I’ve been pretty keen to try this bag out for myself. The reviews of the bag have been mixed, though there is much praise for the quality and versatility of the bag. I was fortunate enough to receive the Mini Maestra Bag in Pebbled Forest and having road-tested the bag for the past few months, I thought I’d share my thoughts.
So let’s get to it.
L: Senreve Mini Maestra Bag* styled with Everlane trench* (sz XS), The Fold London top* (sz 8), The Fold London trousers* (sz 8), Nicholas Kirkwood loafers, Ray Ban sunglasses; R: Senreve bag* styled with Uniqlo trench (similar here), Arket tee (sz S), Everlane jeans*, Gucci belt (review here), Gianvito Rossi pumps, Ray Ban sunglasses
Sizing & prices
The bag comes in three sizes outlined below:
29cm x 19cm x 14 cm | 11.5” x 7.5” x 5.5”
Handle with 4cm (1.75”) drop
Flap closure and magnetic snap button
7 interior compartments (including padded sleeve that fits an iPad Mini while the central compartment fits up to a 10.5” tablet)
4 protective metal studs at base
From $695 USD / ~ $910 AUD
34cm x 22cm x 15cm | 13.25” x 8.75” x 5.75”
Handle with 6cm (2.25”) drop
Flap closure with collar stud belt fastening
8 interior compartments (including padded sleeve that fits up to a 10.9” tablet while the central compartment fits up to an 11” laptop)
4 protective metal studs at base
From $795 USD / ~ $1,041 AUD
41cm x 26cm x 17cm | 16” x 10.25” x 6.75”
Handle with 9cm (3.5”) drop
Flap closure with collar stud belt fastening
8 interior compartments (including padded sleeve that can fit up to a 13” laptop while the central compartment fits up to a 15” laptop)
5 protective metal studs at base
From $895 USD / ~ $1,172 AUD
Prices and conversions current as at 30 March 2021.
You can take advantage of my code – WHATVEEWORE50 – for $50 USD off any purchase over $300 USD.
I’m a huge fan of the mini size of my Maestra bag, it’s a fantastic size for me. And while I love that the original Maestra could comfortably fit a 13” laptop, it just seemed too big and wide for my liking. As Goldilocks said herself, there’s a Maestra bag that’s “just right” for everyone!
L: Senreve Mini Maestra Bag* styled with Everlane blazer* (sz 0), Arket tee (sz S), Everlane jeans*, Gucci belt (review here), Sarah Flint pumps* (review here), Ray Ban sunglasses; R: Senreve bag* styled with H&M knit (similar here), Everlane jeans*, Nicholas Kirkwood loafers, Ray Ban sunglasses
It’s worth noting that Senreve currently carry five full-grain leathers that are both scratch and water resistant as follows:
Pebbled: a supple grained finish and the version of leather that I have. It reminds me a lot of Prada’s Saffiano leather in its feel and durability. The pebbled leather finish forms part of Senreve’s classic line.
Mimosa: a long-grain bark-like finish that has been texture-stamped following treatment. It is the most robust (and stiffest) of all the leathers on offer and also forms part of Senreve’s classic line.
Smooth: an even textured finish that is the soft to the touch.
Dolce: the softest, plushest and lightest of all the leathers offered (probably most similar to the calfskin used on leather bags by brands like Celine)
Dragon: a mock-croc leather that comes in a suite of amazing colours. This is my favourite version of leather offered by Senreve as it is done so well.
L: Senreve Mini Maestra Bag* styled with Marks & Spencer dress* (sz 10), Gianvito Rossi pumps, Ray Ban sunglasses; R: Senreve bag* styled with Everlane knit* (sz XS), Scanlan Theodore skirt (sold out), Sarah Flint pumps* (review here)
Wear & tear
For a compact sized bag, the Mini Maestra packs a punch when it comes to capacity. It fits my daily essentials, including my Kindle, both of my kids’ water bottles & snacks with room to spare. The closure reminds me a lot of my Celine Belt Bag, with the large flap. The Mini Maestra is probably most comparable to the Micro size version of the Celine bag (I have the Mini size – which is the largest size on offer).
One of the biggest selling points of the bag is that it can be worn in four different ways: satchel, top handle, cross body and backpack. And while I initially didn’t think I would wear the bag as a backpack, now that I’ve used it for a few months, I have had occasion to wear the bag in all the ways it can be worn, though I mostly wear the bag as a top handle. I can really appreciate the design value and innovation of the backpack straps and while I don’t wear it this way often, I like that it is an option, particularly when I’m wrangling the kids and I need my hands. That said, I should point out that when I do wear the bag as a satchel (that is, with the long strap on my shoulder), the bag does tilt away from my body when it is full. The bag is already quite thick in width so I’m not a fan of the tilting and don’t find it particularly comfortable. As such, I end up using the bag mostly as a top handle.
The bag is robust. Incredibly so. And while I’m not going to go to the lengths of scratching my bag just to prove a point, I do feel like the bag is one that could withstand negligent treatment – the leather is that good. On the flip side, with such a hardwearing fabric, the bag can be quite structured and stiff to begin with and it reminds me of the Givenchy Antigona with its rigid shape. Though I do feel like the recent introduction of Senreve’s soft Dolce leather provides an answer to those who aren’t so keen on the overall stiffness from the original leathers the bags came in.
L: Senreve Mini Maestra Bag* styled with Everlane blazer* (sz 0 – review here), Everlane jeans*, Arket tee (sz S), Gucci belt (review here), Sarah Flint pumps* (review here), Ray Ban sunglasses; R: Senreve Mini Maestra Bag* styled with Everlane knit* (sz XS), Everlane jeans*, Nicholas Kirkwood loafers, Ray Ban sunglasses
Is it worth it?
The million dollar question.
Now I wanted to address this head on, because it’s a well known fact that Senreve have given a lot of product to influencers in order to spread the word. Its strong social media presence however has led to skepticism by some potential buyers who think that by giving out free product, influencers feel obliged to share an endorsement of the bag.
I realise the aesthetic is not everyone’s cup of tea – the straps are thick and the bag is quite distinct now with its strong presence on social media. Personally, the bag provides me with variety in my existing bag collection of mostly black handbags. I really love how functional it is too. Aesthetically, I find it very similar to my Celine Belt Bag, so it should come as no surprise that I’m a fan of the design.
That said, Senreve bags don’t come cheap. It is a luxury bag after all. But, if you have the means to buy one, I would recommend it. It’s one of those workhorses in your wardrobe that will always be put to good use. Rather than spending money on the cheaper versions of things only for them to break and need replacing, this is a smart investment piece that will save you all the trouble in the long run. The bag has been designed to last and designed to be used often.
If I were to give one criticism of the bag, it would be the colour of the micro-suede lining. It’s a dark grey hue which works fine for the forest green tone of my bag, but the grey micro-suede is used across all the bags in the Maestra line. I would much prefer if the lining was tailored to match the actual colour of the bag – particularly for bags that are a lighter shade.
You can use my discount code – WHATVEEWORE50 – for $50 USD off any purchase over $300 USD.
I hope my review of the Senreve Mini Maestra Bag was useful to any of you who have had your eye on the bag. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you like the bag? Do you like its overall aesthetic? Have you got one yourself?
If you have any questions, feel free to pop them in the comments below and I’ll get back to you.
As always, thanks for stopping by!
Shop the Mini, Midi and Original Maestra Bag
P.S. You can have a read through my other designer bag reviews here.