No matter your fashion persuasion, you’ve probably seen this bag somewhere, with its the hexagonal side faces, the rivet covered base and the embossed vertical lines. The Alexander Wang Rocco Duffle bag.
The original was called the ‘Cocco’. Made in black pebbled leather and gold hardware, it was possibly the most popular bag of 2009, and notorious of paparazzi snaps of the duffle carried by Mary-Kate Olsen littered the interwebs.
For me personally, it was never one of my favourite ‘It Bags’. Though this may be one of its selling points for most, I never got the way that it had no structure, and though designed to be cylindrical, it just hung in a shapeless, saggy way, particularly because the metal rivets on the base weighed it down so much.
I’d also read a lot of talk online that the bag was way too heavy, making it not so great as an everyday bag, though it was clearly intended to be.
So when the Rocco was released in a padded leather with resin studs, promised to be more structured and lighter, it finally perked my interest.
The details: You’ll know the Alexander Wang Rocco by its oversized metal details and simple and functional features. I love the fact that there’s no huge brand logo or monogram, only small engravings on the strap fasteners. I guess the message is that you bought the bag simply because you liked it, and not because it’s of a certain brand, and you don’t care if no one knows it was kind of expensive. It’s also a nice feeling when people recognise it without seeing the logo.
The rivet covered bottom of the Rocco is surely its most recognisable feature. The rivets have always been metal in the part, in the same colour as the zipper and other hardware, but the resin Rocco departs completely from that tradition. I do think that the metal resins look better, but I appreciate that the resin rivets don’t add much to the weight. This version of the Rocco still rates slightly on the heavier side, so I can’t imagine how heavy it would be with a bunch of metal weighing it down.
And then there are those inexplicable additional pockets on one side. I never use them because it’s hard to get them open due to the deeply set zipper and the fact that nothing much would fit in apart from maybe your iPhone or your wallet. However I do love the look of the double zippers.
The size of the Alexander Wang Rocco Duffle is amazing for someone like me, who loves to just throw all my gear in. It fits pretty much anything, and could easily be an airport bag.
In essence, the 2011 Alexander Wang Rocco Duffle is really not the same bag as the previous editions. The padded, thinner leather holds the shape well (maybe too well), giving it a much more sports luxe feel (gym bag chic?). This is quite a move away from its signature slouchy, distressed look, particularly with the smooth leather.
You can still get the resin Rocco to look more like the metal resin version by flattening out the middle, so I guess you can have the best of both worlds. For me it’s just the right balance between structured and slouchy.
There’s a great page that keeps up to date information about where to get the Rocco, and on sale too! Add this one to your favourites: Where to buy Alexander Wang’s Rocco Duffle.