I ended up exchanging my Mlouye Mini Flex Bag (reviewed here) for the similarly architectural Mini Lantern bag, which I’ll be reviewing in today’s post.
Mlouye is a Turkish brand founded by Meb Rurer, who blends architectural design with fashion at a contemporary pricepoint. The brand tends to produce smaller batches to reduce the chance of overproduction. Which is why you’ll often see that bags are on pre-order for a few weeks out.
The Mini Lantern bag comes in four different solid colors and is priced at $460. Currently, there is only one size, the mini. Previously, there was a standard sized version that had no pleats, but it seems they have discontinued that style.
I love the pleated exterior, it’s a very unique design that makes it stand out from other bucket bags. It is true to its style name – as my husband remarked, “Why does your bag look like a lantern?”. While the shorter top handle is permanently attached, the longer shoulder strap is removable.
Personally, I prefer carrying this bag by the top handle, as it’s a little awkward to wear longer at the hip.
Like the Flex bag, the quality and construction looks great. Stitches are straight, with no loose threads. Everything feels very secure.
As mentioned before, the quality seems to at least be on par with Polene and better than Mansur Gavriel. While I love Polene’s pebbled leather, I’d say Mlouye’s smooth leather feels more luxurious than Polene’s. Specifically, I compared it with my Numero Sept Mini (reviewed here).
What Fits Inside
The website says it can fit the essentials, which includes a phone. However, there are no “What fits in my bag” type photos on the website, so I took a little bit of a gamble. While the bag measures 5.5” in height and 7.5” in width, some of that is taken up by the pleating detail and the narrower top opening.
Does this fit an iPhone (11 pro, in my case)? Yes, kinda. There is an interior drawstring, which as you can see, sticks up about .5” if you are placing a phone upright. I wasn’t able to fit my phone horizontally. That being said, the Mini Lantern is a bit more spacious than I thought it would be. As you can see below, I’m not only able to fit my phone, but also a keyholder, compact wallet, small sunscreen, and a few other x-small things like Airpods, lip balm etc.
Overall, I’d say this is a fairly functional bag given its whimsical design. It certainly won’t be my first pick for something like, a multi-functional slim profile travel bag, but I think it’s a fun bag that I’ll enjoy wearing during the spring and summer months.
Overall, I think this bag is uniquely designed and worth the price tag given its complex construction. If you’re looking to add something different to your wardrobe, I’d recommend the Mlouye Lantern Bag.