The Row's Margaux Tote Is Just As Iconic As The Birkin - And Less Than Half The Price

Handbags might just be one of mankind's most useful inventions. The revered human tradition of lugging around a multitude of objects from one place to another must go back to the cavemen period, right? 

Handbags have evolved from being necessary tools of survival to elements of high fashion. With the emergence of designer handbags came the Supreme Queen of Bags: the Birkin by Hermès. Who doesn't tremble at the sight of the coveted Birkin? These bags are so exclusive that it's common knowledge you can't just pop up at Hermès and buy one. There's a famous waiting list and everything. If you eventually do manage to snag one, it could set you back at least $9,000. If you decide not to wait, and get one from a secondary source like Sotheby's, you could be looking at prices from $10,000 to over $250,000. The most expensive Birkin handbag ever sold at Sotheby's went for almost half a million dollars!

For lovers of classy designer bags who don't want to break the bank, this may seem like a let down. Fortunately, there are other designer handbags that offer the same practicality and functionality as the Birkin, and you won't have to sell your kidneys to get them. The coolest part? They're owned by our favorite '90s American sweethearts, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.

The Margaux starts at just over $3,000

Founded in 2006, Mary-Kate and Ashley's luxury fashion brand, The Row, soon birthed the Margaux, a sophisticated tote bag that comes in four sizes (7.5, 10, 15, and 17 inches). The least expensive bags listed on The Row costs just $3,150 — less than half the purported price of a brand-new Birkin. This is great news for brand-conscious fashionistas who can't get their hands on a Birkin or are simply looking for a cost-effective alternative. In addition to its lower price, the Margaux is also more readily available than the Birkin. You can order a Margaux bag online or walk into The Row's store as you please.

In a YouTube video review, stylist Neelam Ahooja attested that the Margaux is durable, light, and functional throughout the day and for evening activities as well. According to her, the pebbled leather Margaux tends to be more durable than the smooth leather version. She also noted that the Margaux 7.5 is ideal for evening looks. Available in a variety of skins and colors, the Margaux may very well be on its way to rivaling the Birkin.

Why everyone should be obsessing over the Margaux

One thing we love about The Row's Margaux is how timeless it is. It is designed in such a way that it will never go out of style, which means you can use it in and out of fashion seasons. Another thing we can't help but admire is how there aren't any over-the-top brand markers on it. Apart from two inconspicuous stamps featuring the brand name "The Row" on either side, the bag has no label.

What makes Birkin bags so special boils down to their rarity. It takes about 30 to 40 hours to complete one bag (via HuffPost), and no one really knows how many bags are made each year. Aside from affordability and practicality, another upside to the Margaux is that they just might be rarer than the Birkin, as opined by TikTok creator @locaeclectic, who pointed out that more people own Birkins than the Margaux. Exclusivity gives brands an iconic status, and that's why the Margaux should be your new favorite designer bag.