[Review] Tracey vegan leather bags from Malaysia: material, quality, price
During my school days, I used generic backpacks until they died. Then I rinsed and repeated.
But as I grew up, I realized the importance of a good bag. For me, this means that it must be presentable, trendy and classy at the same time.
While it doesn’t need to have dozens of compartments for me to hide every item in my bag, I do appreciate a pocket or two where I can easily access my wallet and phone.
Overall, it should also be easy to maintain and made of high quality materials.
It’s a brand we’ve featured before and a VP Label partner, meaning select selections from their collection can be purchased at an exclusive price.
Buy Tracey’s bags on VP Label at an exclusive price now:
We are in the process of updating our Tracey range on VP Label, so when the team sent us selected products for us to photograph, I took the opportunity to test the bags.
A few words about Tracey
Tracey bags are the fruit of love. And a bit of frustration.
Johnson Tan, the designer and founder of Tracey, began his bag-making journey to solve his wife’s bag habits. Although Aiping is a generally organized person, his bags are a whole different story.
The first bag he released, The Urban Lady, is known as the “Messy-No-More Compartment Bag”. Since then, Johnson has continued to create other styles of vegan leather bags, from backpacks and shoulder bags to satchels and totes.
Despite the variety, Tracey’s best-known product is still The Urban Lady. So I was very surprised how good the other styles of bags are. Johnson Tan is definitely not a one trick pony.
Have you ever seen the “what I ordered VS what I got” (or “expectations VS reality”) meme? Well, I was worried the same would happen with the Tracey bags, but luckily it wasn’t a catfish situation.
Through sight and feel, I could tell the quality was good. The bags have a certain weight and strength to them, with the PU leather being thick and expensive looking, although the bags are mostly under RM200. Although quite structured, the bags are also relatively lightweight.
The stitching on the bags was commendable. Often there are threads with loose ends or chunks that unravel, but those in the Tracey bags were neat.
Design-wise, the bags have managed to hit the mark of being modern yet timeless. I wouldn’t call them plugged per se, as they do not rely on any fad or model, but rather stick to minimalist looks. It’s definitely not high fashion, but with the variety of designs, even teenagers through to older women could find something.
A rule my mother taught me is to test the zipper on any product before buying it. I’m happy to report that I had no problems with the zippers on the Tracey bags, each moving as smooth as butter.
Another feature I liked was the simple, subtle branding. Instead of sticking on huge logos, the small and simple metallic TRACEY branding adds to the look more than it detracts.
While we’ve had all the variety to browse, I’m highlighting my few favorites that would actually tempt me to ditch my dependable tote bag, perhaps in the future.
For discreet chic days
Someone at Tracey must have studied color theory because I love all of their colorways. Sure, they offer a lot of typical colors, but do you know how many shades there are in the world?
All of my colleagues and I were immediately drawn to the Jewell Shoulder Bag in Spanish Orange. The color is rich and vibrant but not overly saturated. However, I’m not the biggest fan of the loop feature as it looks a bit too mature for my preferences (guess my age…ha!)
Although it’s not as structured as some of the other bags, it does come with studs at the bottom to keep it upright. It also comes with an adjustable strap.
The three main compartments worked well for organization. It fits my A5 size notebook with plenty of space to spare. The central zipped compartment is perfect for small trinkets like keys, tissues, change and forgotten receipts (just me?). Not forgetting your wallet and a small make-up bag for touch-ups.
This bag costs RM169 and is available in other beautiful colors such as navy, moss green and camel.
For professionally chic days
The Betterment Tote Bag in Choco Brown was one of the first bags I personally researched. I love the coffee color and the neat, structured look.
The bag can be enlarged by unlocking the hook in the middle to create a wider silhouette. It also comes with an adjustable shoulder strap, which is always a plus even if you don’t use it, but like the option to do so. I would have liked the strap to be a bit thicker considering the size of the bag.
Although Tracey bags are designed to have multiple compartments to organize your items, I’m not really the biggest fan of dividers in bags, as I organize all my stuff in pouches anyway. So I liked that this tote consists of a large space plus a simple zippered slot and pocket instead of many compartments.
This tote even fits a 13-inch laptop, so it can double as a day or night bag. Laptops, pencil case, water bottle, chargers, hard drives, etc. can easily be stored in this bag.
Priced at RM179, I think this is a very versatile bag suitable for work and play.
For young and relaxed days
The London backpack is minimalist and elegant with a slightly trapezoidal shape. As much as I said I didn’t like the compartments, I think the two main compartments of this bag are what give it its charm.
This bag could easily fit my A5 notebook. I may even consider packing a novel, sunglasses, and some snacks for a casual picnic outside. Due to the narrow opening, it looks like the bag can’t hold much, but the wider bottom leaves room for larger items. Still, it’s definitely not roomy enough for work or school.
Overall, it’s a versatile backpack. It can be fresh and feminine or more rugged and relaxed depending on how you wear it. Classic Black and Choco Brown are both gorgeous options for this bag, but I wish there were more colors, like maybe a deep red?
This backpack is priced at RM 179.
Get moving for your dough
One of the best parts of Tracey bags for me is their price. If you have ever bought bags, you will know that the price of a quality bag is not cheap.
So after trying the bags myself for a while, I’d say with each one priced under RM200, the Tracey bags are a bargain.
I can’t be completely sure about the durability of the bags, as it would take over a year to really answer. From what I can tell in my brief tests, the material seems quite reliable, and I like the fact that these bags are made in Malaysia and cruelty-free.
Not to be dramatic, but I honestly think the next bag I’m going to buy could very well be a Tracey bag. Seriously.
But, of course, I’ll wait for the new designs to launch on VP Label, as I’m always on the hunt for a bargain.
Buy Tracey’s bags on VP Label at an exclusive price now:
- Learn more about Tracey here.
- Read more reviews we wrote here.