‘I’m at risk of being photographed’: Do Gentlewoman bag owners deserve the slander they get online?

Some people want it to not-so-gently disappear.

Fasiha Nazren |
January 13, 2023, 4:16 pm

You’ve probably seen a bunch of people carrying bags with the word “GENTLEWOMAN” on them.

If you haven’t, here are a few visual representations:

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by @gentlewomanbaginsg

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by @gentlewomanbaginsg

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by @gentlewomanbaginsg

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by @gentlewomanbaginsg

Yup, it is so prominent in Singapore that there is actually an up-and-rising Instagram account dedicated to hating poking fun at people carrying the bag.

Gentle who?

Gentlewoman is a popular Thai fashion brand established in 2018 with more than 10 outlets in Thailand.

It is especially known for (surprise, surprise) its line of minimalist canvas tote bags that come in various sizes.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by GENTLEWOMAN (@gentlewomanstore)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by GENTLEWOMAN (@gentlewomanstore)

These bags range between US$12 and US$48 (S$15.97 and S$63.89) on their online store. Yowza.

But we understand that it is just sliiiiightly cheaper in stores because of conversion rates, according to our Gentlewoman-loving friends.

Since it only has physical stores in Thailand, one of its appeals is its subjectively unique style and, in some sense, unattainability, particularly during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

They provide international shipping as well, but it costs at least US$20 (S$26.58) for orders under US$64 (S$85.04).

Not as precious

Alas, the brand gained accelerated prominence within the region, especially when Thailand eased up on travel restrictions in 2022.

If you can’t tell yet, its popularity has also reached the shores of sunny Singapore.

It has become so common that some have been suggested to resell their bags before it further depreciates in value.

“I also blame group buy!!!”

… a Gentlewoman fan (who has allegedly been one since “before it peaked”) told me with much conviction.

No, really, you have to read it to believe it:

For legal purposes, she’s kidding about the blaming part. Or not, I’m not sure.

These group buys happen on various platforms including Telegram channels, Instagram pages and online marketplace Carousell.

And people who own these bags are fast becoming walking memes because of how mainstream it has become.

To give you an idea of just how mainstream it is, Gentlewoman is the young Singaporean women’s answer to:

– The YP’s Acme De La Vie T-shirts

– The office lady’s Love, Bonito wardrobe

– The sneakerhead’s Nike Panda Dunks

– The Singaporean man’s Uniqlo Airism oversized T-shirt

– The yoga enthusiast’s lululemon leggings

What’s so good about it?

Now, as someone who doesn’t own a Gentlewoman bag (I only exclusively use tote bags that I get for free), I needed to understand why it is soOooOo well-loved.

So these are the reasons given by several people who bothered to feed my curiosity:

“The bag is sturdy.”

“It’s versatile, easy to match.”

“Looks nice and not too expensive for a ‘trendy’ bag.”

Very fair reasons to like a brand.

Funnily enough, some of them are not going to parade their Gentlewoman bags for the time being in fear of being featured on @gentlewomanbaginsg.

Oh no.

Another Gentlewoman bag owner raised a fair point:

“I’m not offended because I don’t care about keyboard warriors but I guess some people may take it more personally. Bags and clothing are one’s personal choice so who is the OP to judge? Besides, who’s to say OP is not a Uniqlo T-shirt SG guy?”

Touché.

Does it deserve this widespread disdain?

Frankly, I’ll let you stew on that yourself.

But if people don’t like it because it has quickly infested the streets of Singapore, it’s interesting how we haven’t seen much slander on a certain brand of dumpling bags… yet. 🤔

Top image from @gentlewomanbaginsg and Gentlewoman’s website

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