Is the Cult Gaia Ark Bag Worth the Investment?

Should You Buy It or Not?
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Top: Stripe Ruffle Top | Pants: Pink Wool Pants | Earrings: White Tassel Earrings | Handbag: Cult Gaia Ark Bag | Heels: Nude Ankle Strap Sandals

Over the years, I’ve invested in a lot of iconic designer and modern handbags. Sure, we all know brand names like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Goyard, and Dior. However, some companies and styles seem to skyrocket to popular nowhere. Case in point, the Cult Gaia Ark Bag.

During one summer, the ‘it’ bag catapulted a seemingly small Los Angeles label onto the global stage. Oh, and it happened with just one bag. Overall, their signature wooden Ark bag became the must-have accessory of summer 2016.

Since then, Cult Gaia has expanded into new fashion and accessory categories. Now, the brand sells ready-to-wear, swimwear, shoes, and beyond. Today, I’m sharing my feedback on if the bag is worth the investment, and how I’ve incorporated their bags into various outfits.

Cult Gaia Ark Bag

How Was Cult Gaia Founded?

Cult Gaia was founded by Jasmin Hekmat, who launched the brand in 2012. The Ark Bag was official unveiled in 2013, and it took some time to gain steam. From research, she started the brand with about a $7,000 investment. In general, Larian named the business Cult Gaia since Gaia is the goddess of Mother Earth and the daughter of chaos.

The Cult Gaia Ark Bag

I remember the exact day that I stumbled upon the company. My jaw dropped to the floor. Growing up, my Aunts owned similar styles to their first bamboo style. In fact, Bob’s mom had gifted me a similar vintage bamboo bag years before the company ever launched.

To be clear, the original bamboo Ark bag is nothing new. Starting in the later part of 1930’s, Japanese fishing boat workers would carry these wooden bags. Local Japanese creatives used sturdy bamboo stems to create lightweight bags to carry lunch. As a Japanese-American, it’s no surprise I saw these styles growing up as my Aunts had them in the back of their closets.

At the same time, Cult Gaia modernized it with new materials, colors, and shapes. Plus, the architectural silhouette is so unique and interest. Soon, celebrities like Jessica Alba, Rosie Huntington-Whitely, and Beyoncé were carrying the bag. 

Now, they’ve released a variety of acrylic options. Keep in mind, you can still purchase the original bamboo in multiple sizes. Colors range from black Ark bags to tortoise mini handbags. In fact, they seem to have every color under the sun.

J. Crew Stripe Edie Ruffle Top

Cult Gaia Company Expansion

Thankfully, the brand has kept the prices of the Bamboo Arc style relatively low. Furthermore, they continue to release modern, unique bags and accessories.

As discussed above, Cult Gaia has slowly expanded their offerings (and price points). Frankly, their women’s ready-to-wear is WAY too expensive. Especially when you think back to the company’s rise to popularity. But I digress.

Cult Gaia Mini Ark Bag

Cult Gaia Mini Arc Bag

After launching the first style, the brand expanded to include the small Arc bag. Instead of option for the bamboo, I chose to get the multi-color and pink options. Interestingly enough, bags photograph much larger in pictures than they do in-person. Truly! Therefore, I laugh when I look back at some of these photos of my original bag. It looks BIG in these photos!

The Cult Gaia Mini Arc Bag is a great solution for those consumers who prefer smaller bags. Plus, the style is great for special occasions like weddings and other events.

J. Crew Fall 2016
Cult Gaia Ark Bag
Stripe Ruffle Top
Cult Gaia Bag
Cult Gaia Bamboo Ark Bag
J. Crew Rhodes Pink Pant

Are Cult Gaia Bags Still Popular?

Frankly, I plan to sell the vast majority of my Cult Gaia bags in the next year or so. Sure, the style and silhouettes are very cool. However, I feel like the brand has focused their energies on being trendy, not timeless.

Overall, the Cult Gaia Ark Bag will always be a timeless style. However, the vast majority of their other bags feel they’re too modern. Honestly, it sometimes seems like they’re trying too hard. Overall, I don’t believe most of their collection styles will stand the test of time.

Instagram Hiding Likes

Plus, a specific bag’s popularity is directly correlated to time and price. Will Cult Gaia’s Arc Bag have the longevity of a Chanel boy bag or Dior Lady Bag? I doubt it. Will the bag increase in value over time? Maybe a little bit.

In Closing

Therefore, if you plan to invest in this bag, do so if you just like the shape. Do not buy it as an investment. Oh, and if you are looking for great investment bags? Stay tuned for my next blog post.

This post may contain affiliate links which means I will get a commission if you make a purchase at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support of Style Charade!

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View All 6 Comments

  1. C
    Carrie Colbert wrote:

    You beat me to it – I have this exact look ready to shoot! 😉

    Looking great. Xo


    Published 8.28.16 · Leave a Reply
    • J
      Jenn Lake wrote:

      Oh my gosh! Colorful minds think alike! Hope you are having a wonderful weekend, friend!

      Published 8.28.16 · Leave a Reply
  2. P

    Such cute pink pants! Just love them!

    xo, Jennifer

    Published 8.28.16 · Leave a Reply
  3. N

    Question for you Jenn, can you wear the Gaia’s Ark Bag in the Fall? Or would this be more of a summer bag?

    Published 8.29.16 · Leave a Reply
    • J
      Jenn Lake wrote:

      At first, I thought of it as a summer bag, but I think the bamboo details would work really well with an oversized sweater or trench! What do you think? Happy Monday!

      Published 8.29.16 · Leave a Reply


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