In the weeks since Proenza Schouler’s beautiful Fall 2014 handbag collection debuted on the runway, our enthusiasm for the bags hasn’t diminished – they were, and still are, the cream of the New York Fashion Week crop, by a long shot. For the next few days, you can shop Jack & Lazaro’s newfound adventures in crocodile, stingray and fur at Moda Operandi, but get ready to melt your credit card doing it.
Stalwart Parisian department store Le Bon Marché and American luxury upstarts Proenza Schouler might seem like counter-intuitive bedfellows, but based on the capsule collection that the pairing released yesterday, we’re not going to question the logic that brought the two companies together. Proenza Schouler x Le Bon Marché includes lots of bags and small leather goods, as well as a few shirts and some simple accessories, all of which will appeal directly to Proenza’s core fanbase.
After two blockbuster handbag hits with the PS1 and PS11 bags, Proenza Schouler’s accessories success has been in something of a holding pattern. That happens to many brands after an initial fit of success; learning how to turn those first instincts into stable, replicable growth requires a little bit of alchemy, at the very least. Based on the Proenza Schouler Fall 2014 handbags, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez may have hit their stride.
Waitlist-inspiring marquee bags are great, but there’s money to be made elsewhere in a brand’s accessory inventory as well. For many designers, a small, simple crossbody, priced in the high three figures, is a great way to attract customers who dig the brand’s look but who can’t commit to $2,000 or more. The Gucci Soho Disco Bag is a prime example; not only does it fit the desires of customers of more modest means, but it fills out the casual bag collections of the brand’s big spenders and loyalists.
Just when you thought that the Proenza Schouler PS1 had come in every version that you could possibly imagine, the minds behind Proenza Schouler have reinvented their staple satchel yet again. The Proenza Schouler PS1 Tiny Bag sits between the classic Medium version of the bag and the top handle-lacking PS1 Pouch, and it fits perfectly with the huge, ongoing trend of designers shrinking down their signature pieces for a crossbody-loving consumer market.
For anyone hoping that the backpack trend might be a true flash in the pan that would disappear at the end of the season, I have some news that might upset you: the Proenza Schouler PS Backpack is one of the brand’s most visible new designs for Fall 2013, and usually Proenza is toward the front end of trends like this instead of the back.
Regular PurseBlog readers know that Megs and I are full-on Proenza Schouler fangirls. We both own bags from the brand and carry them regularly, and Proenza is responsible for my all-time favorite bag in my personal collection. You can imagine, then, that we were delighted to get the opportunity to inspect some of the best Proenza Schouler Fall 2013 Bags up close and personal, and now we’d like to share that experience with you.
Yes, this is Sally Field carrying a very trendy brown suede Proenza Schouler PS1 Pouch while shopping in Santa Monica. Not Diane Kruger or Ashley Olsen, mind you, but American acting legend Sally friggin’ Field. I consider this solid proof that the PS1 is already a bonafide classic. (And yes, when I use adjectives like “classic” in this context, what I really mean is: it appeals to people beyond the teenage starlets who call the paparazzi on themselves.) You can snag Sally’s exact bag for $1,325 at farfetch.com.
I specifically remember spending summers in Ohio riding bikes around the neighborhood and going to the local market to buy candy. Every favorite candy of my childhood was there, and one that most of us remember is Candy Buttons. You might not remember the name, but you remember the hard candy that you chewed off a long piece of wax paper.
For those that love the Proenza Schouler handbag aesthetic, it seems the brand can do no wrong. The PS13 wasn’t as big of a hit as the coveted PS1 and PS11, yet the brand just released the Courier, and I’m sure it hopes the design will cause a buying frenzy like it’s predecessors.
But the question is, will you buy it?