The designer accessories market is, in certain ways, like the stock market. At any given time, brands and bags are moving up and down the rungs of popularity and profitability, and the key to being stylish is figuring out what’s about to blow up what’s about to fall off a metaphorical cliff.
We’re only days away from bidding 2014 a permanent farewell, so now seems like an opportune moment to look back at the year in handbags. Below, we’ve enumerated the most important pieces on the handbag market in 2014; they might not be the most beautiful or the most popular, but they all left their marks in one significant way or another.
It’s been clear from the jump that affordable bags were never going to be The Row’s stock-in-trade. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have built an upstart powerhouse by using the finest materials available to reinvent basics ranging from black blazers to cable-knit sweaters, and the duo’s $34,000 alligator backpack launched a trend almost single-handedly.
Nothing eats away at your sanity than not being able to figure out who made a particular handbag, and when it’s a bag we just keep seeing, that makes it even harder. We spotted one such bag on the arms of several fashion celebs in paparazzi shots outside the Spring 2015 shows, and now we’ve finally figured out what it is and where it can be bought.
Fashion people are always looking for the next big thing, and that’s even more true when it comes to handbags because they’re such a visible part of a person’s daily ensemble. Popular bags and brands hit critical mass very quickly, and we’ve always got our eyes out for stores that are picking up buzz-worthy brands or established lines that can be a little bit hard to find.
If you’re an American handbag aficionado with either a desire to add to your collection or a need to clean out your closet (or both), we’ve got some great news to share. Legendary auction house Christie’s has expanded its Handbags & Accessories Division to North America, with a headquarters in the company’s Rockefeller Center offices in New York City.
By now, you know the drill: Mansur Gavriel bags are cult favorites, they’re permanently sold out and it’s virtually impossible to get your hands on one without a months-in-advance pre-order. The good news, however, is that an opportunity for one such pre-order just arose at Moda Operandi, and it includes canvas and soft leather bags that are brand new for Spring 2015.
Hermès is a brand with much of its appeal based on its heritage. No one expects it to innovate; instead, dedicated customers want Hermès to keep doing the things its always done in exactly the ways that the brand has always done them.
At times, it feels like the handbag and jewelry markets are slowly converging into one. Customers who like one type of high-dollar designer accessory are likely to be interested in others, and costume jewelry designers like Dannijo, Mawi and Shourouk have taken that opportunity to expand their reach into the handbag market with lines of metal-and-rhinestone-accented clutches and bags that combine the best decorative aspects of their jewels, with generally well-received results.