On Saturday, famed French champagne house Veuve Clicquot hosted the 7th annual Veueve Clicquot Polo Classic at Liberty State Park, overlooking the Manhattan skyline. The Classic has become synonymous with impeccable style, and Vlad and I were fortunate to attend the event and scope out the best bags and style of the attendees. (more…)

Two years ago, Bottega Veneta introduced a personalization service, aptly named Bottega Veneta Initials. Vlad and I were part of the launch of this event in Italy and were able to see how the artisans from the Bottega Veneta atelier carefully added the letters to BV’s signature Intrecciato bags. Now Bottega Veneta is inviting you to be part of this amazing opportunity as well.

The Bottega Veneta artisans will be at the brand’s New York City flagship store on Fifth Avenue later this week, offering customers a view of the personalization service, this time with a focus is on adding hand-stitched crocodile skin initials to select bags. The first rendition of this personalization process involved hand-painting initials, but the stitching takes the luxury of personalization to a new level, something no other brand is doing. The artisans will be on hand for three days, and you are invited to view the craftsmanship come to life in a creative way. The demonstration will take place on Friday and Saturday, April 25 and April 26, from 10:00am – 7:00pm and Sunday, April 27 from 12:00pm – 6:00pm, in the New York City flagship store at 699 Fifth Avenue.

Bottega Veneta Initials Invite

There could only be one. We assembled the bracket, you voted through four rounds, and finally, Chanel is the winner of 2014 PurseBlog March Madness, beating out Celine in the final round, plus all its previous competitors. With a bag lineup that ranges from true classics like the Classic Flap to the avant-garde beef bags of the Chanel Supermarche Spring 2014, Chanel’s audience is wide and its prestige and heritage are huge.

We’ve also noted recently that Chanel is a huge favorite among celebrities of almost every type, and with the Boy Bag modernizing the chain-strap shoulder bag for a new generation of customers, the brand has given itself a new lease on life that should carry it for the foreseeable future.

If you need to brush up on your Chanel news, we can certainly help you with that. If you’re all caught up, we want to hear your thoughts about this year’s winner in the comments!

This is it, the moment we’ve been waiting for. You guys have winnowed down our PurseBlog March Madness field to your two favorite bag designers, and now we’ve locked Chanel and Celine into a winner-take-all cage match (or maybe a West Side Story-style knife fight; the mental image is up to you), and only one winner can emerge. We’ll announce who prevails later this week, but before we can do that, you need to cast your votes for who you think should win.

Vote in the PursBlog March Madness Championship Now!

You voted (and voted some more), and now we’ve narrowed our PurseBlog March Madness field down to your four favorite designers – Hermes, Chanel, Celine and Louis Vuitton. Just like in the real Final Four, these two matchups of handbag heavyweights are sure to be particularly contentious, so every vote counts.

Vote For Your Favorite Designer in the Final Four Now!

You guys weighed in, we did the math and the field has been winnowed from 16 to just 8. Which designers will live on to the Final Four? That’s up for you to decide in Round 2 of PurseBlog March Madness. Just like you did early this week, choose which bag brand you prefer in each matchup and cast your votes – the winner of each will move one step closer to being our 2014 champion. Some of the matchups in the last round, like Louis Vuitton vs. Balenciaga and Gucci vs. Alexander Wang, were quite close, so every vote counts!

Vote in PurseBlog March Madness Round 2 Now!

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You might have heard a whisper here and there about some sort of basketball tournament that’s starting this week. Most members of the PurseBlog team went to football schools, so while this may not be our time of year in a sporting sense, we believe in substituting handbags for literally anything in which we are not naturally interested. With that in mind, we’re proud to announce PurseBlog March Madness!

We’ve chosen 16 of the biggest handbag brands in the world at a variety of price levels, and we’d like you to help us determine the best bag brand of 2014. You’ll have two days (work days – even handbag critics need a weekend) to vote on each round, and once we’ve tabulated the votes in each bracket matchup, we’ll move the winners on to the next round to face a new opponent and a new round of voting by you, our readers. We’ll do this all the way until a winner is crowned!

VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE DESIGNERS IN THE FIRST ROUND NOW!

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Six months ago, it occurred to us that there should be an official day for handbag lovers to celebrate their obsession. After all, if there’s National Grilled Cheese Day, why not a day for bags? We went about the process of officially registering the occasion and creating our own holiday, and we’re happy to announce that this Thursday, October 10 is the first annual National Handbag Day. We’ve got some fun things planned for the days leading up to the 10th, both here and on Twitter and Instagram, and we hope you’ll check back throughout the week to celebrate with us. Our festivities will include a very special giveaway with two of our favorite sites, The Zoe Report and POPSUGAR, among many other things.

If you’d like to take your declaration of handbag love to the next level and perhaps be featured on the blog, we’ve got an opportunity for you to do just that. Instagram a photo showing your handbag love with the hashtag #NationalHandbagDay, and your photo could be featured on the blog! Get creative – show us your favorite bag, your full collection, your rarest find, anything that celebrates your obsession!

Last Thursday on a rainy New York City evening, we hopped in a car and headed to the beyond gorgeous Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion for the Heritage Auctions Spring Luxury Preview event. The mansion is situated right on 5th Avenue and 79th Street, and it’s one of the most iconic locations in NYC (where parts of Cruel Intentions was filmed and where this year’s official Met Ball after party will be held). Our event with Heritage Auctions was to showcase the eclectic and stunning collection of designer jewelry, handbags, accessories and art that would go under the gavel for Heritage’s Spring Auction Event.

We perused the bottom floor, where an amazing mix of jewelry was showcased, and then moved to the second floor, which felt like home to us – naturally, because it housed the auction’s amazing handbag selection. Behind glass, exotic Hermes pieces and timeless Chanel bags sat for our viewing pleasure, while the room across the way featured live piano music played adjacent to a Chanel bicycle. (more…)

Editor’s note: This post got such an overwhelming response last week that we wanted to remind you guys that the auction is coming up soon!

We’ve been working closely with our friends at Heritage Auctions leading up to their much-anticipated Spring Luxury Auction. The entire PurseBlog team loves Heritage Auctions and we are very excited to be part of their amazing bi-annual major luxury auction.

Why am I using so many adjectives and superlatives, you ask? Because this event is going to be out-of-this-world good. From rare Hermes Birkin bags to a Chanel bicycle (yes, bicycle) to seriously chic travel gear, Heritage Luxury has rounded up the best of the best, the rarest of the rare, and brought them all together in one special place. This is a place I like to call Accessory Heaven, and it is where I want to spend all of my days and nights.

How do we get to this place? Delve right into the Heritage Spring Luxury Auction after the jump. (more…)

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