Intellectually, we all know that the world of Hermes (and, by extension, the world of Hermes customers) is not like ours. It’s easy to forget that, though, until something like the Hermes Plein Cuir Alligator Desk Set comes along, providing countless hours of workday luxury for a mere $91,600.
Several years ago, The Row put backpacks back on our handbag radar with the buzzworthy $34,000 Alligator Backpack, and ever since, backpacks have been popping up all over the fashion industry. I didn’t go crazy for The Row’s backpack, or any backpack after that – as bags, they simply remind me of my awkward middle school wardrobe.
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.
When Matthew Rubinger launched the luxury accessories category at Heritage Auctions in 2010, the New York City resident was only just out of Vanderbilt University. During his tenure at Heritage as Director for Luxury Accessories, the pre-owned luxury handbag business has exploded both at live auctions and online, landing Rubinger on Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list for 2014, as well as on CNN and The Wall Street Journal.
It seems like everyone wants a little piece of the exotic bag market these days. Not only has Louis Vuitton recently introduced a full line of crocodile and alligator bags in the past few days, but a Twitter tipster pointed us in the direction of the Tory Burch Robinson Alligator Tote, which we believe to be the most expensive bag Burch has ever produced by a long shot.
We’ve known for a while that exotic handbags would figure prominently in Louis Vuitton’s bid to capture more top-tier accessories customers, and now we’re getting an idea of just how prominent they’ll be. Vuitton has added five new alligator and crocodile bags to its website, including the $31,000 Louis Vuitton Deesse MM Crocodile Tote, the most expensive of the group.
On Friday, something interesting was brought to our attention on Twitter – Hermes now has one very particular exotic bag for sale on its website. In our memory, as well as our tipster’s, this is the first time exotic bags have been so widely accessible from the notoriously insular brand, and the Hermes Double Sens Croco Tote it may be an indicator of the inevitable future of luxury shopping.
If you’ve been aware of designer handbags for more than, say, the past day or two, you’ve seen your fair share of black and white bags. The sharp, modern color combination fits perfectly with the backlash against uber-trendy neons, prints and embellishments, which at times all appeared together on the same bag.
If I had to pick a handbag brand to categorize as perpetually underrated, it would be VBH. The brand turns out handbags in both regular leather and exotics that are consistently subtle, elegant and totally luxurious, and unlike similarly priced bags from more famous brands, you’re not going to buy one of these and then immediately realize that four people in your social circle already have it.