Yesterday and early this morning we brought you some of the world’s most extravagant handbags. Some are drop dead gorgeous while others make you wonder why you would spend one cent on them. The information came from an amazing article written in Forbes magazine and online by Hitha Prabhakar. I had the pleasure of speaking with Hitha and sharing some of my thoughts for the article. Thanks to Hitha and Forbes! Read the full article after seeing the quoted part below!

World’s Most Extravagant Handbags
Hitha Prabhakar

Not to be outdone, Louis Vuitton had fashionistas scrambling recently for the $42,000 Tribute Patchwork handbag introduced on the runway last fall. Dubbed “the most expensive handbag ever” by industry experts and media outlets, the four available this year in U.S. stores sold out, but 20 can be found in Louis Vuitton boutiques throughout Europe and Asia.

“If something is hard to find or impossible to get, it makes it more valuable,”
says Meaghan Mahoney, editor of purseblog.com, an online community devoted to handbags. “In addition to paying the high price, you are also getting something that no one else will have.”
What hangs in our closets depends on the creativity of these 10 men and women. Click here to see who made our list of fashion industry tastemakers.

That’s true for the Tribute. “It may not be most attractive bag,” Mahoney continues. “It’s made of 15 different patterns of Vuitton handbags all sewn together. But only 24 of them exist.” Translation? It’s unsightly, but prized.

Despite media claims that the Tribute is the costliest handbag on the market, we found several much more expensive. Adding to the princely price tags? Diamonds and rare animal skin.

Read the full article after the jump!

Got $100,000 to burn? How about investing in a diamond-encrusted metallic alligator skin clutch favored by Hollywood’s A-listers? Better act fast, though. With six-figure totes such as these flying off shelves like crinkly hot cakes, it’s a wonder there are any reptiles left.

“People want to spend their money on frivolous things,” says Pamela Danziger, author of Why People Buy Things They Don’t Need and founder of luxury good research company Unity Marketing.

So much so that Bernard Arnault, chairman and chief executive of LVMH Moet-Hennessy Louis Vuitton, which includes brands such as Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs and Givenchy, said during the company’s earnings conference call in February that ready-to-wear fashion and leather goods accounted for much of the company’s 12% growth last year. Online shopping site eluxury.com saw a 13% increase in sales of handbags over $500 in 2006.
In Pictures: World’s Most Extravagant Handbags

Not to be outdone, Louis Vuitton had fashionistas scrambling recently for the $42,000 Tribute Patchwork handbag introduced on the runway last fall. Dubbed “the most expensive handbag ever” by industry experts and media outlets, the four available this year in U.S. stores sold out, but 20 can be found in Louis Vuitton boutiques throughout Europe and Asia.

“If something is hard to find or impossible to get, it makes it more valuable,” says Meaghan Mahoney, editor of purseblog.com, an online community devoted to handbags. “In addition to paying the high price, you are also getting something that no one else will have.”
What hangs in our closets depends on the creativity of these 10 men and women. Click here to see who made our list of fashion industry tastemakers.

That’s true for the Tribute. “It may not be most attractive bag,” Mahoney continues. “It’s made of 15 different patterns of Vuitton handbags all sewn together. But only 24 of them exist.” Translation? It’s unsightly, but prized.

Despite media claims that the Tribute is the costliest handbag on the market, we found several much more expensive. Adding to the princely price tags? Diamonds and rare animal skin.

Bejeweled Bags

Accessorizing handbags with precious stones is not uncommon. The Gadino, from Norwegian designer Hilde Palladino, boasts white gold and diamonds. Cost: $38,470.

The Lana Marks Cleopatra Clutch in alligator ($100,000) comes accessorized with 1,500 black and white round diamonds. Only one clutch is made for retail each year. Marks also makes a yearly limited edition Cleopatra for one actress to carry down the red carpet. Call it a lucky charm–two have won Academy Awards in recent years while possessing the bag: Charlize Theron in 2004, and this year Helen Mirren, who carried hers right up to the podium.

Rare Skins
When it comes to alligator, ostrich or snakeskin, handbag designers go to extreme lengths to find the rarest. Santiago Gonzalez, chief executive of Nancy Gonzalez handbags, has traveled from the Australian outback to Hong Kong to find skins that seldom come to market.
Crazy for cashmere? Click here for five ultra-luxe ways to stay warm in style–for big spenders and thrifty alike.

“What people don’t understand,” he says, “is that it takes a certain amount of area on the skin to make a bag.” That means that since uniformity of scale is prized, even if a reptile with rare skin is found, if too small, the search continues.

The Nancy Gonzalez Porousus Bag, made with uncommon ring lizard skin, costs $30,000. Designer Devi Kroell uses alligator skins whose scales are similar in size–a rarity–to create a $29,000 bag.

A Purse Is Worth A Thousand Words
Of course, an expensive handbag speaks volumes about the lucky person who carries one. The most vocal? The world’s most expensive.

Some argue no bag compares to the Hermes $148,000 Birkin in croc porosus lisse. What makes this bag so expensive–by far the costliest in the world–is not just the type of skin used, but the nine carats of diamonds set in white gold and placed on its clasp and lock. This bag is custom made.

Fair Fashion
Lovely leather aside, with animal rights activists up-in-arms over fashionistas in fur, might we not soon see the day when lizard lovers will have been intimidated against buying bags that once swam or slithered?

“As much you would think there would be a huge backlash, there won’t be,” says Danziger. “It goes back to the basic rule of supply and demand. The more rare and scarce something is, the more people want it. In the case of overly expensive handbags, people will still covet them because it’s an uncommon find.”

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  • Mrs. Stelle Ade – Directress.

    From : Mrs. Stelle Ade – Directress.
    Golden Boutique & Trading Company Cote d’ivoire.
    Abidjan. Tel : +22502063345 Fax : +22521362995

    Dear Sir / Ma,

    Subject : Contract Supply for HandBags.

    We are Golden Boutique & tradings located in the outskirt of the city of Abidjan Cote d’ivoire West Africa. We are contacting your company based on the information I received about your company as a handbag manufacturer.

    We wish to introduce you to a good and profitable business proposal that will benefit your company and mine. Though I have NOT had any business dealing with your company before but I think we can enter into a long lasting business relationship that will benefit us.

    My company is an acreditted agents to the Abidjan Cote d’ivoire District Government council on contract allocation to foreign companies.

    This is to inform you that an offer is open to large supply of HandBags by the Abidjan district local government council who would like to purchase these items for which I am one of their acreditted agent to source for the best manufacturers to make this supply.

    Please let me know if your company is capable to make the supply so that I can discuss terms and procedures for the actualization of this great transaction.

    SPECIFICATIONS FOR THE HANDBAGS:

    TERMS OF PAYMENT: 100% BANK T T IN ADVANCE BEFORE SHIPMENT

    TARGET PRICES: LET ME KNOW.

    QUOTATION: FOB

    DELIVERY: OCEAN FREIGHT

    DELIVERY TIME: 120 DAYS AFTER RECEIPT OF PAYMENT.

    QUANTITY:1M PCS.

    REGARDS,

    MRS STELLE ADE. meet me at st_ade1@yahoo.fr

  • norrismorris

    Undoubetdly a Russian or Asian lady will wind up with this. It is quite vulgar despite it’s pristine skins.

    This bag says “I have a lot of money”. I am probably a bad person to comment on this as I am not an admirer of ANY White bag. Sounds restrictive and obstinate, but I prefer any coloration of Biege rather than White which I feel is too blatant a color for a bag.Yet I have some colored Kelly’s.

    White shoes only at the beach in a strappy or thong like design. White shoes and bags for me are UGH! Straw color or any shade of Ecru or Beige is a far more chic way of coordinating a needed light colored bag, for my taste.

    The only time I ever liked White was when I wore 12 pearl button kid opera gloves, or very short white gloves with suits when this was THE thing to do.

    I love White pearls, blouses, bridal gowns, ivory jewelry, bone china and underwear, and Pratesi white sheets and comforters, & cashmere scarves and throws in white can be great. Also Ermine is beautiful on a skinny woman. Chanel camellia boutonniere is gorgeous.

    I don’t like White bags,shoes,watchbands, headbands either. Evening dresses in white….No.

    Last, the price of the bag does not bother me. It’s just really overstated and not beautiful. I’m a bit of a nut/purist so diamonds turn me off used this way. The metal in gold does not.

    If I could afford this bag I woudn’t buy it. Give me Hermes,Hermes,Hermes. And Chanel pure. Actually though I saw a lovely Japanese lady at Hermes in Paris buy a black croc clutch with diamond clasp, and saw the Kelly croc with diamond fixings made for Lyn Revson about 20 odd yrs ago. Hermes does a few of these. No likee. But almost anything Hermes does is better made than anywhere else. My Ostrich Kelly [and many others] are over 25 and 30 yrs old. Still great. More recent ones look brand new. Wear Hermes all the time.

    There is one White Exception now that I think of it. I bought a Dolce & Gab. satin evening bag in Paris 15 yrs ago. Could not resist. It has a blk enamel frame with self fabric strap, BUT the embroidery is of white sequins with rhinestones and diamante, with sprinkles of blk sequin tiny dots in bkgrnd. The white embroidery is dominant, but the bag is delicate, small, usefull, and elegant. I love it.

  • Naggy

    All of these crazy five and six figure prices make me dream of being able to sell my bags online for that much. (ipad)

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