Christies Handbag and Accessories Auction September 2014

There are few things I enjoy more than poring over the lots in a new auction. When you’re already well-acquainted with what’s available in stores, a well-curated group of rare bags and accessories, culled from the world’s best-stocked closets, is the best way to get the thrill of the new.

Louis Vuitton Icon and Iconoclasts Collection

The Louis Vuitton Icon and Iconoclasts Collection turned a lot of heads when it was announced, mostly because of the perennially bold-faced names from the worlds of fashion and design that had signed on to participate. Louis Vuitton tasked fashion designers Karl Lagerfeld, Christian Louboutin, Rei Kawakubo, as well as architect Frank Gehry, photographer Cindy Sherman and industrial designer Mark Newson with creating artful fashion pieces using the brand’s signature monogram print, and now we know what each of them did with the challenge.

Christie's Handbag Auction

Even for VIP clients, rare bags from in-demand brands can be difficult to locate. We have entire sections dedicated to simplifying those most rarified shopping pursuits on our PurseForum, but today, we’ve got an even easier way to streamline the process.

Born Free Celine Tote Bag

It takes a truly special cause to get brands as exclusive as Celine and Prada to abandon their normally sky-high pricing structures, but with Born Free, they’ve done just that. Born Free is a charity fashion initiative that combines the powers of Vogue and ShopBop to bring together 22 top designers in an effort to end fetal AIDS transmission worldwide by December 31, 2015.

Proenza Schouler x Le Bon Marche Handbags 20

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.

Bottega Veneta Initials Intrecciato Nappa Tote

Luxury accessories have an exclusivity problem. Because handbags are generally among a company’s most profitable and marketable product categories, most brands want (and need) to sell them hand over first in order to stay on the seasonal fashion treadmill. That’s a bit tricky, though, because one of the things luxury customers look for most in a new purchase is a sense of exclusivity; how do you sell lots of bags while still making every bag-buyer feel like she’s the only person in the world who has a particular piece?

Edie Parker Flavia Personalized Clutch

At first, they were simply a fashion-insider favorite. Then they were available on Moda Operandi, but only for a few days. After that, you had to contact the brand directly to order your Edie Parker Nameplate Clutch, a process which most customers shy away from in the era of depersonalized online shopping.

Louis Vuitton San Francisco Neverfull Bag

Louis Vuitton knows just how we like to commemorate an occasion: with a new bag. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Louis Vuitton Cup serving as a qualifier to the America’s Cup yacht race, the brand has opened a pop-up shop on the San Francisco Bay and stocked it with all of the Vuitton sports gear you could want.

Roger Vivier Paillettes In The Sky Clutch

If there’s a word in fashion that’s more overused and abused than “couture,” then I don’t know what it is. (Maybe “curate,” but that’s another rant entirely.) Instead of referring to designer clothing in general, which is how so many people use it, “couture” is a subset of luxury goods that are made by hand, on order, and offer the finest materials and craftsmanship available.

Hermes Kelly Bag 32cm with Haculla Graffiti

We mentioned last week that the theme for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 2013 Costume Institute Gala would be Punk: From Chaos to Couture and that we’re pretty excited about it; after all, the leather-clad, hardware-covered look translates particularly well to the bags and accessories that we hold so dear.