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. (more…)

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. From now through June 12, the Christie’s Luxury Handbags and Accessories Auction gives handbag lovers rare access to hard-to-find bags from brands like Hermes, Chanel and Celine, including limited edition, special order and exotic pieces. (more…)

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. A big part of that effort will be a limited edition run of special pieces designed by some of the biggest names in fashion. (more…)

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. Proenza Schouler x Le Bon Marché includes lots of bags and small leather goods, as well as a few shirts and some simple accessories, all of which will appeal directly to Proenza’s core fanbase.

By my estimation, the most exciting pieces are the brightly printed totes and pouch clutches, covered with images of various kinds of wildlife. The three new PS1 colors, matched with gleaming silver hardware, are also pretty exciting – the shades have a quality to them that sets them apart from the other PS1s currently on offer, though I can’t put my finger on why, exactly, that is. The collection is only available in stores at Le Bon Marché and Proenza Schouler’s two Manhattan boutiques, but you can shop online at

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? Lately, the answer is to turn a retail product into a one-of-a-kind handbag with the addition of the owner’s name or initials. (more…)

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. Now, the day has come: an Edie Parker clutch bearing your name (or any other word) is one Neiman Marcus order away until November 7.

Personalization is a huge handbag trend, from complimentary heatstamping on many Louis Vuitton handbags to hand-painted monogramming on Goyard’s signature bags and luggage. It’s far less common on evening bags, and even less common on flat-acrylic box clutches like those for which the Edie Parker brand has become quickly famous. Leather can be embossed, stamped or painted, but for a clutch like this one to be personalized, it has to be manufactured that way.

Edie Parker and Neiman Marcus will now allow you to order a custom-made clutch featuring the word of your choosing, and most people choose their first names, although initials and titles are also accounted for in the available configurations. If you want one of the bags, you have to act quickly, though – the pre-order only lasts through November 7 and the bag will ship to your directly from Edie Parker. Shop the full selection of colors via Neiman Marcus, all of which will set you back $1,795.

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. That includes one very special, limited edition bag: the Louis Vuitton San Francisco Neverfull Tote Bag.

The store also has limited-run San Francisco beach towels and sandals, but the bag, the latest in the Articles de Voyage Neverfull series, is naturally where our curiosity lies. If you’re a San Francisco native or resident with a lot of pride in your city and a love for Louis Vuitton, this piece is a total must-have. If Vuitton ever made one for Atlanta, I’d snatch it up in a second, so I can imagine that the SF version will be gone before you know it. The bag, which retails for $1,430, is only available at the SF pop-up until the America’s Cup concludes on September 21, so head down to Pier 27/29 while you still can.

Below, check out some photos of the temporary shop, which focuses on LV’s sportier products, plus some of the chic non-handbag items that will fill it.

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. French law regulates the term in such a way that accessories don’t technically qualify (there are no fittings, after all), but the Roger Vivier Rendez-Vous Handbag Collection, available until 11 p.m. tonight at Moda Operandi, comes about as close as possible.

The collection, which includes both heavily detailed shoulder bags and an assortment of red carpet-worthy evening options, is made by hand with the same techniques that goes into creating a resplendent couture gown. One look at the sequined bags in particular tells you all you need to know – a great deal of care went into crafting these bags, and they’re every bit as luxurious as you’d expect from a French designer who’s willing to invoke the language of couture. If you see something you like (and how couldn’t you?), act quickly – the sale ends tonight and the bags are limited edition. Shop the full selection via Moda Operandi or check them out below.

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. Much to our delight, gala sponsor Moda Operandi is just as excited as we are, and the site has chosen to express its enthusiasm by putting together an incredible selection of punk-inspired pieces from the world’s best designers, many of which are one-off or limited edition. Naturally, our attentions turned directly to the handbags and accessories, and they’re fantastic. (more…)

The eternal problem of luxury handbags is that the best pieces from the best brands always disappear in a heartbeat. When those pieces are also limited edition, the problem gets even worse. Hesitate for a second, and your perfect bag might be lost forever – but it doesn’t have to be.

That’s where our friends at Portero come in. As we mentioned last week, Portero is an industry-leading source for rare, pre-owned and vintage designer handbags and accessories, and I was blown away at some of the hard-to-find things that they have available on their website, in addition to scads of ultra-covetable regular production bags like Hermes Birkins and Chanel Classic Flaps. The variety continues to impress, and “easily impressed” is not a way that most people would describe me.

We thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the rarest, hardest-to-find pieces that Portero has in its enviably inventory, and some of the things we found surprised even us. From vintage, limited edition Louis Vuitton to a number of Hermes and Chanel collector’s items, check out our favorite finds below. If you’re ready to find a treasure of your own, head straight to Portero to begin your search.

Hermes Club Birkin
$22,500 via Portero

Louis Vuitton Limited Edition Alligator Mirage Griet Bag
$9,550 via Portero

Chanel Vintage Limited Edition Wood and Leather Handbag
$3,700 via Portero

Louis Vuitton Limited Edition 1995 LV Cup Shoulder Bag
$680 via Portero

Hermes Limited Edition Kelly Wicker Picnic Bag
$27,500 via Portero

Chanel Limited Edition Karl Lagerfeld Sketches Classic Flap
$2,895 via Portero

Chanel Vintage Gold Bar Clutch
$5,900 via Portero

Chanel Limited Edition Scarf-Woven Lambskin Classic Flap Bag
$3,998 via Portero

Hermes Kelly in Red Waffle Box Calf
$9,750 via Portero

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