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?
Limited Edition Bags
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I’ve shared my love for Spanish brand Loewe before, and this love continues to grow. It’s frustrating not to be able to go see these bags in person like I can with many other designers, but in a way, that just helps my love grow – absence makes the heart grow fonder, after all. The Loewe Amazona is the most recognized design from the brand, and this ladylike satchel packs a major style punch.
October isn’t only the first full month of fall and the month of Halloween; in the US, it’s also Breast Cancer Awareness Month, were cancer charities and brands team up to celebrate both breast cancer survivors and those who have lost their battles with the deadly disease. Not only that, but collaborations between charities and designers raise important resources and awareness for our ongoing fight to rid the world of breast cancer once and for all.
For a department store like no other in the world, any ol’ anniversary celebration just doesn’t cut it. Where most companies might be tempted to celebrate 75 or 100 or 120 years in business, Bergdorf Goodman has saved up all its celebratory energy for a singular date befitting a singular store, and this year, its feting its 111th anniversary with a whole host of special goodies, all the way from special shopping bags to custom iPhone cases to limited edition bags, shoes and clothes from some of the world’s most sought-after designers.
In case you hadn’t heard, Grace Coddington, the unsung hero of Vogue herself, is also the world’s most elegant cat lady. Step aside, Choupette Lagerfeld – Pumpkin Coddington is fashion’s new favorite cat, and he’s being feted by a capsule accessories collection from Balenciaga, in collaboration with his fabulous owner. For a pet, it hardly gets more fashionable or luxurious.