Last week, while we were discussing celebrity handbag placements, one of our comments mentioned the Michael Kors Vivian Bag and her budding interest in it. Her timing couldn’t have been better; I’ve been looking at the brand new Vivian line for a couple of weeks now, and the more I do, the more I like it.
Perhaps because of its ubiquity (and also perhaps because of some of the customers stereotypically associated with the brand’s logo-bedecked diffusion line), Michael Kors tends to inspire opinions on either extreme of the Handbag Feelings Continuum: people love Kors and everything his sporty version of luxury stands for, or they loathe his brand with a tenacity that would frighten most pit bulls. In many ways, either reaction is a win on Kors’ part; it means that he has created a vision that is both specific enough and popular enough to bother people.
Kors has a unique challenge in selling bags that cost more than a thousand dollars, though. The lower-priced MICHAEL Michael Kors brand is so well-known for its bags and so aesthetically similar to Michael Kors Collection that it tends to make upper-tier consumers a little wary. After all, anyone paying that much for a bag wants to make sure that the brand itself can provide value.
The Vivian, along with the Miranda tote before it, can potentially do some important work to differentiate the lines and create accessories value. Kors is particularly adept at getting his bags onto celebrity arms, so that is surely ahead for the Vivian, but it’d be hard to effectively argue that this isn’t a pretty nice-looking handbag without any hype at all.
It owes a debt to a few other nice-looking handbags, to be sure. The overall look feels Prada-inspired, and the unique hardware reminds me of that of the Proenza Schouler PS11. It’s hard to find any new bag that doesn’t feel at least a little like some other, not-so-new bag, though, and the relatively sane price tag on this bag will make it a more likely wear-to-work option for a lot of women.
Are you into this bag? Let us know in the comments. If the answer is “yes,” pick one up for $1,295 via Neiman Marcus.