The central paradox of luxury handbags has always been that brands need to sell as many as humanly possible while still convincing every customer that he or she is getting something exclusive and sought-after. Until now, a cheap-and-easy way to do that was to eschew online sales in favor of forcing customers into brick-and-mortar boutiques, but according to Businessweek, the effectiveness of that strategy might have come to an end.
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The Hermès Birkin has been an iconic art object for fashion lovers for decades, but now uberartist Jeff Koons is intent on turning the sought-after bags into actual art. Koons has sourced bags from the likes of Sofia Coppola and Diane von Furstenberg and incorporated them into sculpture to benefit Project Perpetual, an arm of the United Nations Foundations that helps at-risk youth the world over with the help of powerful artists.
Word on the street is that there might finally be some good news in the pipeline for Mulberry. The struggling British brand, which has been without a creative director since fan-favorite Emma Hill left over conflicts with former CEO Bruno Guillon, is reportedly eying Johnny Coca, head of accessories design at handbag wunderkind Céline.
Despite debuting a line of more accessible bags to win back old customers and signing on Cara Delevingne to do a high-profile capsule collection and campaign, Mulberry’s fortunes still haven’t turned around. Earlier this week, the company issued a profit warning to shareholders after a 17% decline in sales in the first half of 2014, according to Women’s Wear Daily.
If you’re regular reader of the blog, you’ve probably noticed that there’s a pretty hot secondary market for handbags right now, especially when it comes to brands with tightly controlled product supplies like Hermès, Chanel and Louis Vuitton, which don’t sell their wares through third-party retailers.
Smell is the sense most closely tied to memory, and it’s not uncommon to hear bag lovers gush about the lovely leather scent that emanates from a brand new luxury bag. Some brands, like Dior and Tom Ford, even work that scent into fine perfumes because of its close association with luxury and quality.
Now that the Spring 2015 fashion show season has drawn to a close, it’s time to look back, evaluate and separate the notable pieces from the fluff. It seems like more brands stock their shows with handbags every season, and Spring 2015’s best bags include both handbag stalwarts and notable-but-lesser-known accessories brands.
In case you were wondering how deep fashion people’s capacity for purchasing branded novelties is, yesterday morning’s quick sell-through of a thousand Karl Lagerfeld-designed and -branded Barbies at Net-a-Porter should tell you all you need to know, thanks to a little digging by Tyler McCall at Fashionista.