Image via Gawker

We know that Louis Vuitton is willing to sue anyone and everyone in order to make sure that its logo or name isn’t used in any ways of which it doesn’t approve; after all, the company sued Hyundai last year over the brief appearance of a monogrammed basketball in one of its commercials. The ball didn’t even have an “LV” on it, but that didn’t stop Vuitton from filing a trademark infringement complaint against the Korean carmaker. When it comes to trademark issues, LVMH is perhaps more steadfast and humorless than any other company on the planet.

The latest target in the crosshairs of the LVMH legal department is Warner Brothers, the production company behind The Hangover 2. The movie apparently contains some faux luggage that one of the characters refers to as real, which has Vuitton brass none too pleased. (more…)

Image via Heritage Auctions

If you were to ask any handbag lover what the most expensive handbag to ever sell at auction was, I’m pretty sure that we’d all guess the same thing: an Hermes Crocodile Birkin with White Gold & Diamond Hardware. It just makes sense; not only are Hermes bags (and Birkins in particular) notorious for holding their value and doing well at resale, but a crocodile Birkin with diamond-encrusted hardware is one of the most elusive and expensive collector’s items in the world.

When a friend alerted me a few weeks ago that a Dallas auction house was set to put a group of rare Hermes bags on the auction block, I told her than the estimated $80,000 price for the “Hermes Exceptional Collection Shiny Rouge H Porosus Crocodile 30cm Birkin Bag with Solid 18K White Gold & Diamond Hardware” (as the auction house called it) you see above sounded a bit low; I guessed that it would go in the $100,000+ range. That being said, even I am a bit shocked at the price this bag actually sold for earlier this week… (more…)

We have some very exciting new to share on this Friday afternoon! Start at the beginning of next month, you’ll now be able to put your American Express away and use your Visa or MasterCard in Neiman Marcus retail store. If you, like me, have ever felt the slight burn of shame when it comes time to pay for a purchase and you realize that you don’t have your AmEx on you that day, this will surely be good news.

NeimanMarcus.com
has long accepted a variety of credit cards, as have Last Call outlet locations, but brick-and-mortar main line stores had resisted coming on board until now. To me, this feels like a long time coming. In a rough economy, why turn down potential sales? Remember: If you need some help being patient until you can shop in stores, NeimanMarcus.com is always open.

Our community PurseForum is teaming up with Rebecca Minkoff in a project the likes of which handbag lovers have never seen before. Starting tomorrow, Monday the 10th of October, PurseForum.com will launch a three-week collaboration that will not only have fans vote on design elements to create an exclusive Rebecca Minkoff bag, but also allow the fans to be an integral part of the design process. This means the finished product will be a new shape and style from the Rebecca Minkoff team that was designed by way of direct user commentary from PurseForum.com members.

The entire three-week process will be hosted on PurseForm.com, so make sure you are a registered member of tPF so you can partake in the voting and design of this bag, which will walk down the runway in February at New York Fashion Week! You can’t tell by this post, but I am seriously jumping out of my seat with excitement over such an amazing project!!

Read all about it on tPF HERE!

I cannot begin to imagine the frustration Joy Gryson and her company must feel over seeing a very similar brand name pop up and cause brand confusion. Many have thought Olivia & Joy is a new offshoot by Joy Gryson, but it is not. Do not be confused, there is absolutely no affiliation, and we wanted to help clear up any confusion that buyers might have. (more…)

Image via Bundle

Denying it is impossible: Even with most of the economy at a standstill, luxury goods continue to boom and the products that make up the marketplace continue to reach higher and higher price points. All of the husbands and boyfriends (not to mention jealous officemates and frienemies) out there who nearly keel over at the price tags on handbags should take a look through the back pages of any major US fashion magazine – accessories are expensive, but clothes are out of this world.

Considering that, it’s no surprise that a recent survey by Bundle and Citi found that Oscar de la Renta’s Madison Avenue flagship is the most expensive store in the country. When cocktail dresses start at more than a thousand dollars and sometimes stretch up into the five figures, it’s not hard to see where the boutique’s $3217 average ticket comes from. Naturally, I have a few theories about these results. (more…)

Do you ever get the sense that luxury monolith LVMH might be trolling Hermes, purely for CEO Bernard Arnault’s amusement? With yesterday’s report from British Vogue that LVMH’s ownership percentage in the family-run French leather goods company has increased once again, the possibility seems not altogether unlikely.

The increase – from 20.2% to 21.4% – may seem tiny on its face and to those who haven’t followed the story. In this case, though, context is important. The move comes in the wake of Hermes’ redoubled efforts to block LVMH from gaining additional shares after news that Arnault had quietly acquired a full fifth of Hermes stock without the family’s knowledge shocked the accessories world late last year. Will Arnault and LVMH stop before they own a controlling share in the seemingly boundlessly profitable brand? (more…)

Economic problems? Debt ceilings? Political tensions? What are those things? The luxury industry has surely never heard of them, if double-digit sales increases from LVMH, Hermes and Burberry, just to name a few, are any indication. The rich only get richer, naturally, and when they do, they buy clothes. Lots of clothes. And handbags. Louis Vuitton is even reporting waiting lists, a thing that most pundits seemed to think would never be seen again after the economic crash of 2008.

And yet, I put my name on a waiting list myself at the beginning of the year in order to wait for the apparent privilege of buying a bag that cost nearly $2,000. Having been in college during the rococo days of the mid-2000s, the opportunity to queue up to buy an It Bag like the original Chloe Paddingtons and Fendi Spy bags passed me by while I stared in envy at the people who were buying their way into the “ungettable get.” Are we headed back there again? (more…)

No matter your brand of choice or accessories budget, I think all bag lovers can agree: Prices are too freakin’ high. Even if you’re willing to grudgingly pay them in exchange for quality, it still stings a little bit every time, doesn’t it? Get ready for it to sting a little bit more in the near future – it’s costing brands more to source leather from Italian tanneries than ever, according to Women’s Wear Daily.

The rise in prices is impacting contemporary brands with sensitive price structures more than anyone, and if you took any economics courses in college, you know that there are only a few ways to deal with this kind of problem. Brands can cut amount or quality of leather used, increase prices or source materials from alternate locations (in this case, mostly South America.) WWD spoke to four brands who have used these tactics with varying degrees of success. Which option do you prefer for the companies that you patronize? (more…)

       
Photo credit: Jeffrey Westbrook for Harper’s Bazaar

I opened up my inbox this morning to find an oddly alluring email about Smurfette wearing designer accessories in new issue of Harper’s Bazaar. First off, I had no idea The Smurfs movie was coming out and second off, I find it hilarious to see Smurfette posing with high end designer goods. However, somehow this small blue fictional character pulls off posing and wearing accessories in a rather fashionably comical manner.

From Marc Jacobs to Louis Vuitton to Dolce & Gabbana, Smurfette hits the pages of Harper’s Bazaar in accessories any non-fictional female would pine for. (more…)

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