francesca-eastwood_birkin

As some of you have probably read, there’s a set of photos going around the Internet that purport to show Clint Eastwood’s 19-year-old daughter Francesca Eastwood chewing on, sawing in half and then setting ablaze a “$100,000 Hermes Crocodile Birkin” (scare quotes intentional, you’ll see why in a second), all in the name of art.

Nordstrom

According to a recent study by the Luxury Institute, Seattle-based department store Nordstrom is the leading retailer among wealthy American shoppers. The industry research firm surveyed shoppers with household income of $150,000 per year or more for the 2012 Luxury Consumer Experience Index, Women’s Wear Daily reports, and Nordstrom came out on top in a survey that included questions about satisfaction with store personnel, in-store experience and customer satisfaction.

Not long ago, a friend who works for a major fashion brand asked me, out of the blue, which handbags designers I thought sold the best at department stores. For some reason, it was a question I had never quite thought about in those terms before; so many of the most sought-after accessories labels don’t retail through third parties that it’s hard to gauge where the rest of the pack ranks without solid facts and figures in front of me.

We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but this morning, that’s exactly what we have to be. This is the kind of news you want to know as soon as possible, though, so that you have enough time to adjust, make your plans and complete any purchases that you were contemplating.

Anyone who’s opened a high-end fashion magazine in the recent past knows, those types of publications are focused on aesthetics to the near-complete exclusion of practical concerns. Style.com may be known as a website first and a magazine second (check out the print edition, though, it’s pretty fun), but it still follows that same fashion mag edict – form first, function second, if at all.

Yesterday I had the pleasure to tour the newly renovated Salvatore Ferragamo flagship store on Fifth Avenue prior to its official unveiling earlier today. Crafty workers were still busy putting finishing touches on the new decor to have it perfectly presentable for the next morning, but all chaotic last minute touches aside, it was easy to see that the redesign was worthy of a true Fifth Ave flagship.

There is always a heavy dose of absurdity in the world of designer luxury goods. We are talking about materialistic accessories, and what $1,000 is to one person, $1,000,000 is to the next. If you are one of the few people in this world who finds $11,000,000 to be a suitable price tag for the perfect laptop sleeve, then I have quite the treat for you.

Sure, we’ve all joked about snatching a gorgeous, outrageously expensive handbag and running for the hills, but who among us would actually steal something that wasn’t ours? Whether it’s your sense of morality or merely your pragmatic fear of being caught and imprisoned that keeps you from swiping handbags doesn’t really matter; the point is, handbags that cost as much as a car just don’t go missing that often, particularly from stores that employ large, suit-wearing guards who will tackle you into traffic in the middle of the Upper East Side.

The Council of Fashion Designers of America is a great organization – not only does it nurture young American design talent through grants and other programs, but it unites the American fashion industry behind the cause of fabulousness. Every year, the CFDA comes together to honor the creme de la creme américain, and it reserves one CFDA Award in particular for excellence in accessories.

An ad from one of Target’s previous designer collaborations

The fashion industry is always finding new ways to surprise, delight and confuse me (sometimes all at the same time, which might be the case today), but yesterday’s news from Women’s Wear Daily that Target, the suburban bastion of cheap leggings and toilet paper that we all know and love, would soon be moving into the high-end boutique business caught me particularly off guard.