Bags and shoes occupy a unique spot in the fashion world because of their need for practicality. They’re where fashion literally meets function; in order to make a hit handbag, shoppers not only have to like what they see, but they have to like how they feel when they use the bag, and there are only so many structural variations the consumer market is willing to consider.
3.1 Phillip Lim
3.1 Phillip Lim bags are something of a universal language. The brand’s modern styling, sharp editing and sweet-spot price positioning between the contemporary and premiere designer markets mean that basically everyone I know in the fashion industry either already has one in her closet (I have two) or is plotting the eventual acquisition of her first.
Sometimes fashion speaks to its customers on a metaphorical level, but for 3.1 Phillip Lim Fall 2014, the handbags literally have something to say. The handheld, paper bag-like purses are debossed with fashion-fave phrases like “totes” and “amaze,” as well as clutches that boast of the “cash” therein.
Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what to feature for Man Bag Monday. Occasionally, I venture out to find an interesting bag and find nothing but tan leather weekenders and black messenger bags staring back at me, and what’s there left to say about any of those bags, unless they have a great (or astronomical) price point?
Designers like Fendi, The Row and Tom Ford all put great emphasis on fur during their Fall 2013 collections, both in ready-to-wear or accessories. For me, though, it was this 3.1 Phillip Lim Fur Front Leather Racer Bag that was not only a standout piece on the runway, but more importantly, redefined fur from the way I remember my great-grandmother’s mink fur coat.
One of my favorite things to do with men’s bags is to examine how they differ from women’s bags by the same designer. Very often, a brand will base new men’s and women’s bags on the same idea, and even more often, a successful women’s bag will be translated for the male market after it has already reached prominence.
We love a good high-low collab, and 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target is the best one to come along in eons. The Target-Phillip Lim lovefest officially commenced this week with a snazzy NYFW launch party. Here’s Jessica Alba, ready to party hard with a sharp-looking 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target Satchel – her sweater is from the line as well.
Generally speaking, high-low designer collaborations have seen better days. They were all the rage for a while – Lanvin x H&M, anyone? – but at some point, they jumped the shark. I’m not sure whether that moment was the Missoni x Target online ordering fiasco or the Neiman Marcus x Target x Every Designer In America three-way flop, but it happened, and ever since then, our expectations have been low, if not nonexistent.
In our minds, 3.1 Phillip Lim has been on an accessories roll lately. He won the CFDA’s 2013 Accessories Designer of the Year honor last month, sure, but it might be even more impressive that he’s managed to make me want to buy a camouflage handbag.