I have a big spot for Prada bags in my heart. One of my first premiere designer bags was a Prada Nylon Messenger Bag that I carried for college, and while I know that sounds ridiculous, it was nothing short of amazing.
Over the past six months, we’ve discussed the problems that plague Prada’s handbag business (and, therefore, its business at large) on a number of occasions. Chiefly among them are the brand’s reliance on saffiano leather, which is not really a luxury material, and the lack of diversity in its bag mix.
Last week, I spoke with Chavie Lieber of Racked about Prada’s current profit woes, much of which are tied to the recent underperformance of the leather goods that make up roughly 40% of Prada’s business. Lieber also talked to PB contributor Pattie Rechtman, luxury shoppers and industry analysts, and we all more or less agreed: Prada needs to do something about its handbag offerings.
Here’s actress/rock star progeny Lily Collins, arriving at LAX with one of her minders, carrying a muted grey Prada Saffiano Cuir Tote that matches her highly inconspicuous giant grey wool hat and grey suede coat. This particular model is new for Fall 2014, and it appears it’s currently only available for purchase from Prada’s website.
Prada’s handbags tend to be overwhelmingly staid; the brand has positioned itself, season after season, as the source for work-appropriate power bags for women with corner offices (or corner office aspirations), and although Miuccia allows for an artistic departure here and there, whimsy is usually not her stock in trade.
Here’s Kerry Washington, attending a private party in LA with a Prada Face Mural Shoulder Bag, which was one of the most eye-catching pieces from the brand’s Spring 2014 collection. The line has long since sold out, but it was so popular that Prada is doing some more girl clutches and things for the upcoming season, like this close-up version: the Napa Zip Girl Clutch, which is currently available at Bergdorf Goodman for $1,195.
Our by-the-minute Taylor Swift bag coverage continues this week (of course). If you haven’t been following along, Taylor is now shamelessly baiting New York paps on a daily basis with great bags, shoes and clothes. (OR, she’s just trying to live her life as stylishly as possible, and an army of paps just happen to be following along.) If you know anything about pap life, you probably know that shots of celebs with nice bags or otherwise recognizable clothing sell well, for reasons you can probably guess.