Sometimes, the hardware makes all the difference. Bags themselves are constrained in shape and size by functional concerns, but creating the hardware that holds them together (and that often makes them distinct) allows designers a little bit more aesthetic freedom.
If you’ve been aware of designer handbags for more than, say, the past day or two, you’ve seen your fair share of black and white bags. The sharp, modern color combination fits perfectly with the backlash against uber-trendy neons, prints and embellishments, which at times all appeared together on the same bag.
To be perfectly honest, I don’t pay all that much attention to Roberto Cavalli. In my head, I associate the Italian machismo-machine more with yacht parties and tiger-print silk caftans than with clothes and accessories that are relevant to my own (urban, slightly tomboyish) personal style, and I’m probably pretty far from his target customer.
Everyone knows the name Ralph Lauren, but few handbag lovers associate the brand with great bags. While Ralph Lauren has designed some beauties like the Ricky, the majority of their handbags slide far below the radar and are not acknowledged by the accessories community at large.