A quick look at the comments on any of our celebrity posts make at least one thing clear: you guys are pretty savvy to the not-so-transparent ways that brands try to market things to you via their famous friends. And while no celebrity gets everything for free (seriously, we see most of them shopping all the time), the art of the celebrity placement, as it’s called, is alive and well. What we want to know, though, is if the tactic affects your shopping habits.

I’ve been thinking about this topic ever since Fashionista ran a piece on the tactic’s evolving use a couple of weeks ago, but the fact that the Louis Vuitton Soft Lockit keeps popping up on the arms of A-List celebrities is what really started my own examination of how these tacit celebrity endorsements affect my perceptions. Since the bag first turned up on Karlie Kloss at the tail end of April, we’ve published three other posts on celebrities carrying the bag, plus an introduction to the bag itself. Yesterday, I opened up our photo agency’s archive to find Naomi Watts ready to join their ranks.

It’s impossible to say whether that success rate is because of an especially aggressive campaign to get the bag onto notable arms or just because Louis Vuitton is especially effective at flexing its considerably influential muscles among its clientele, but either way, the company generated a lot more publicity by giving out roughly $20,000 worth of bags than it would have by using the same amount of money for additional ad placements. (In the world of luxury advertising, 20 grand doesn’t buy you a whole lot.)

Although brand’s can’t track what kind of return on investment these placements have, reaction to the bag in our comments sections has been overwhelmingly positive, which is particularly notable when you consider how controversial Vuitton’s wares have become among bag lovers. That could be because the bag itself is beautiful (which it is), but if you’re like me, it might also be because seeing a bag in context on someone graceful and stylish is more powerful than just seeing it, period.

I’m pretty good at visualizing how bags will look in real life; after all, I’ve been at this for a few years, and I’m familiar with the leathers, hardware and finishing that most brands use. Still, every now and then, I’ll come across just the right person wearing just the right thing and carrying a bag that I thought I hated, and I can almost feel something click over inside my head, like a little kid who’s just found exactly the piece of a puzzle that she was looking for. And in that moment, it doesn’t matter whether or not the star chose the bag herself or was given it by a brand who hoped it might change my opinion. All that matters is that small epiphany.

That same moment has never happened for me when looking at an advertisement; my feelings are the same when looking at those as when I’m looking at a stock or runway photo. Something about seeing the bag out in the wild, though, on a real human who is going to the airport or the grocery store – sometimes that works, even if I know all about the machinations and PR maneuvers that went into setting it up. I’m not too proud to acknowledge it.

Now we want to hear from you – has seeing a handbag on a celebrity ever changed your feelings about it?

P.S. Please consider supporting our small, bag-loving team by clicking our links before shopping or checking out at your favorite online retailers like Amazon, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, or any of the listed partners on our shop page. We truly appreciate your support!

Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Sandy

    I have to actually like the bag when I first see it….it could be in an ad or someone carrying it… At that point if I start to see it around, I feel like the bag may have a chance of being relevant in the future. I have made a deal with myself that I will only spend my hard earned $$ on a bag that I feel will be relevant for years to come…and of course popularity is the main factor in a designer continuing to make a particular design. So celebrities carrying a bag has some influence..on potential longevity, but I do not purchase a bag simply because someone famous is carrying it.

  • Seeing a bag on a real person changes my mind about it, whether a celebrity or a blogger, as I can see it in context with actual stuff in it. I won’t buy a bag because a celebrity is wearing it – I find their rotation of bag after bag is quite silly. I prefer to see their style coming through in their accessories and it becomes quite obvious who is just marketing a free bag. I definitely think it gives a bag exposure, but it still has to be a nice bag. The LV soft lockit to me, is more of a message about where LV is heading. Those pictures don’t make me want the bag any more.

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  • laura

    Not really.

  • Diana

    Yes, usually it makes me NOT want the bag.

    • Blonde_Closet

      I strongly concur

    • Amazona

      Depends on the celeb, but 99% of the times it makes me fall out of love with a bag I’ve been lusting after.

  • Alex

    Nope. I don’t do pink bags in general, and i don’t do Louis Vuitton.

  • Rada

    Depends on the celebrity and/or blogger. If it’s a stylish celebrity who I like and carries the bag well, IT MIGHT make me want to actually go see the bag in person and see how it works on me. Seeing the bag on a celebrity I like (and whose style I like) DOES NOT necessarily make me jump up, plastic in hand clicking BUY BUY BUY. If it’s an annoying celebrity (hint: KK) then I usually end up NOT LIKING the bag. Same goes for a blogger, the so-called new style celebrities, I can usually tell which ones actually like the bag, given or purchased, as opposed to the ones who were just given the bag and writing about it because they were given it and being paid to do so (hint: BB). It leaves something to be desired when real customers are treated like we’re stupid lemmings.

  • Guest

    Not at all. I’m not going to go out and buy a product because a celebrity is wearing it. If I see a product and I like the way it looks or functions, then I might purchase it, but not due to the endorsement of a celebrity. Advertisement and editorials in magazines have a bigger influence on me.

  • HfromT

    Hmmmm…very good question Amanda! In my case, I might have been more influenced by a celebrity carrying a particular bag when I was younger, but it have learned (through a great deal of trial and error over the years) that the bags I like in photos must work for me and my life style. So if I see a celebrity carrying a bag that catches my eye, it will probably influence me to go to the store and try it out to see if it works for me. It took me a long time to trust my own instincts and not be driven by what might be deemed popular! And as someone else here posted, I love the reviews you and your team write about bags…that is the kind of honest feedback I appreciate.

  • Bipasha

    I am never influenced by celebrities because you are just not sure if they wanted the bag or if was given to them as a shameless promotion. That having been said, if I see a celebrity carrying a bag that I own, I.e. coach Borough I do feel a little…special. I could not, nor would I pay $5000 for a bag and I don’t ever intend to own a Louis. However, if I ever did, I would buy the LockIt in the pink because I love that color and the simplicity. So maybe I am influenced after all. Wait what was the question again? (Smile)

  • Liz

    When I like a bag that a celebrity carries, I think I’m more influenced in buying it especially if that celebrity is such a “fashionista” that I adore. But I must already been lusting on it. Any other occasion, if I don’t like the brand and bag, I could care less if a celebrity carries it.

  • RichlyPoor

    Not in particular… If I like a bag, I like it regardless of who I see wearing it. What I will say is that saturating the market does tend to make me averse to the brand, even if it’s high end (like the LV monogram; the Celine luggage and for midrange, Coach). I used to have a cabas and zippy wallet, but since everyone has the brand, I got rid of them. Now I only have the checkbook and instead opted for an Hermes bearn.

    Speaking of market saturation, Michael Kors is another brand that made me shudder as it’s on the arms of so many (celebrities included, which still didn’t turn my eye). However, his more upscale collection has made me a bit more interested. The Miranda wasn’t enough, but I’m becoming partial to his Vivian line… Has anyone else seen it? I’d love your thoughts!

  • Lewis

    Not always, otherwise everyone will be dressed like the Kardashians

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  • Zezza

    To a point yes. On most luxury sites they do not post photos of a model carrying a bag so you can see the real size of a bag and the way it works with wardrobe etc. I am a huge researcher so this is to a point my only avenue to see the bags in real life action regardless who is holding it. Hey everyone influences everyone right?

  • WH

    Celebrities carrying a bag i like will make me like it more but for me, i buy what i want, and whether or not it matches me as a person and not how it looks on a celebrity because the bag has to be useful for me and look good on me. Some bags look good on celebrities but don’t really look good on normal people or aren’t very functional so when buying bags, I buy what i like, what suits my personality, my character and my needs. However, if a bag or a brand is endorsed by a celebrity i have a penchant for, it does influence my influence over said bag or brand. So yes to answer the question!

  • TheBagFag

    Generally, it depends on whether I like the celebrity or not. I tend not to want to buy a bag if celebrities seem to endorse it.

    Ultimately I am about what feels comfortable to me. Hence why I will not invest in a Céline luggage tote – too many B grade celebs love it. (I shall be kind and not name names – a certain group of siblings tha are simply famous for being famous… Would turn me OFF anything that they endorse…)

    Yet, if I see SJP wearing something, I do not mind… She has developed a sense of grown-up luxe that I enjoy watching and evolving

    Ultimately, I purchase what I like, not what others purvey….

    Isn’t that what it is all about?

    Also, having read Graceful Shopper’s comment a moment ago- all I can say is: spot on!

  • Cuckoo-Boo

    no – celebrities get handbags for free from designers for publicity therefore I am not influenced. quite the opposite

  • Lori

    I would say yes and no. For example, I pretty much can’t stand Chanel any longer, but then one day I saw SJP wearing a Boy Bag with a stylish outfit and it changed my view of the bag. So yes, if the person is stylish and shows me the bag in a new light, then it might change my view of the bag itself. In the case of the Lockit, I am already planning on purchasing one in the fall (if I can find one), so celebs or not, I like the bag. My only concern is if too many celebs start to wear the bag I might get sick of it before I have had the chance to spend the outrageous amount of money to get one, which means the idea of giving bags away for PR could ultimately backfire.

  • Marnie

    If a celeb. talks about a restaurant, book, music or perfume, I might try it. Bags? Not so much.

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  • Rashmi

    It would definitely pique my interest to see it in person at the boutique but eventually it has to appeal to my taste after I look at the bag in real and try it on at the boutiques. The Lockit bag is very beautiful but it’s way too overpriced. If it was in the mid 2k then that will entice many people to buy it without the need to actually see it in person. I think. I’m not buying this bag cuz it’s way too pricey! I’d rather buy a set of emerald and diamond necklace and earrings in 18 k yellow gold for a much cheaper price than this bag! Seriously!

  • Rosa Lily

    I have to see the bag in person. I in general am into large practical bags since I carry tons of stuff from school books to work materials to forgoing bags at the store and placing my purchases in my bag. Celebrities do not influence my handbag purchases at all. Sometimes the size and shape of many luxury bags are good for nothing (to me) if they do not withstand everyday use or do not meet the storage capacity.

  • John

    Yes and no. When I see a bag on a person (celeb or non-celeb), it gives me an idea how it looks when it’s carried. A bag on a celeb does bring it to my attention, but ultimately my deciding point is whether the bag looks good on me or not.

  • uadjit

    I have a Bal Officier City with GCH and a month or so ago there was a blog post on here about Kendall Jenner carrying the exact same bag. I was not very happy about that!

  • dremma

    I think we r all affected by the mental image of Celebrities carrying the particular bags,whether we like it or not.The images sends subliminal messages to our brain!Dats basically wat advertising is all about.

    Personally,they will spark an interest in me.Subsequently seeing the bags rapidly mushrooming on the arms of fashion bloggers and on the streets usually increases the ache in me to purchase the bags,ONLY after Iv checked them out at the local stores.

    Factors like durability,weight and the potential to become a classic still plays a very important part in my decision making when purchasing bags!:)

  • Ashlee

    To be honest, one of the only things that influences my bag purchases is seeing it on a REAL woman. Most celebrities are tall, super thin, with thousands wrapped up in their outfits, makeup, and hair. I’m never going to be like this people. I want to see this purse on women similar to me! I’m 5 foot 2 inches tall which can make a huge difference in how a purse looks on me versus Charlize Theron. Thanks to the purseforum and all the great modeling pics posted by real beautiful women (and men too) I get to see what these purses really look like and I truly TRULY base my purchases on all of them.

  • Looloowa74

    Yes, for the past 6 years my favorite celebrity carrying just the right bag will make me go out and get it, wether i have ever considered it or not. Recent example, I hated the pandora givenchy since inception. I bought it a year ago after seeing it on Alessandra ambrosio. It was perfection in bag making! Go figure. By the by, I can tell when a bag has been given or bought by a celebrity but I still don’t care. If however, the celebrity wears the bag numerous times as opposed to a few times it makes a difference in my nay or say purchasing power as well. Ergo the givenchy pandora on Alessandra ambrosio. She wore it to death & so did I! Again, go f***** figure

  • Yoshi

    Members of royalty influence me the most. For example I got a Lady Dior bag because of Princess Diana, A Gucci bamboo bag for the same reason, Some Hermes scarves because Princess Grace Kelly and Queen Elizabeth have been seen wearing them. Oh and a Gucci flora wallet because the original flora print scarf was seen on Grace Kelly. Now I want a Proenza Schouler PS1 bag because Queen Rania of Jordan has been seeing carrying one. An Hermes Kelly bag is a dream for me but one day I hope it comes true.

  • eyda

    yes and no. sometimes seeing celebs carrying certain bags just makes me think that it would have the lasting / staying power, hence would be a good investment. of coz celebs get those bags for free most of the time but when we the normal hard-working bag lovers decide to buy one itd have to be a good investment on a classic bag. and usually the bags that celeb carries are most of the time classics (note: most of the time only) i’m especially drawn if its carried by my fave celebs / bloggers :) and like everyone else mentioned, it helps to see the bag on a real life person

  • t

    Well of course not and they did not give out 20K worth of bags as the production cost of the bag is significantly less than the retail price. It would make you ill to know. :)

  • helenhandbag

    Nope. Whereas it’s sometimes fun to see who’s wearing the same bag as I have, I’d never actually go out of my way to get a bag because I’ve seen it on a celeb. There’s the product placement/sponsorship thing which is very true having worked in fashion before, and then there’s always the element of them having a bit more cash free to get whatever they want. Fine, they earned and can have it, but I have a good yet regular job and more bills to pay so I choose more carefully. I’ll go with those models that are more timeless, they last longer and in case you’d want to sell them, you could (at least easier than some of the more exotic bags).

  • heyyeh22

    I would think that most us ladies on PB have a better sense of self and style than to let a celebrity totally effect our bag purchasing decision. We surely take into consideration how many people have the bag, look, price, brand etc. But if you’re a purse lover and not a fame/celebrity/status only lover, than you’ll choose according to your own intuition and style!

  • Yazi

    I can honestly say that it doesn’t affect me. Seeing the bag in RL though does affect my opinion of it.

  • lavinia

    Not at all. Celebrities mostly carry a bag because they have to, sometimes they even don’t like them… and don’t forget they always have them for free and they have to change them often. It’s always a marketing reason. I buy my bags folowing my own taste. The perfect bag for me is a light one. We have enough stuff to put inside them, so for me they have to be light.

  • Karen

    I don’t care who is carrying the bag. Actually it would be better to cover the faces in the pictures. But I do like to see the bag on actual people in real life situations. It is smart of the industry to give them to celebrities, because who else gets photographed. Magazine ads are not realistic and quite frankly I don’t understand them most of the time. Too artsy for me.

  • Adrianne

    I would say its a 50/50 with me. I love to see the bag being used in real life other than an ad. On one hand it has turned me off when I see celeb after celeb with the same bag…ie celine phantoms!!! On the other it has made me reconsider a label (Coach) that I preciously had abandoned bc of logo overkill…I can’t stand the CC. Signature line in any form!!! Wth that said I do love my LV Alma–it is classic and traditional and not processed in every shape/ color and form anyone could think of. I also love this new soft Lockit. It’s a fabulous traditional bag that will become a classic!

  • Mario

    Celebrity product placement makes sense to me. Celebrities often constitute a fashion archetype (i.e. “that’s so Rihanna” or “Reese” or “Von Teese”). It allows women to see the bags in a style context they can relate to.

    The point isn’t to say “OMG Charlize has that bag, I need to copy/paste ASAP.” But if a girl of color with a larger frame (a demographic mostly ignored by high fashion houses) sees Gabourey Sidibe rock a luscious leather bag and realizes it could compliment her own beauty, that’s fashion magic. And priceless for the designer.

  • Aurora

    Seeing a celebrity carry a bag does not make me want to purchase it for myself. If anything, it does sometimes influence the way I look at it, depending on who is carrying it and how it is styled. For right now I’m solely in the contemporary market with Coach — when the Borough bag came out, I didn’t care much for the shape or the fact that there are five compartments. Seeing Sarah Jessica Parker and Karlie Kloss carry it did make me take notice a bit more, but it didn’t really change my opinion that much. What changed my opinion was walking into the boutique and looking at the bag in person. On the other hand, I may not have taken the time to look at it myself had I not seen the way SJP and Karlie pulled it off. I still haven’t purchased one yet, but it’s on my list of things to consider now instead of my list of things that I’d never buy.

    Overall, I’m not overly influenced by what I see celebrities carry. I hope to one day branch out past the contemporary market, but I don’t plan on going after the brands that pop up on celebrities all the time like LV, Hermes, Celine, Chanel, etc because I’ve yet to see one of those bags that really speaks to me. Balenciaga and BV, however… wish list.

  • Halim

    If a celebrity is known for his or her fashion style, It would spark an interest in me but almost always not. Naomi Watts has an educated taste but you know she would just be happy in her dungarees. These are the little subtle messages that celebrities give which can turn me off esp when they carry what I have. But as a point of interest, hey its a free world. I would rather see the pictures than not and if I wore the bags better, personally rejoice.

  • NB81283

    Not really..

  • Jeloi

    For me celebrities don’t influence my choice at all, but Purseblog does. I love the information that is given and the photos that are posted. Thanks!

  • anna

    Depends when I see a purse that I like doesn’t matter who wear it but if I see a handbag on a celebrity to be honest I can change my feelings about the purse if that celebrity wear it in a bad combination or in a good combination