2017 can’t get here soon enough, and with it brings the hope and promise that any new year or new beginning. The past few years have seen some interesting changes for the accessories market, both aesthetically and structurally, and there’s no reason to believe things will settle down at all in 2017. It’s hard to say exactly what those upcoming changes will be, but in a perfect world, I have a little list of things that I hope to see evolve sooner rather than later. Let us know what you’re hoping for, fashion-wise, in the comments.

1. Let’s find a cure for color transfer.

There has to be a way to remove denim dye from light-colored leather bags, right? Like, that can’t be beyond the scope of chemistry. It’s almost The Year of Our Lord 2017. It’s been nearly a half century since we put a literal man on the moon. Can the field of textile research not spare a mind or two for this?

Chanel Boy Bag Discoloration-1

2. Brands put some thought into their optional shoulder straps.

No matter what the structure of the bag I’m carrying, I end up using the optional long shoulder strap most designs now have almost exclusively. They’re used frequently by most people, which is why it’s more or less mandatory that bags now have them. These shoulder straps aren’t all created equal, though. In some cases, the shape of the bag and the potential interference of its other design features were taken into account when deciding the length, thickness and attachment points for the long strap, but in many cases, all those concerns were clearly ignored and some scrap leather was thrown on there so awkwardly and non-functionally that it almost feels like an act of aggression. For example, in 2017, here’s hoping Givenchy deigns to put a long enough shoulder strap on the Antigona that its top handles aren’t constantly stabbing you in the armpit when you use it.

Purseonals - Givenchy Antigona -6

3. Brands make their after-purchase service policies better known to consumers.

Some brands and retailers are great about fixing or replacing bags that break within a year or two of purchase. Other brands–even those at similarly top-tier price points–have no real structure to help the purchasers of their absurdly expensive luxury goods when something goes wrong. Leather goods wear over time, of course, but brands and stores charging ultra-premium prices should be offering premium service–including when a bag breaks after only a season or two of normal use–and those policies should be clear to shoppers from the get-go.

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4. The last holdout designers get over themselves and start selling their bags online.

If your brand’s delicate perception of exclusivity can’t weather common modes of modern consumerism, it’s not the Internet’s fault. Boutique experiences are great, but simplicity and accessibility are their own types of luxury, and plenty of potential consumers live in places that aren’t accessible to in-person luxury shopping. There’s something to be said for meeting shoppers halfway, especially when a brand is asking them to spend thousands of dollars on an unnecessary indulgence.

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5. While we’re at it: better stock images!

Lemme see the bag from several angles. Lemme see inside. Lemme see it on a person. Lemme zoom in real close. Don’t overstuff it so it looks different than it will with normal stuff inside it. Make the photos beautiful and crisp. If it’s a bag that many women will consider for the office, maybe show us if a small laptop fits! We’re spending a lot of money–help us out.

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6. Online retailers start calling bags by their proper names.

The vast powers of a proper Google search are useless if half of the websites that carry it are calling the Chloé Drew Bag the Chloé Mini Flap Chain Crossbody. I’m not sure where communication breaks down–are brands not effective at giving detailed information about new bags to retailers, or do retailers not make much of an effort to get that data accurately entered on new product pages? Whatever it is, it needs to be fixed so that it’s easier for shoppers to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily.

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7. A handbag fairy drops a Gucci bag into my closet.

Not all these wishes are for the good of the group, okay?

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8. Micro bags go peacefully into that good night.

They came, they were tiny and adorable, and now it’s time for them to leave and for designers to focus their efforts on bags that actually serve some sort of functional purpose.

micro-bags

9. All new clutches are big enough to hold a large smartphone.

Smartphones aren’t getting any smaller or less ubiquitous, and evening bag designers can’t wish them away just because they want to make tiny jewel boxes instead of hand-held bags big enough to contain an iPhone 7 Plus. If they want to serve their clientele, that’s just how it’s gonna be from here on out.

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10. One or two more impressive contemporary upstart brands emerge.

Mansur Gavriel proved there is a huge market for sophisticated, fashion-forward bags at moderate price points, and that opened up a lot of room for designers to experiment in that space. If I got my way, 2017 would see the rise of a couple more brands with interesting points of view and moderate prices.

Mansur Gavriel Lady Bag Restock
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Fawcett Proust
Fawcett Proust
5 years ago

YES at #2. Might I also add that brands need to STOP trying to pretend attaching straps to a bag’s top handles is feasible.

Giselle
Giselle
5 years ago
Reply to  Fawcett Proust

My thoughts exactly, why not design comfortable and practical handles, so you can carry the bag on the crook of the arm or shoulder.

laura
laura
5 years ago

Agree to all… especially no more micro bags (please Fendi, please stop it) and definitely online offerings (did you hear that Chanel and Celine?)

Sandy
Sandy
5 years ago

I love this post, so relevant! I love so many of the points but the after purchase guarantee and hold outs putting all of their products for sale on line are my personal favorites! I also would like a Gucci Marmont shoulder to be dropped in my closet!

bellebellebelle19
bellebellebelle19
5 years ago

Gucci definitely has the best stock images so far.

Passerine
Passerine
5 years ago

Definitely. They show the bags from several angles (including photos of the inside) and — oh so important! — with a human model holding it so you get at least some idea of its real-life scale.

W S M
W S M
5 years ago

I disagree somewhat on #4. Exclusivity plays a huge role in exactly why these bags are coveted.

Chanel is still unique in that it’s the only one still holding out on selling online. It’s still trying to sell an entire aesthetic (a very, very specific aesthetic). So you walk in the store, and you intended to buy only a Classic Jumbo. But the double CC earrings were too irresistible. And you certainly had to have the matching brooch (even if you have a voice in your head asking who still wears brooches anymore). In comparison, Vuitton doesn’t have an aesthetic as set in stone (there are no specific House codes that apply to RTW like Chanel has with its tweed jackets).

Having very little online presence could work in Chanel’s favour as demand continues to grow but supply (or access to supply) is more limited. What I could definitely see (and this is already happening with Chanel eyewear), is that classic SLGs would be sold online, along with online exclusives targeted at certain markets. However, I still cannot envision classic flaps, or even seasonal bags being sold online.

Dior has online shopping and sells classics like the Lady Dior in markets like the UK, US, EU, etc. But in countries where the market isn’t developed or large enough to have such an online presence, they allow you to order bags over the phone or by email (even bags from an entirely different country, in case the model you are looking for specifically isn’t in stock locally). This focus on elevated customer service (despite certain restrictions), to me, is also a type of luxury. Real luxury is being able to have unlimited access because you can afford it but the illusion of luxury; that customer service will work around ‘restrictions’ in order to provide you access, is equally as powerful.

Agree on everything else, especially my real peeves; poor stock imagery and the wrong names provided by retailers. Also, inconsistent measurements and the lack of modelling photos. I hate that.

Browsing
Browsing
5 years ago

That Chanel Chevron Maxi Bag in the main picture ….. It is everything I want in a bag, so lovely. I just can’t find it anywhere to buy , Sigh !

Gloria
Gloria
5 years ago

I hear you, Amanda!!!!
Celine should really improve their pictures on the website. I almost feel there’s no need to have a website if you are only showing pictures from the front!
Chanel should at least open their online shopping for SLG first, if not for all the bags.
I was checking Mansur Gavriel’s website yesterday and fell in love with their flat clutch. So simple and functional with card slots and zipper pocket. Of course, Lady bag is already on my shopping list.
Last but not least, the strap of the Antigona…. lol

Passerine
Passerine
5 years ago

Great post!! Some more on my list:

If you’re making a bag with a short-ish strap (like the Givench example shown in the post), then make sure the top handles can drop/fold out of the way.
Make shoulder straps adjustable!! I’ve turned away from so many bags because they’re no possibility to adjust the length of the shoulder strap
The thickness of the shoulder strap should make sense for the bag. No tiny, light bags with massive thick straps OR large, potentially heavy bags (when fully loaded, esp work bags) with straps not much thicker/sturdier than a shoelace. Come on. It’s no rocket science. Designers who make large bags with pencil-thin straps should be required to carry them fully loaded with laptop, wallet, agenda, phone, pochettes, bottle of water, etc for a week. (This is why I love my LV Trevi so much — the strap is not long, but it is adjustable, it’s the right width/thickness, and the top handles fold down with no fuss)
Would love to see some more upstarts. Not a Mansur Gavriel fan, sorry, but how about some other brands doing good things — example, Caroline Herrera?
For Prada specifically: more bags in more colours and styles in your other leathers — i.e., Vitello Daino and Cervo. Enough with Saffiano 24/7.
Gucci: More velvet bags! More beautiful designs in the bag fabric rather than stick-on, sometimes childish, occasionally garish, embellishments.

Caitlin
Caitlin
5 years ago

YES! THANK YOU! I think some designers think higher of themselves than they should. Especially #1! I love lighter bags, especially taupe. However, I love my denim, so I refuse to buy them because of the inevitable color transfer! It’s so annoying. There has to be some kind of treatment out there that prevents color transfer.
Also, I am so over mini bags. They look ridiculous.
I also especially agree with online shopping. I understand if Chanel doesn’t want to put their classics online, but anything else surely wouldn’t hurt. Even Hermes puts some handbags and leather goods up online. And Celine needs to come down to earth and start selling their bags online. Chanel I kind of understand, but Celine is not Chanel and never will be. Also, some of us don’t live in areas with high end designer malls, so online shopping would be great (but horrible for my wallet).

Newton5817
Newton5817
5 years ago

You are reading my mind on 4 and 5!!

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