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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Fawcett Proust

    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

      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

    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

    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

    Gucci definitely has the best stock images so far.

    • Passerine

      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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    You are reading my mind on 4 and 5!!

  • Mary

    #11: Designers stop putting the name of the brand on the bag. Looking at you, Givenchy!

    • Alex

      And all the monograms like LV. And hot foil like Hermes. And embossed like Loewe. And engraved like Fendi. And printed like Gucci.

      Every brand and designer decide to put a logo or not. There are brands for “shouting” fashion and brands who prefer discreet luxury. You decide what to choose. Piece :)

  • Sara

    Love it.

  • Jerri R

    I agree so much about having to fit a phone in the purse. They should not call them handbags/purses if you cannot carry your phone in them!

  • GoBears95

    I want to know the weight of the handbags other than dimensions online. I don’t want to haul something as heavy as a newborn across town.

  • Jen

    I am behind this post 110%. One thing that irks me is the strap on some bags. I like the guitar strap type trend, but really think it makes a bag much more casual than I’d like for every occasion, so I’d love a second strap in leather with adjustability. Oh, and a HUGE one for me is that the photos absolutely must have a model wearing it for scale. Shopbop is a perfect example of how I feel all retailers should portray a bag. Net-A-Porter and Bergdorf is good too, but not as good as Shopbop. And I’m more prone to buy a bag if it’s on a real model, not a silhouette or mannequin. Especially if I’m dropping a few grand for a handbag. That’s why I love the PF so much–to see how some of these handbags look in action has a big influence on my buying decisions.

    • Sparkletastic

      Completely agree about the modeling shot. Some of us don’t live near a boutique and can’t try the bag on. Having a human reference often makes the difference for whether or not I buy.

  • Karina Halle

    I agree to everything. You’ve read my mind. Chanel, LV and Celine need to start selling online. Micro-bags aren’t functional. And hell yeah we need new stock photos! Better. More! PS The Antigona Medium is the perfect length, strap-wise, but I can see how a smaller size would be super annoying.

    • hectorrobertocontrerasmiranda

      Louis Vuitton has been selling online for almost 10 years if i’m not mistaken, not on every country but certainly the biggest markets

  • Sparky

    THANK YOU for #5 – especially LV. Virtually NO shots of the bag. And ALWAYS give me a shot with the bag on a model so I get a sense of its size!!!

  • TheModMazza

    Um…. the strap on the small Antigona was fixed over a year ago.

  • kemilia

    Good Post!
    I also look to TPF to find real life mod pics; seems most of the stock photos are shot with a size zero mannequin.

  • Sofia Papastamelos

    Haha wow love this list! I loled at the Antigona photo. Had no idea that was an actual thing that the brand overlooked.

    • Sparkletastic

      It’s bad. LOL! I wanted an Antigone, tried it on and thought “what the ham sandwich???” I can’t imagine what they are thinking. They must be nuts!!

  • Jacqueline Yee

    When making cross body bags make straps longer for bigger people so it hangs properly at the hip. I don’t believe there’s a single designer that offers a longer strap to accommodate this. No one wants a bag hanging under their boobs.

    Or make a fanny pack that can be adjusted for larger people or a strap that can be attached to accommodate various sizes of people. Seems everything made these days is for a certain body type time the designers widened their horizons.

    • Sparkletastic

      Just as long as there are options. I’m slim and don’t want a super long adjustable strap. The extra would look unattractive flapping around. So just like there are now new “guitar” straps that people can choose, they could offer longer or shorter straps non standard straps for those who prefer. Or perhaps people could even order a non adjustable strap in certain lengths.

  • Jacqueline Yee

    Another comments t that burns me. When u say a bag is all leather don’t make rubber straps looking at u Kate Spade. Then the bags start coming apart and the straps frey it’s false advertising to say all leather and add rubber straps.

  • This was a good post.

    I wonder if the aforementioned brands read these posts and, if so, do the contents effect change?

    Just wondering…

  • Sparkletastic

    Yes, yes, YES! I agree with all!!!

    #3 is exactly why I haven’t bought the antigona and Bal I want. Weird strap lengths kill a bag’a utility

    #6 drives me BATTY. I never know what they are calling the bags. No one would ever call a Cadillac Escalade a Cadillac Long big car. Get it together people!

    #8 & #9 I hate teeny bags. At minimum I need to carry my phone, a card case and my sunglasses. If I can’t get these in a bag it’s dead to me. I don’t have an assistant to trail behind me and my matchbook sized bag with the things I need.

    And #7 – please send the fairy to me too!!!

    • hectorrobertocontrerasmiranda

      I would totally call a Cadillac Escalade “Long big car” but only because I’m totally oblivious to cars

      • Sparkletastic

        Yes, but my point (and Amanda’s) is being oblivious to cars you wouldn’t be selling the car with the expectation people could find it by calling it a “long big car”. People selling an item can’t be oblivious about their product. So they need to sell it by its proper name so people can easily find it.

      • hectorrobertocontrerasmiranda

        I know, I was agreeing with that. My point is that if I cared about something I would try to get all the information right instead of just string up a few words that vaguely describe whatever that thing might be because not only it would be useless to everyone else (beyond the few chuckles one might get with such colorful and overthinked descriptions) but would also and more importantly make me look like an idiot who has no idea what he is talking about.
        (sorry I have to ask, does that read as mansplaining? I’m asking honestly and I’d like to know the truth if anyone bothers to reply

  • Imgoingbroke

    Oh mon Dieu, my eyes teared up and my heart broke when I saw photo #1. I’d be devastated if that happened to any of my Chanel’s :(

  • Jennifer McGee

    Don’t forget Goyard. It would be great to be able to purchase their bags online…or at least list the prices so you can call a store to order. I live in a major metropolitan area (Washington DC) and can’t buy Goyard. However, I am going to Paris in February and I look forward to visiting the original shop.

  • Diana Moulder

    Amen to #8. Happy new year!

  • Janaki Subramanyam

    Love this post.

    Agree with #6 as it drives me batty when I search online & the bag is called something else.

    Hate the mini offerings; why bother?

    Would love the handbag fairy to add me to her list.

  • jenjen

    Great post! I agree with quite a few.

  • Yazi

    A big yes to no.10

  • bagnut1

    +1 on indicating the bag’s weight.

  • Alex Misarins

    After reading an article and all comments I decided to share my opinion on this.
    I am a designer and leather technician, mostly dealing with bespoke orders. Business started 1934 by my great-grandfather and I was lucky enough to receive all the knowledge and experience from past generations.

    #1. There are a few companies in France and Italy who offers a leather with a special treatment to avoid colour transfer. However to apply this strong chemical is a long and dangerous (for human) technical process. As a result all wasted chemicals will go back to local rivers as those chemicals cannot be recycled. There are special microfibre materials similar to suede such as Ultra-suede and Alcantara and they don’t do a colour transfer. But at this stage a bag will be not a leather product and this can be a major decision to companies like Chanel to use suede (leather) rather than microfibre.

    #2. Not many consumers know that the strap is the most difficult part of the bag to make. Leather for a strap has to be taken from the middle of the skin to be strong and long enough. In this case strap adds a major cost to the bag as you cannot use the rest of the skin for bag panels. Or strap can be made out of small pieces which makes a strap very fragile especially if you overload your bag (which most of women do). Antigona has a shorter strap made out of calf shoulder which is not as long as a calf side, but still strong enough to hold all your stuff. I only disagree with a bag construction that you cannot detach the strap.

    #3. It’s hard to offer the same service for all people. Some people use a bag for 10 years and it looks like new and some bags look vintage and ripped after a half a year usage. It’s all about your lifestyle and how you treat your bag. Most of bags are sold with case instructions. Do you clean your bag every month with a relevant product? Do you use a protection cream? Do you use stuffing to give your bag a shape? Do you keep it in a dust bag? Also it’s not recommended to use the same bag for 2-3 days in a row. The best is to have 3-4 bags and to interchange then as leather after a stressful usage needs “a relax”. The same story with belts, make sure you take them off your jeans every day before you go to sleep and keep in rolled condition overnight.

    #4. Some brands are not for everyone and they decide not to be easily available. If you need to travel to Paris to buy a Goyard then this is what company want you to do. Also there are private resellers and agencies who will get you what you want and you can pay online.

    #5. Completely agree on stock images. By deciding to sell online company need to make sure that product is easy to see and understand what you are buying.

    #6. Search engine is a machine which learns from people’s requests. If you see fancy and irrelevant names this means only that people were looking for it. A lot of people.

    #7. All of us have different wishes.

    #8. All fashion starts on streets long time before you see a final product on a catwalk. If there is a market gap for any kind of product then companies who will fill the gap will make a big cash. Also some people even don’t have a cardholder, not to mention a purse. These kind of people just drop all bank cards into the bag, a phone a keys. So mini size is just a perfect product to meet people requirements.

    #9. Every clutch is designed for a special occasion. In our studio we had a clutch orders to hold just keys even not a purse and a phone. So again, it’s all about your lifestyle. Behind the retail there are just few factories in a world who actually make leather goods. You can easy order your own handbag range from then, it’s like a lego. You will be requested to pick a shape, lock, leather and colour. Options are very limited, that’s why MK purse for $200 made on the same factory where $800 Celine purse was made. For this reason all bags and accessories are so similar. I didn’t believe in this until visited one of these factories in Italy and saw all the process myself. But there are still lots of beautiful clutches made to fit iPhone 7s and a long purse.

    #10. To start a brand requires big cash in a pocket. Instead of this you can discover thousands of independent artisans on Instagram who make stunning and beautiful bags and accessories. Another mainstream brand will offer you almost the same what you already can buy as companies are very safe and don’t take a risk on style that sells.

    All of these is just my point of view and nothing else. Not pretending to change someone’s point of view. Just sharing my knowledge and experience by working in this industry for ages.

  • Vicky

    For retailer to list the weight of the bag with strap drop, that’d be nice.