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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Lisa

    #2 is stunning — wish I could justify another black bag :-) I know some people say the Colombian cayman croc she uses is the “cheap” kind, but since I don’t have 20-30+K to drop on one bag I have happily embraced a Nancy G tote in ruby and studded clutch in anthracite. Have used both a lot and they still look brand new. Note: all(?) her bags are lined in suede and that guitar strap comes in several color combos.

  • Guest

    I think Lisa may have answered my question, but how is it that Nancy Gonzalez bags are below $5K while if this were the same bag from Chanel, Gucci, or LV it would 50K+?

    • Aurore de La Gorce

      Because you pay for the name ! The French brand ABACO makes lambskin and exotics bags and very few of them are above 1000e/$

      • Lisa

        That too, of course — the name jacks up the price. I don’t know, though, what type of crocodile those brands use (other than Hermès) and whether that’s a “reasonable” factor in their pricing.

      • BabyDietrich

        It’s actually not as simple as that. Of course brand name is part of the reason, but far from the whole picture. The leather NZ uses is just not on the same level with croc bags from Chanel and Hermes. For one, she uses Caiman leather in many of her “croc” bags, which is a lot less expensive. Also NZ manufactures in Colombia, not Europe, which brings down the cost by a huge margin.

      • Aurore de La Gorce

        I agree with most of what you said, but I still maintain most of the price is caused by the name.

        In Europe, in France especially, we have a few brands that use the exact same leathers as Hermès, and Chanel. I know this very well having family and friends working in luxury and leather.
        These brands also manufacture their bags in France, the bags are made by skilled, educated workers paid as a decent company should pay their workers, and so on. Many of the workers have worked for Chanel or Hermès.
        But the bags are sold something like 10%/15% of the price of an average Hermès-Chanel bag.
        So how do Hermès and Chanel explain that ?

        So yes, I agree manufacturing bags in Europe is more expensive than in Columbia or China, and caiman is not as expensive as crocodile, but, hey, I just won’t take the speech “Europe is too expensive” anymore.
        It has caused real damages to my country, and to Europe.

    • W S M

      Economies of scale. Name is definitely one factor (the bigger your name, the bigger your overhead expenses). But you have to look at the hierarchy of the brands in the luxury market. Hermes, for instance, is the top of the list for luxury handbags but handbags are only part of their product line. They sell primarily a lifestyle (i.e. Chanel and Vuitton are primarily fashion houses with large handbag and accessory departments, Hermes also does homeware and furniture, even custom interior commissions for yachts, cars, etc). With this focus on lifestyle comes a vision about French craftsmanship and French luxury that is undiluted. Hermes is top dog because they refuse to sacrifice that vision for mass production (whereas Chanel and LV have done so to various extents over the past two decades). Scarcity is one factor. They are strict about their supply chain (If I remember correctly, Hermes has three farms for crocodile/alligator). And if the quality of the raw leather is unsatisfactory in any way, they don’t produce bags in that leather for that year (box leather has been halted for the moment even though it’s the most classic). Also, they only manufacture their products in France and production is done by trained craftsmen who take years before they could actually get on the production line. And it’s not even a line, per se. One craftsman does one bag from start to finish. This takes time. And that’s not even counting the bags that are rejected for quality issues (these are available to be bought by the craftsmen at a massive discount but rarely if ever do they come onto the consignment market because they are stamped specifically to identify which craftsman bought it. They cannot risk damaging their brand).

      For the other brands you’ve listed, Chanel and LV are manufactured in France, Italy, and Spain (LV is also made in the US). However, exotics tend to be manufactured in France (and Italy, in some cases). This, coupled with the fact that France is part of the EU (and therefore subject to EU labour regulations in addition to their own existing national labour laws), would contribute to the cost of production.

      So, they’re not exactly the same bags. They may use the same type of material, maybe even the same quality, and they might be made even with the same techniques used in leathercraft. But they are not the same bags precisely because they are produced on different scales.

  • Sparky

    I prefer Kwanpen from Singapore. They accept custom orders.

    • Lisa

      What if you’re not happy with the result — can a custom order be returned?

      • Sparky

        I don’t know as I’ve not ordered (yet). Best to discuss before placing an order and have it in writing. It’s an established company so I assume they’d stand behind their work.

  • Aliza Zibkoff

    I love Nancy Gonzalez because aside from amazing product but she also employs single mothers in her factory (many times training them completely!) Of course I am Colombian so I can’t deny thats also a factor.

  • Justice J. Srisuk

    Well, Nancy Gonzalez’ bags are all inarguably stunning, but – unfortunately – years of brands, designers and manufacturers using calfskin stamped to look like crocodilian skin makes these bags look a little… Played out? None of them look bad, but that croc texture has been faked or duped on the market for so many years that the impact is lost a little.

  • GH68

    I think the quality and finish are poor. The inside looks ‘home made’ even and the leather is quite cheaply crackly and not pliable.