Even though bags rarely take center stage at runway shows, they, along with cosmetics and shoes, are the things that brands usually need to sell in order to keep business chugging along; most designers cannot survive by clothes alone. That means that when it comes time for brands to communicate with customers, bags often end up as a central focus. Nowhere is that clearer than in seasonal ad campaigns, where there are sometimes so many purses that the clothes seem like an afterthought.
We're interested in all the different ways that accessories shape the fashion industry, of course, so now that all the Spring 2015 ads have started to appear in magazines, I sat down to look at all the different ways that brands are trying to entice you to buy in the next three months. From Italian grandmas to horses on the beach, there are seemingly infinite ways to say, "Hey, wouldn't this handbag look cool on you?"
Below, we've assembled the handbag-centric ads from all of our favorite brands. Let us know which is your favorite in the comments.
McQueen's aesthetic has long played with marrying the beautiful and the grotesque, and the beauty look in this campaign definitely provides a counterpoint for the relatively staid bag.
The bag might not be placed front and center in this image, but the bright color choice ensures that your eye goes right to it.
Lush, modern, moody--perfectly Bottega.
I'm not a huge fan of these bags, but Naomi Campbell and Jourdan Dunn are a convincing duo if I've ever seen one.
It was my fondest wish that Spring 2015 would bring with it a photo of Joan Didion and one of Céline's signature bag, but alas, we only got the shot of her and the sunglasses. I'm willing to settle for this tan Belt Bag instead.
Kristen Stewart has long been one of Karl Lagerfeld's Chosen Women, and she's a smart choice for a classic bag campaign; the chevron-quilted rendition of the Classic Flap is a modernized take on an old favorite, and her tomboy aesthetic emphasizes its versatility.
Horses, beaches, beautiful cliffs, blondes--yes, okay, sell me this bag please.
Jennifer Lawrence's endorsement has been instrumental in Dior's resurgence under Raf Simons, and she looks just as effortless and charming here as she always does.
The message of this ad is clear: Coach is a girl gang, and any sane person would want to join up.
Diane von Furstenberg
This ad's message is also clear: DVF would like you to think seriously about gingham and what it might be able to add to your life.
Dolce & Gabbana
I am being entirely serious when I say "Italian grandmas with fancy bags and tiaras" is the best fashion ad concept that will ever grace our planet.
Not only is this ad clever, but it gives you some context on this tiny bag's size.
This campaign is not high-concept, but it sure is aspirational. I'd love to be lounging by a pool with a very expensive handbag as we speak.
High fashion ad campaigns function as a promotional tool in two different ways; first, they are placed ads in and of themselves, like they've always been, but they're also buzz generators above and beyond paid placements. For the second purpose, getting Julia Roberts was an incredible coup.
When I think of Gucci, I always think of something more formal and fancy than this--these photos are a good reminder that the brand can go casual as well.
Handbag as handcuffs? Sure, whatever you say, Jimmy Choo.
For his second big campaign with the brand, Nicolas Ghesquiere chose to bolster Louis Vuitton's identity by mostly sticking to what he did in his first ads--the photographers, models and mood are largely the same.
Marc by Marc Jacobs
Marc by Marc Jacobs would like to remind you all that it is a young, hip brand for young, hip people.
It took me several minutes to realize it, but that's Karlie Kloss.
Miu Miu has long played up the youthfulness of its clothes and accessories, even though they're selling to grown women. The model in this ad looks like she's waiting outside of the principal's office.
For a brand with such a brash sensibility, this is a downright tasteful ad.
Still trying to find its footing, Mulberry chose Georgia May Jagger instead of an overexposed Cara Delevingne. Smart move, in my opinion.
The return of Gemma Ward to the fashion frontlines is enough to excite any longtime industry watcher, no matter how you feel about the bags.
There's something so serene about the models lazing about on pink sand.
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