There are lots of reasons that handbags are one of the most important product categories in the entire fashion industry, but one of the most important ones is that a woman’s bag is almost always one of the most noticeable aspects of her day-to-day wardrobe. Shoppers love them because the right bag has unmatchable power when it comes to elevating a look, and that also means that bags tend to spark spontaneous conversations with other women. Some do it better than others, though.
Of all the bags I’ve ever had, my Céline Luggage Tote probably got me the most attention from random strangers, even though I sold it after six months because I just didn’t love it. That was in early 2011, during the bag’s biggest boom of popularity, and I had paid for my bright red Luggage Tote six months in advance, sight-unseen in order to secure one from Kirna Zabete. I got a couple full-on gasps from strangers, in addition to wonderful service in luxury department stores who assumed I must be a dedicated customer in order to get one of the bags. One woman on the street in Soho even asked me if she could touch it because she thought she might never get another opportunity. (I let her.)
Lately, the winner has been my Mansur Gavriel Bucket Bags, partly for the same reason that the Luggage Tote did–the bags are hard to track down, and for a time, people were very excited to see one in the wild and wanted to pick my brain about the best way to get one for themselves. (“I shop for bags for a living,” is never a satisfying response when someone asks me how I got a bag, but it’s the only one I have.)
When it comes to men paying attention to my bags, for some reason, their all-time clear favorite was my Marc Jacobs Stam. I’m still not entirely sure why straight dudes were so fascinated with it in particular, but a very memorable first date in college actually asked me to hand it over so he could examine it up close. My theory: it had something to do with the weaponized possibilities of its signature chain.
So, now we want to know: which of your bags turns the most heads?
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