I’ve been hearing rumblings about this announcement for a few weeks, but it’s finally official: friend of PurseBlog Rebecca Minkoff has signed on with Saks to produce a line of bags at a higher price point than what some of her fans might be used to. More information and pictures, after the jump.

According to Minkoff, the bags will be created using materials and hardware that didn’t make financial sense to use in her lower-priced line, like rose gold-covered hardware and fine calf skins. Based on the pictures I’ve seen, the designs will be more intricate and hardware-laden, but still retain the style for which Minkoff is known. (In fact, some of the styles are exactly the same, just with different materials.)

I am of two minds about the collection – on the one hand, nicer materials do cost more money, so it makes sense that the end product would be more pricey. Alternately, however, some of Minkoff’s long-time customers feel as though the quality of her current bags has taken a hit (I don’t own one, so I cannot personally attest to this, but I’ve seen the feedback both in the comments on the blog and in the RM section of The Purse Forum), and I’m sure that they’ll feel snubbed in favor of customers that can pay more for the quality that they already feel that they deserve.

There’s also the question of whether Minkoff’s bags have an audience at a higher price point, and I suppose that that remains to be seen. With prices ranging from $550 to $2,000 (which would be for an exotic, I would hope), the line is certainly playing for a different audience than has gotten used to buying RM bags at sample sales and otherwise discounted prices. We know that it’s possible for a brand to make a successful lower-priced line (hello, Marc by Marc Jacobs), but I think it will be significantly harder for a brand to go from mid-range to high-end. The price expectations that have already been set may be too hard to overcome.

As far as the designs go…I think that the art deco buckles are a bit much, but the rose gold hardware is an interesting idea. I’m not sure that I’d be willing to pay $550 for some of these bags, however, let alone $2,000 – do you plan to make a purchase from this line?




Photos via Minkette.com

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