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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Expensive Designer Handbags: What's Hot and What's Not


How do you determine whether a designer handbag qualifies as "expensive" in today's already over-inflated luxury goods market? Well, to start off with you must draw a line in the sand regarding pricing. For me, a really expensive handbag (meaning out of my league unless my husband suddenly gets a lobotomy) starts at $3000 and up. There is, of course, a notable exception to this rule (meaning the bags will always be expensive, but worth it): Hermès. Once we remove the king of all handbag design labels out of the equation, sifting through the rest of the pack is simple.

Let's take a look at a few of the more notable selections vying for your hard-earned dollars:

Top Row:
Zagliani Crocodile Frame Bag $6,235 via Saks
Bottega Veneta Crocodile Tote
$22,680 via Neiman Marcus
Yves Saint Laurent Crocodile Uptown Bag
$27,000 via Neiman Marcus

Bottom Row:
Dior Soft Lady Dior Python Tote $4,455 via Bergdorf Goodman
Loro Piana Globe Convertible Tote
$3,495 via Neiman Marcus
Roberta di Camerino Matte Gator Caravel
$6,595 via Barneys

So what's hot and what's not?

Only the Zagliani Crocodile Frame Bag, Loro Piana Globe Convertible Tote and Roberta di Camerino Matte Gator Caravel are worth their price tags. The Zagliani bag is a classic design that will stand the test of time. When you factor in the special silicone injection treatments all Zagliani bags receive making their exotic skins buttery soft, the hefty price tag is well earned. Although the Loro Piana tote bag is the only non-exotic selection in the bunch, its' amazing leather and impeccable construction are legendary. Like Hermès, you can absolutely never go wrong with a Loro Piana bag. Frankly, its' $3,495 price tag is a bargain (relatively speaking, of course!). The Roberta di Camerino handbag is simply a no-brainer decision. A RDC bag is a work of art. This iconic design label has produced classic designs toted by celebrities, socialites and even royalty. Who are we to argue with its' elegant lines and classic appeal? A Roberta di Camerino is an investment that will pay off in spades.

Now that we know what's hot, you'll understand why the remaining bags are not. As much as I love Bottega Veneta (and trust me, I do), $22,680 for a crocodile tote is absurd. For that amount of money, you can purchase two or three Zagliani exotic bags, not to mention a couple of lovely Birkins. The Uptown Bag is one of my favorite YSL designs to date, but, once again, $27,000 for a crocodile bag from YSL is not a wise handbag investment. I love its' grey color and the crocodile skin suits the 'Uptown' style perfectly, but these details do not justify the mind-numbing price tag. Last but not least, the Dior Soft Lady Dior Python Tote barely misses the mark. Its' sophisticated look is tempting, but $4,455 is just a bit too much for an exotic bag that has many equal or better-designed competitors.
In case you haven't gotten the gist of picking through the expensive handbag market, take a look at this bag. The COACH Hamptons Alligator Large Carry On is a fun and functional tote bag, but $30,000 for a Coach bag? This, ladies, is the perfect example of what ridiculous over-pricing can do to a bag. In the case of this COACH tote, the gator is dead in the water. Perhaps it should have stayed there.

Related Posts:
Zagliani Crocodile Tote
Celebrity Style: Louis Vuitton Tribute Patchwork Bag
Chanel Limited Edition Lucky Charms Handbag: Trash or Treasure?

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