A recent post on the Robin Report asks, “Why are Handbags so Important?” The female author of the post asking the question answered it with a number of reasons, including functionality, self-expression, accessorizing, and, of course, serving as a status symbol. In fact, it was noted both L’il Kim and Martha Stewart carried Birkins during their time in court before heading to jail.
Whether your handbag is any or all of these to you, the fact is if you invest in luxury handbags of any type, you’re supporting a business expected to top $9 billion in the U.S. by 2015. According to a report by GIA, this market is supported by increasing demand, especially in the age group of 15-34 years.
Picking Your Style
The rapid growth of the highly competitive luxury handbag market has attracted a number of recognized designers. While Coach Inc is the U.S. market leader, the key players include Burberry, Gucci, Prada, Michael Kors, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, and Chanel. The competition has spurred new approaches to old styles and a differentiation in the product offerings.
These changes mean you have to be a little more specific than just saying handbag. In fact, many women have an assortment of different types of bags depending on whether they are using it for business functions, play, everyday work, or leisure. There are even varieties of luxury handbags for leisure activities of shopping, holidaying, or a day on the beach.
Here’s a simple guide to the 5 basic types of luxury handbags.
The name for this bag comes from its resemblance to a small loaf of French bread. It is narrow and small with short straps. These are the true “handbags” as they are carried in the hand and have limited space for anything more than the bare essentials. This bag is normally paired carefully with specific fashions and styles.
This is a popular bag for business women, artists, and teachers. It is designed with a greater width than height and generally has both a top clasp and handle for carrying. The bottom is often flat, and the materials used are leather or some other durable selection. These bags sport little decoration, and the clean, sophisticated lines connote professionalism.
This is the other true handbag and is without straps, usually reserved to accessorize formal wear. It is carried under the arm or “clutched” in the hand and, as with the baguette, has room for the barest of necessities.
You see these large bags slung over the shoulder, ready to carry tons of items for any purpose. The large, double handles are designed to allow full access to the roomy interior, and these bags are seen in all situations. Designers love this bag and it has the most varied styles and uses, from clean to ornate, and from beach to conference room.
Most women have their favorite go-to hobo, as it is just roomy enough to carry more than the basics while not as bulky as a satchel or tote. The crescent shape is the distinctive hobo style, which, combined with a long, single shoulder strap, gives a relaxed, slouchy look. These bags complement most casual and everyday work fashions.
Whatever your preference, the love for these bags means the luxury handbag market will continue to introduce many new styles and variations of looks in the coming years.