There is no doubting the fact that women have an ongoing love affair with luxury handbags. Purse blogs or e-magazines and comments on purse forums indicate that some women are actually obsessed with them. There are women who actually own hundreds of luxury handbags which collectively are worth thousands of dollars. Social media and Dr Google publish images of the well-to-do, celebrities and royals who are seen out and about with different bag for each outfit. They come in various colors to match each shade and style of their outfits.
It is easy for the rich and famous, celebrities and royals have to have a large collection of luxury handbags. But the typical working woman or the stay at home mum can hardly afford to pay such high prices to realise her dream. The actuality is that most bag-loving women will go without other things in order to fulfil her desire for a new bag.
What sacrifice would you have been prepared to make to bid for the Hermes Birkin which recently sold at auction for over $200,000? Made of exquisite pink crocodile skin, it is adorned with 18 carat gold hardware and genuine diamonds. The basic Hermes will cost at least $8000, and you will probably have to be on a waiting list to get it!
Luxury handbags these days do not sell for much handbags less than $500. In Fact, many of the more exclusive fashion houses sell their bags for well over $1000. I personally would have to save up for a long to be the proud owner of one of these amazing accessories.
While the ultimate 21st-century object of desire, luxury handbags are the not just for the well-to-do, celebrities and royals, but also for working women from all walks of life as well. Now, women of all ages are likely to spend more on a handbag than a holiday, jewelry or even a car. They all have this hidden desire to be noticed.
Clothes actually can take second place to luxury handbags. For instance, an ad made in 2007 featuring Kate Moss lying naked on a beach with nothing on except for her Longchamp handbag. Their message was clear: clothes are redundant – it’s all about the bag.
So why do women have this love affair with luxury handbags? One of the reasons is because they have become a personal fashion statement illustrating a woman’s wealth and status. They also point out how fashion conscious a woman is, and demonstrates her position and earning power. It is also because the ever growing popularity of the large purse, which over the previous 100 years or so, has followed the emergent social independence of women.
Previously a woman’s role was typically domestic and she would carry her personal things in a purse tucked into the folds of her skirt or in a small purse she carried discretely. But as women ventured more from the home, both for leisure and work, larger purses became a useful way of taking their stuff with them. Eleanor Roosevelt is said to have started the trend of using a large purse as a fashion accessory
Another reason why luxury handbags became more popular was the fact that rail and sea travel became more accessible, so there was more demand for fashionable luggage such as suitcases, dressing cases, as well as hat and shoe boxes. This lead to the development of the modern leather handbag.
It is not surprising, therefore that many of today’s top fashion houses, such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada and Hermes, originated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. And as women attained financial independence, the handbag industry flourished out of all proportion to its modest beginnings.