Whenever we hear the word “handbag,” we instantly think of an amazing accessory that we use to cart around our most prized possessions through our daily lives. They are often a fashion statement, but for the most part they are a functional component that is essentially an extension of our home that goes with us wherever we go. However, over the years in the fashion industry, there have been various events that have happened that have caused quite a stir among protesters, designers, our ethics, and the media.
These handbag controversies have resulted in BIG attention, sometimes wanted and sometimes unwanted towards the person who caused them! Some have gotten so big that they have transitioned from coffee shop chat with your friends to discussion on major talk shows and even the news! So, whoever said that a handbag was “just” an accessory clearly didn’t know what they were talking about!
By definition, a controversy is considered a prolonged public dispute or debate. Therefore, a handbag controversy refers to an incident that happens with a handbag that has the masses all in hot, heated debates about what happened, or is said to have not happened. We examine the situation from all angles and then place a very sound opinion on one side or the other. These handbag controversies evoke much passion and excitement from those involved.
Each typically involves our favorite celebrities or someone in the public eye (because otherwise how would they make the news, right?), and touch on hot topics such as drugs, race, parenting and even fire. Handbag controversies are not for the faint of heart, because if you are willing to destroy or do something crazy with our coveted designer obsessions, you better be willing to pay for it one way or another. Read on to get some insight on the top five handbag controversies that have happened over the years drawing lots of attention in many different ways.
5. Suri Cruise’s Designer Handbag Collection
Whenever Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes came together in holy matrimony, (how could any of us EVER forget Mr. Cruise professing his joyful love for his soon to be wife on the Oprah Winfrey show?) we knew that it was only a matter of time before they either divorced or had a baby. In their case, baby came before divorce, and little Suri Cruise was born.
It quickly appeared to the public that she would be completely doted upon, the same way that any spoiled celebrity child would be, but parents Katie and Tom took spoiling to a whole new level with this little bundle of joy. It quickly started with her having access to designer duds that hard working adults only dream about, but whenever they were seen giving her accessories that grown women carry around, the controversy was then born.
At the mere age of five, Suri Cruise was spotted around town sporting a Dolce & Gabbana Miss Sicily Satchel around her teeny tiny arm. This raised a big flag for moms everywhere, mostly because the $1,295 purse costs the same amount as most children’s wardrobes for an entire year! Scandalous? I think so!
4. Rihanna’s Cannabis Leaf Bag
Last summer, singer Rihanna who is a self proclaimed marijuana fan, stepped out for an evening of fun carrying an oversized handbag with a huge cannabis leaf on the front. This statement caused quite a stir from fans and the media as soon as the paparazzi snapped many pictures of her with the said bag in her hands.
People instantly started to question what this popular singer is doing with her time and parents began wondering if it was appropriate for their children to be listening to her music. As a musician, and her income relying on her fans purchasing her music, one would think that she would be a bit more discreet about her accessory choices. But some people love her for how outspoken she is and the fact that she doesn’t really care what people think. Either way, talk of this bag remained in the press for weeks.
3. Oprah Winfrey Switzerland Handbag Scandal
Oprah Winfrey herself took to twitter recently when she experienced some racism thrown her way from a clerk at a handbag store while visiting Switzerland. She had been traveling while promoting her role in her latest film, The Butler, and decided to pop into an exclusive department store, only featuring items the super rich can afford.
She asked the clerk to personally show her a $38,000 handbag that she was interested in and they instantly turned the billionaire away, saying repeatedly that she could not afford the exclusive accessory. Don’t they know who Oprah Winfrey is in Switzerland? Clearly the clerk was making the judgment based on Oprah’s skin color, and Oprah took to twitter!
After she had pressed “send” on her tweet, the Swiss tourism office came forward to apologize. But, no one ever did catch the name of the store!
2. Amy Adams vs. Valentino
Whenever designers release new designs to the public each season, it is highly in their favor to work with hot celebrities by giving them complimentary products to sport around town and be photographed wearing. It’s a win-win situation for both parties as the celeb gets a new handbag and the designer gets ton of press.
Recently, during the wake of beloved actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, long time friend Amy Adams was seen carrying a new Valentino bag on her arm. As soon as the Valentino press team caught site of the images taken by the paparazzi, they instantly made public a press release stating that the famous actress had been seen everywhere carrying their new handbag.
As soon as this press release was made public, instead of fans running out to buy the same handbag, they took to twitter and outraged against Valentino for capitalizing on a moment whenever she was mourning the loss of her dear friend, calling this incident “tasteless.” Valentino immediately fired back some damage control stating that they didn’t know she was heading to the wake, apologizing, of course.
1. Clint Eastwood’s Daughter Set $100,000 Handbag On Fire
Last but not least, the most controversial scandal of them all! Two years ago, Francesca Eastwood, daughter of the beloved Hollywood actor, director and producer, Clint Eastwood, set a $100,000 Hermes Birkin bag on fire, but only after taking a chainsaw to its precious red crocodile leather first. It is said that she was working with boyfriend Tyler Shields on an art project that outraged people everywhere.
Readers spoke out about how the money used to ruin this bag could have gone to people in need and stating, “Go and work for a living and see if you burn a 100k bag. Hell you wouldn’t even be burning a 50 dollar bag. That is NOT art losers.” Tyler Shields taunted readers back by linking to other pieces of his artwork in which he burned a $500+ pair of Christian Louboutin heels, clearly getting a chuckle out of the entire situation.
So what did Eastwood have to say about all of the backlash she received from press and readers all over the internet? “I was doing it in the name of art,” she simply stated. Apparently, whenever you have money to “burn,” it doesn’t matter how coveted the handbag is or what people think.