One of the many things men will never understand about the opposite sex is a woman’s obsession with hand bags. Not just your ordinary, mid-range priced leather accessory, but a mind-blowingly expensive handbag made by a world-renowned designer. Yes, many women have no qualms blowing money on a bag. “A worthwhile investment,” many women rationalize!
Ultimately, the type of bag you choose should conform to your lifestyle. If your style is casual chic and are always on the go, a messenger bag might be the best option. If you’re making your way up the corporate ladder, a big, rectangular-shaped leather tote bag would do you good because it has a lot of room in it for documents, files, and of course, your feminine essentials. If you're a social butterfly, constantly attending parties and formals, the clutch bag is your best friend.
To make your investment worth your while, you also look at other aspects of a bag. First, is the design. Hobo style or tote? Clutch or messenger? Shoulder straps or handle? Then the color. The practical colors for designer bags are the colors that go with anything you have in your wardrobe. So the best route to go is the generic route. Black, white, beige, navy blue—you can match these colors with everything else.
Lastly, the brand. Let’s face it. No matter how much you say otherwise, you buy a designer bag for its brand. More than the quality, status symbol weighs a ton for bag lovers and so they spend exorbitant amounts of money for a brand.
There are brands that are so well-known, their mere logo is enough to distinguish them from the rest. Their emblems speak a thousand words on their own without having to spell out the brand. So which bags could you recognize simply by their logo?
Founder Cristobal Balenciaga was a Spanish designer who established the brand famously known by his last name, in his home country exactly 100 years ago, 1914. However, when the Spanish civil war broke out, he was forced to close his stores in Spain and he eventually moved to the fashion capital of the world. Today, Balenciaga is considered a high-end French brand and has branched out from designer dresses to accessories. It’s perhaps most well-known now for its line of handbags, which are motorcycle-inspired in design. Famously called the “Lariat,” many celebrities like Nicole Richie and Lindsay Lohan have been seen sporting the bag, which comes in a whole spectrum of colors. The famous logo of two Bs back to back distinguishes the brand from all others, but is not placed in obvious parts of the bag. It’s subtly placed in the in-seams, spelling low-profile and class.
A protégé of Balenciaga, Hubert de Givenchy opened his couture shop, the House of Givenchy, in 1952. His designs were very classic feminine, attracting many famous clients, the most well-known of whom was the legendary Audrey Hepburn. Givenchy created her wardrobe for her most popular films, such as Sabrina and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. It was Hepburn’s little black dress in the latter that solidified Givenchy’s presence in the fashion map. Since then, the brand has also created accessories, including handbags. The logo of four Gs forming a square is found in many of the handbag styles and bears the witness of style and elegance.
This Italian haute fashion line was founded by the designers that bear the brand’s name: Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana. The brand is fairly young compared to other older, yet equally known brands, having been established in the 1980's. Although young as it is, it’s most definitely on the A-list of fashion. The duo had a knack of dressing famous musicians for their concert tours. Their famous clients include Beyonce, Missy Elliott, Mary J. Blige, and the queen of pop herself, Madonna. The famous D&G logo is subtly branded in all its items, including its bags. The logo is a great reminder of everything that represents style, fashion, and class.
Italy is known for its beautiful genuine leather goods. So it’s no wonder that many of its top fashion brands specialize in all things leather. That includes Fendi, founded in 1925 by Edoardo and Adele Fendi. The Fendi family sold 90% of the company to the same company that runs Louis Vuitton and as a result, Fendi is now thriving under the creative directorship of the fashion industry great, Karl Lagerfeld. Through Lagerfeld, Fendi has become a global brand in the fashion world and its logo of two Fs is so distinct to the brand.
Number 6 on the list is an American brand, one that has become extremely popular in recent fashion history. Michael Kors launched his women’s wear line, for which he is renowned for, in 1981. Due to his signature expertise in designs tailored for women, he quickly became a favorite of celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, Heidi Klum, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and no less than first lady Michelle Obama. He established the Michael line, which includes women’s hand bags, all of which sport his famous logo, his initials, MK, making it one of the most popular brands of designer handbags.
The full name “Yves Saint Laurent” is quite a mouthful to pronounce. In a strategic move, the brand re-marketed itself and went by the abbreviation YSL. YSL, also known as Saint Laurent Paris, was founded in 1962 by the designer that bears its name. Despite the popularity of the brand, it has been besieged with many financial and professional issues due to a change of hands in how many years. The ready-to-wear line may have since been re-branded as Saint Laurent, but the handbags and shoes retain the iconic YSL logo, making it a cut above the rest.
Perhaps one of the oldest and most expensive brands in the luxury fashion category is Hermes of Paris, or simply Hermes. It was founded in 1837 by Thierry Hermes and has since become known for its products’ top-quality leather and fine craftsmanship. Hermes has, after all, developed one of the most expensive and sought after bags in the world, the Hermes Birkin, named after English actress Jane Birkin, who co-designed the bag. The Birkin, just like all the other products of this revered brand, sports the H logo on its padlock. The H is displayed prominently in the other bag designs, particularly the Evelyne III bag. That trademark H will forever symbolize luxury and class.
Rounding up the top 3 is yet another Italian brand, which is now currently owned by a French company. Gucci, founded in 1921 by Italian designer Guccio Gucci, was considered one of the Top Global 100 brands in 2009 and is the biggest profit-generating Italian fashion brand. It’s no wonder, with its products ranging from clothes to bags to shoes and even to car upholstery. The famous GG logo establishes the brand clearly and tags the owner of a Gucci as someone stylish and fashion-conscious.
The little black dress, perfume no 5, the iconic suit. All fashionistas can easily associate these items to none other than Chanel, founded by Coco Chanel in 1909. One of the iconic designer’s favorite quotes is “Luxury must be comfortable. Otherwise, it is not luxury.” Going by that saying, she revolutionized fashion during a time when tight corsets were in, but oh-so-uncomfortable. So she designed clothes for women that were loose-fitting, but still complemented the figure. She later developed her own perfume and exclusive leather goods. The Chanel double C logo is found in all her products and is as famous as the brand’s signature quilted leather shoulder bags with the gold chain. Owning a Chanel truly puts you in a different class.
Voted as the most popular logo in terms of recognisability is the LV emblem of Louis Vuitton. The emblem is tantamount to absolute elegance, which is also why it is considered the world’s most valuable luxury brand. Almost as old as fellow-French brand Hermes, the Louis Vuitton fashion house was founded in 1854. The brand started with beautifully made luggage, then moved on to handbags with different styles. Handbags such as the neverfull and the speedy bear the trademark Vuitton-branded monogram canvas and damier canvas patent designs. These designs are just as famous as the LV logo and have made Louis Vuitton a household name.