[vintage bags from top right 1, 9. Coach; 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8. Dooney & Bourke; 7. Prada clutch]
When it comes to big name designer bags, vintage is better than new.
As you might know, I’m trying to buy less leather and buy leather secondhand when I can. I was in need of a small crossbody bag to carry my giant phone and pager while at work, searched for one at Poshmark, and was just blown away–99.99% deserve a big thumbs down 👎🏼 . There were a few quality bags in the mix — all vintage . It turns out the internet is full of affordable vintage designer bags in excellent condition and most are made in America and go for under $100. I’ve included some of my favorites above. Dooney & Bourke and Coach were the most common bags on sale. Of course, I ended up purchasing the tiny minimalist black crossbody that’s just barely big enough to hold my iPhone 6+ (top right). I like the ultra thin strap, sleek design and low profile side pocket where I can store my notes.
Most designer bags nowadays are straight-up ugly. Why all the embellishments? Why all the heavy-handed branding? Brands like Louie Vuitton, Prada, Coach, Michael Kors, Hermes sell bags for an arm and a leg but don’t deliver on classic stunning designs anymore. Here’s a screenshot from the Coach online store to illustrate my point:
What a mess, right? I’m not the only one who’s noticed. Someone at HuffPo wrote about this a while ago. $1,900 for a bag that will snag on everything and fall apart in no time!? These designs reek of desperation in a declining market (millennial women just aren’t buying expensive bags like their mothers’ generation anymore). The best new bags are coming from young labels like APC, Rachel Comey, and Building Block to name a few; they’re creating new classics that range between $200-800 (still a big investment, but not anywhere near the insane price tags of older brands).
A lot of times, bags are used simply as status symbols. You have these wealthy women in the upper east side with $30,000 handbags that are ugly AF. These women are wealthy and despite this, they manage to still look basic with those uninspiring bags. My snarky side can’t help but think: sure, money can buy you a Birkin bag, but it can’t buy you taste. There are plenty of beautiful ultra-expensive bags out there though, but even if I could afford one, I think I’d feel too uncomfortable carrying it.
What about you? What do you think of mainstream designer bags? And what things do you prefer to buy vintage?