For Your Interest: Luxury Handbags. Real Style. Real Money.

Image: Louis Vuitton, Erwin Soo. Internet Neon, Julian Burgess. Flower, VIppng. Bags, YNAP.

Deep in the heart of luxury, there are millions of women around the world who spend a large part of their days (and nights) searching for and buying high-priced handbags. Part passion-project, part style search and all-splurge, many of the women have two or three bags. The more keen and well-off have collections with 20 to 30 plus.

It’s an all nations, all-ages, world of style and identity where the words Speedy, Multi Pochette, Birkin, Saddle, Cassette, Zumi, Zuca, Baguette and others translate easily across borders and foreign languages into pictures which have a deep, dream-like appeal.

Luxury & Handbag Industry category types: Shoulder bag, Bucket bag, Briefcase, Handbag, Backpack, Tote bag, Wallet, Clutch. Hobo bag, Satchel, Athletic bag, SLGs (Small Leather Goods)

The bags they look for and buy cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars for entry level small leather goods (SLGs) like card holders and wallets to $200,000+ USD for rare crocodile or alligator skin versions.The most wanted and collected bags come from the top names in the luxury universe: Hermes, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Gucci, Prada, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Chloe.

There are two main keys of affection. Some ladies have a “type” and stick to one brand. Others like to keep their options open and “shop around” based on looks and trends.The buying moves are all different. For some women, buying the next Fendi or Saint Laurent piece is just another Wednesday afternoon.For others, sealing the deal happens after a lot of careful thinking and bank account checking. Many do a deep background dive, consult with “the girls” over drinks & dinner and make multiple price comparisons…before swiping.

The bond between women and handbags is time-tested and true. 700 years after the first model was made, handbags still have the same job description and star role in women’s lives: carryall, safety deposit box, daily organizer, constant companion, storage space, protector, personal hygiene/makeup case, fashion accessory, trusty friend and keeper of secrets.

Fine jewellery is actually far more valuable and just as easy to carry as a pricey purse. In fact, sparkly diamonds and precious metals are nowhere near as popular for women as luxury handbags. Forget the James Bond movie lyrics and glossy magazine ads.
In real life, designer jewellery does not generate the same amount of interest, attention and envy…or views and likes.

The internet is filled to the brim with thousands of handbag blog reviews, millions of smiling selfies starring quilted clutches & totes and there are an endless number of YouTube and Instagram Live hauls and unboxings.

Getting to know you: Luxury handbags by the numbers.
Global Market total sales: 2019 $59.3* Billion USD
North America: $10.9* Billion (USD)
Europe: $13.8 Billion* USD / €11.5 Billion Euros.
APAC/ Asia Pacific: $11.8 Billion.**
(*Source.Cision PR.**TechSci Research)

For the ladies, the luxury handbag chase happens very much like a delicious, flirty romance: There is the rush of a first glance – seen on a passing shoulder, maybe in an ad. Next, a one-on-one encounter, either stalking online or checked out inside a plush boutique window…followed by hours spent daydreaming and imagining.
There can be heartbreak if a certain handbag crush is “unavailable” or “sold out.”. Joining a waiting list is a jumpy limbo of days or weeks hanging around waiting for a call. Happiness comes in a smooth box tied with ribbon and gift wrapped in layers of fine tissue. The bliss of finally touching and holding the wished-for suede/leather piece is either a private moment enjoyed alone and happily satisfied, or shown off in public with a giddy smile and dressed to impress. In the online age, the “relationship status” is sealed with a social media post or uploaded in a video.

The attraction and love affair for luxury handbags is a chemistry of three words: looks, mystery and charm. Good looks are a must, especially considering the prices, but the ladies who play are not just buying great craftsmanship and designer pretty. They are also buying into the magic of a brand’s image and the sweet feeling of owning something expensive which has the stamp of social status. A Gucci bag is a Gucci bag in Shanghai, New York and Stockholm. The patterns of green and red stripes, two interlocking Cs, a spray of canvas printed with brown L and V letters or a silver triangle on black nylon are deluxe international symbols. The different brand logos known all over the world. Carrying or owning a luxury handbag sprinkles a triple halo of style, wealth and social status onto whoever is holding it.

Baby light my fire: Luxury brands tier list.
A: Hermes
A1: Chanel, Luis Vuitton
A2: Gucci, Prada, Dior, Fendi, Saint Laurent, Chloe, Balenciaga
B: Celine, Tom Ford, Balmain, Lanvin. Bottega Veneta
B2: Valentino, Versace, Loewe, Off White, Givenchy, Jacquemus
C: Moschino, Tory Burch, Michael Kors, Coach, Kate Spade
(Honourable mention: Amina Muaddi, Telfar)


To have a romance, you need two. Luxury brands and designers are suave partners in keeping the fantasy alive and new.Fresh collections are released up to 10 times a year and surprise “limited editions” are dotted in between.There is a match for every female type: clean, simple basics for those who don’t do frills, new takes on classic styles for the shy and quiet, up-to-date models with a seasonal/material twist for outgoing free spirits and bold, eye-catching pieces to suit flashy attention seekers. Celebrities, Hollywood stars and influencers are often “gifted” freebies or loaned upcoming pieces to stir up attention and spark demand from red carpet appearances, just-by-chance paparazzi pics as well as “sponsored” posts on Instagram and Pinterest.

Each new design is carefully studied and analyzed in magazines, lookbooks and on social media long before they are available to buy. The pros and cons of leather vs suede, top handle vs crossbody, tacky vs classy are widely debated in group chats and shared in online comments. Life on the internet is like high school. There are strong likes and dislikes over buckles, zips, straps, chains, crytals and sequins. Meangirling is not unusual and emotions can be high. An in-person trip to Maison Chanel or chez Dior is like visiting a mini island with soft lights and low seats where the products are displayed just-so to compliment the details. $2,000, $5000, $12,000, $25,000 dollars is a lot of money. In some stores, the bags are literally handled with gloves. VIP status is a floating cloud of champagne, private invitations and free one of a kind goodies. Luxury brand speak is also suitably flattering and pleasing. Handbags and purses are not carried, they are “worn.” Spending a huge amount of money is not a risky financial decision, it is an “investment.” Customer service is called “customer care.”
Designer brands also know how to play hard to get. Limited regional collections for Asia or Latin America can put some styles just out of reach for customers in North America or Europe. Certain pieces are also made in purposely low numbers to keep the supply low and demand high.

At the store and boutique level, the “SA” (sales associate) is a girl’s best friend. SAs are a combination brand rep, stylist, buddy, inside man, global supply chain hunter, cheerleader and accomplice. They do what it takes to find and sell. It is the best kind of customer service. The top male and female SAs are rewarded with bonuses and perks by their brands and have a top five spot on speed dial for many high-net-worth clients.

The darkside to all the chic, bright, and elegant handbag fun are fakes. For the fans and fashionables, fake designer bags are a definite and instant turn off. Nobody wants to be scammed or buy a knock off. Bootleg luxury bags are a billion dollar black market business. Government seizures of counterfeit goods and arrests take place regularly. In 2018, 24 people were arrested by customs officials and New York police for trying to smuggle $1 billion of fake luxury goods into the U.S. Brands spend millions of dollars each year enforcing trademarks in court, cracking down on illegal factories and shutting down unlawful websites. Buying a fake luxury bag is in some way supporting criminals and organized crime.


True luxury never dies. Instead, it just moves next door to a place called Vestiaire Collective, Poshmark, Alibaba or The Real Real.
These are online luxury consignment sites. Think circular economy meets resell meets fancy goods.
Here sellers list their older (preloved), new-ish and sometimes even brand new bags for sale. Decluttering a closet and downsizing a collection are the most common reasons why luxury handbags are listed.
It’s a chance to cleanse and make money at the same time. Other reasons include buyer’s remorse at an impulse buy or regret for a hasty style choice. One unspoken motive is…sometimes a girl has

to what she has to do to raise some cash. For buyers, the sites are a legit place to find a steal, come up on good a deal or maybe find the buried treasure of a seasons old bag which got away.

It is easy to think that all the buying, selling, trading and wearing of luxury handbags is a lifestyle just for fashion Barbies and silly trophy wives. Things have changed. There is a new dress-code in town. The new customer profile is thanks to education and the internet. Women now make up 40%* of the workforce in 80* countries. In Canada, the UK, America and France the number is 45%.* (*Source. Pew Reserch Centre) Education has moved women into careers and positions that pay them more money than days gone by. Spending power and “disposable income” are up. Women in India, Mexico, Brazil, Poland, South Africa, Australia, Dubai and beyond have the money and like elegant shapes with premium finishes too.

The internet has brought more information and a longer shopping reach to women who used to be outside the centres of fashion and luxury. Now style and the products to match are available to anyone with a wi-fi connection and a delivery address.
It goes deeper than just just looking cute and showing off on social. This moment in luxury is about women earning their own, finding their own and buying their own. Behind each Kelly, 2:55, Marmont and Constance is a story of personal drive, special goals and a strong work ethic.

The desire for style, social status and connection is an irresistible, timeless force which is not going away anytime soon.

Grade: It doesn’t get any better.

Luxury handbags and small leather good are available from all fine retail shops, online boutiques and 3rd party luxury consignment sites worldwide.

Hermes online:
Chanel online:
Dior online:
Luxury consignment sites.
Vestiaire Collective:
The Real Real:

Copyright (C) 2020. RaphaelClarence/La Source Online.

All rights reserved.

Photo Credits: Hermes bag, P Trest. Chanel box, S Forand. Dior bag, P Blog, Gucci bag, Y Nap. Louis Vuitton bag, P Trest. Loewe bag, Y Nap. Dior storefront, Stephen Carlile, Fendi storefront, Roxy Chen. Chanel storefront, Adlenz. Louis Vuitton storefront, J Cutrer. Chanel bag, Sha Heung. Louis Vuitton runway, F Kamilc. Bags, Y Nap.