Author Archives: Amanda Mull

Want It Wednesday: Shine with Metallics

Want It Wednesday: Shine with Metallics

Metallics can be a little bit tricky; in their worst incarnations, the finish can look cheap and tacky, but when a metallic is good, it’s something you can wear no matter the season or time of day. Because we’re in one of those oh-so-delicate seasonal transition periods where a good metallic is worth its weight in literal gold, we’ve used this edition of Want It Wednesday to round up our favorites.

Want It Wednesday: Shine with Metallics

Want It Wednesday: Shine with Metallics

Metallics can be a little bit tricky; in their worst incarnations, the finish can look cheap and tacky, but when a metallic is good, it’s something you can wear no matter the season or time of day. Because we’re in one of those oh-so-delicate seasonal transition periods where a good metallic is worth its weight in literal gold, we’ve used this edition of Want It Wednesday to round up our favorites.

Farfetch Free Global Shipping Code April 2014

farfetch free shipping coupon codeWhen you’re talking about sourcing a sold-out bag at a tiny Italian boutique or finding the pair of shoes you’ve been looking for at the coolest shop in Tokyo, even when you’re successful in your search, you still have one problem left: getting the bag across oceans and borders to you. farfetch.com solves a lot of those problems for you by aggregating the globe’s best boutique selections in one place, and now through April 24, you can get free global shipping on any order over $170. Time to start searching!

Get Free Global Shipping at ferfetch.com Now!

Bag of the Week: Tory Burch Robinson Printed Triangle Tote

Bag of the Week: Tory Burch Robinson Printed Triangle Tote

Bag: Tory Burch Robinson Printed Triangle Tote

Price: $375 via Bloomingdale’s

Why It’s the Bag of the Week: This Tory Burch purse is spring in bag form, and the combination of a sophisticated floral and a reasonable price means that you won’t feel guilty for buying something so seasonal.

Good News: Mulberry’s Handbag Prices are About to Drop

Good News: Mulberry’s Handbag Prices are About to Drop

Fashion is an industry of rarity, but the news late last week from Mulberry may be the rarest thing we’ve seen in recent memory. On the heels of former CEO Bruno Guillon’s exit, the company has announced it will return to a price structure similar to the one it used before he took the helm of the brand two years ago. In real-world terms, that means one very important thing to bag lovers: Mulberry’s bags are about to become significantly less expensive.

Guillon, who had come to Mulberry from the ultra-luxury environs of Hermes, set about making Mulberry’s bags more exclusive and desirable chiefly by making them more expensive. Not only did that tactic alienate (and eventually drive out) popular and successful creative director Emma Hill, but it also turned off a lot of the brand’s longtime customers, who relished the brand’s position as a mid-market supplier of It Bags for It Girls and grown women alike.

The upmarket move might have worked if Mulberry’s products had moved in an obviously more luxurious direction, but they didn’t – there were few exotics to be found and no more fur than had been present under Hill, and they didn’t have a clearly elevated aesthetic in any other way. Consumers were not impressed.

Under those circumstances, it’s not particularly surprising that the upmarket move simply resulted in declining sales, but what is surprising is that Mulberry has acknowledged and pledged to reverse the price increases. I can’t remember another brand doing that in the half decade I’ve been covering the accessories industry, and that Mulberry seems to be trying to re-win the confidence of previous customers indicates just how disastrous Guillon’s strategy has been for the London leather goods stalwart.

Mulberry’s challenges aren’t exactly over, though; now that the ship has been righted on pricing, the brand still needs to name a permanent CEO replacement and find a new creative director to make customers forget all about this monetary unpleasantness.

Louis Vuitton’s Summer 2014 Collection Includes Pretty Pastel Bags

Louis Vuitton’s Summer 2014 Collection Includes Pretty Pastel Bags

For brands that rely heavily on their accessories collections for revenue, the standard four seasonal collections just won’t cut it; not only do their customers demand more variety, but so do their bottom lines. Because of those parallel motivations, Louis Vuitton releases a limited, usually travel-themed summer collection every year, and the Louis Vuitton Summer 2014 Bags and Accessories have landed. As you might have expected based on the market’s general warm-weather trends, some of Vuitton’s classic pieces, like the Neverfull tote, have gotten a lighter makeover in shades ranging from lilac to pale yellow.

5 Under $500: Striped Bags

5 Under $500: Striped Bags


Kate Spade Grove Court Maise Satchel
$328 via Nordstrom

Kate Spade Grove Court Maise Satchel

Katy Perry Buys Her Baby Niece a Baby Chanel Bag

Katy Perry Buys Her Baby Niece a Baby Chanel Bag

At a certain point, once you’ve been rich and famous for a few years, shopping for yourself has to lose some of its fun. Especially if you’re a star like Katy Perry, who’s known for her style and, as a result, regularly receives freebies and loaned stunners from basically every brand she could desire. What’s a pop star to do then? If Perry’s weekend Instagram is any indication, she’s chosen to scratch the shopping itch by buying a Chanel Mini Flap Bag for her infant niece.

The baby, daughter of Katy’s sister Angela, was just born (with a living room assist from Katy) at the end of February, and she already has a more enviable handbag collection than basically any baby we know. From the looks of Katy’s Instagram, it seems as though she also hooked the baby up with a pair of super-fancy Jeremy Scott x Adidas sneakers.

Katy’s taken to calling herself “Stylist Auntie,” so it seems as though this baby’s fashion collection has only just begun. If you want to scope out Katy’s pre-auntie style, we suggest starting with “The Many Bags of Katy Perry.”

The Bucket Bag is Spring 2014′s Biggest Accessories Trend

The Bucket Bag is Spring 2014′s Biggest Accessories Trend

For those of you who wanted one, it’s probably time to come to terms with the fact that you’re not going to get a Mansur Gavriel Bucket Bag for spring. (Add it to your wishlist at Net-a-Porter, though – a friend who did so fairly recently saw it show up in her shopping bag last week.) That’s a bummer, but the good news is that Mansur Gavriel was on the front end of a trend that has since become huge – bucket bags are spring’s biggest handbag shape trend, and the brands entering into the fray include everyone from Opening Ceremony to Hermes.

Traditionalists will be glad to see that Louis Vuitton has introduced lots of new versions of the original bucket bag, the Noe, including Epi leather in perfect summer shades. On the less expensive end of the spectrum, lots of contemporary brands have pounced on the casual, unstructured style in a way that will surely appeal to younger customers. For the best of the best, check out what’s going on below.

Check Out Which Bags Your Favorite Celebs Carried on Easter

Check Out Which Bags Your Favorite Celebs Carried on Easter

Celebrities: they’re just like us, at least in that some of them go all-out for Easter, and others can’t figure out why the grocery store isn’t open on Sunday morning. Everyone from Fergie to Duchess Kate (who had her Alexander McQueen clutch altered to replace the holiday-inappropriate skull clasp) was out and about yesterday, and we took the opportunity to chronicle their Easter handbag choices, no matter whether they were headed to church or to pilates class.

Man Bag Monday: Louis Vuitton Spring 2014 Damier Leather

Man Bag Monday: Louis Vuitton Spring 2014 Damier Leather

Louis Vuitton’s much-publicized move away from its iconic monogram canvas has resulted in two accessories biproducts: more leather and exotic handbags and more Damier handbags. With the introduction of the Louis Vuitton Spring 2014 Men’s Damier Bags, both are now available together.

The season’s Damier leather comes in two different versions – Nomade Grand Damier and Nomade Damier Oversize. The Grand version features smaller perforations in a smaller print scale, while the Oversize version features large, airy perforations in a scale that matches the name of the print. A third men’s Damier style, which fuses leather and lizard (a men’s first for Vuitton), is also available in at least one smaller style. Check out the new bags below, which all ring up in the mid-four figures.

Shop 25% Off at the Saks Friends & Family Sale 2014

Shop 25% Off at the Saks Friends & Family Sale 2014

The Saks Friends & Family Sale 2014 is on, and this is a big one, you guys. Starting now through April 28, you can get 25% off nearly at purchase at Saks Fifth Avenue, and 20% off of jewelry. All you have to do is enter code FRNFAM2 at checkout to get your discount! Some restrictions do apply, so check out the fine print via Saks.

Shop the Saks Friends & Family Sale Now!

The Best Bag Deals for the Weekend of April 18

The Best Bag Deals for the Weekend of April 18

We’re in a bit of an odd season for bag deals. Because a lot of brands and retailers are doing Friends & Family sales right now, sale sections are a little bit barren, but they’re sure to fill up again soon. In the meantime, we have our weekly roundup of the best of the best below, plus a new coupon code to tell you about. Now through April 21, you can take 20% off any Loeffler Randall purchase on the brand’s site with code FRIENDLY. Definitely check out Loeffler Randall’s new spring bags (and shoes!), and for the traditional lineup of bag deals, meet us after the jump. (Alternately, check our our Deals page for a listing of the best online sales, updated daily.)

Interview: Giuseppe Zanotti Marks 20 Years in Business with Capsule Collection

Interview: Giuseppe Zanotti Marks 20 Years in Business with Capsule Collection

This year, footwear virtuoso Giuseppe Zanotti marks 20 years of his eponymous brand, and he’s doing so in highly glamorous fashion. To commemorate the occasion, the company has released Jewel, the first of four anniversary capsule collections, this one featuring Zanotti’s popular flat sandals reimagined in gold with glittering details. These shoes will arrive in a selection of Zanotti’s flagship stores in June, and we were lucky to have the opportunity to ask Giuseppe himself a few questions about his illustrious history as one of the shoe biz’s biggest names.

1. 20 years in business with your own brand is quite a milestone. What’s been the biggest key to your personal success in the industry?

I have no specific formula for my success, I just want to create shoes that make women sensual and beautiful. I don’t follow any particular fashion trends, I just love women and I love when they wear my shoes with creativity because in the end they are the real fashion designers.

Giuseppe Zanotti Jewel Spipiott Sandals

2. How has your approach to design changed since you started designing shoes?

When I start creating a collection there are some constant sources of inspiration. Music has always been part of my design process. Some years ago, I used to be a deejay and I am still deeply connected to music. Whether designing a pair of shoes or making an album it’s the same creative process. Collaborating with musicians was a natural evolution. In the last few years I have been inspired by street style too. I love to travel, listen and see what is going on around the world and absorb people’s culture and energy.

Giuseppe Zanotti Jewel Venere Sandals

3. Before you founded your company, you worked with some incredible brands, from Valentino to Dior. What motivated you to start your own label?

When I started my career I worked for some incredible fashion houses, they gave me the experience and training to start my own business. It was my dream to be on my own. I wanted to design freely without any restraint, as I have always had a strong point of view and direction.

Giuseppe Zanotti Jewel Slim Sandals

4. Who is the Giuseppe Zanotti woman? Do you design for an ideal customer in your mind?

The Giuseppe Zanotti woman is in constant evolution, but always sensual, powerful and with a strong personality. Women change so quickly and designers have to constantly follow their needs and desires. I love when I see a young girl and someone her mother’s age wearing the same shoes.

Giuseppe Zanotti Jewel Amira Sandals

5. Shoe trends have changed a lot in the past few years, especially when it comes to single-soles vs. platforms. How much do those changes influence your design choices?

Whether I am making platforms or flats I always focus on proportions, materials and adding a WOW factor. I work closely with my team of highly-skilled artisans to make sure that every detail is perfect.
All of my shoes are Made in Italy to guarantee the highest quality.

The Many Bags of Khloe Kardashian

The Many Bags of Khloe Kardashian

There are few more controversial figures in American pop culture than the Kardashians, and they’re controversial in exactly the ways that make for excellent bag-spotting. Extravagant, conspicuous, exhibitionistic – the Kardashians have a lot of stuff, and they’d like to show it to you. That makes Khloe Kardashian a perfect candidate for our weekly handbag examination. Sister Kim had the biggest collection we’ve ever documented, but Khloe does a pretty good job of accumulating luxury handbags in her own right, including a colorful array of Birkins.

The Row’s Spring 2014 Runway Hobos Sold Out Immediately at Net-a-Porter

The Row’s Spring 2014 Runway Hobos Sold Out Immediately at Net-a-Porter

The Row has made bold accessory moves one of its brand signatures; the brand debuted its handbag line with a $34,000 alligator backpack at a time when no one in the industry thought backpacks could be a luxury draw, after all. Even though The Row Sling Shoulder Bag might not be quite that jaw-dropping (or expensive), it’s still well worth noting that they disappeared from Net-a-Porter’s stock almost immediately upon arrival.

When we first covered this design’s runway debut, many of you spoke positively of the possible return of the hobo, and it seems as though a number of shoppers have put their money where their mouths are. Both the $1,600 silk-twill bag and its $4,600 leather counterpart were slapped with “sold out” markers within hours of their arrival at Net-a-Porter on Monday, and they’ve yet to come back in stock, as sometimes happens with new products that quickly go out of stock on the site.

It’s impossible to tell at this point whether this bag’s nascent popularity is indicative of a coming shift in luxury bag preferences, but The Row did do a pretty good job calling that whole backpack thing several seasons before the rest of us.

If you’d like to get on the list to buy one of these bags when they’re restocked, you can do so below.



The Row Sling Leather Shoulder Bag
$4,600 via Net-a-Porter The Row Sling Leather Shoulder Bag

The Row Sling Satin Shoulder Bag
$1,600 via Net-a-Porter

The Row Sling Satin Shoulder Bag

Want It Wednesday: Sunglasses for Every Face

Want It Wednesday: Sunglasses for Every Face

Over the weekend, the PurseBlog team was scattered around the country – I was in Atlanta, Megs and Vlad were in Ft. Lauderdale, Bea was at Coachella and both Katherine and Shannon were holding down the fort in NYC. Somehow, even in our disparate locations, we all got to enjoy some gloriously sunny, warm weather that only served to remind us that we should probably stock up on some sunglasses for the coming season. As a result, that’s the focus of this week’s Want It Wednesday.

Instagram’s Handbag Celebrities: @upcloseandstylish

Instagram’s Handbag Celebrities: @upcloseandstylish

What we’ve always found true on PurseForum has once again proved itself true on Instagram: people love to share their accessories acquisitions with people who appreciate them. In our new series, Instagram’s Handbag Celebrities, we’ll bring you close-up looks at the women who are doing that in the most hypnotic fashion on the popular photo-sharing platform. For our first installment, we went with one of the best: @upcloseandstylish.

The woman behind the account keeps herself anonymous and doesn’t show her face, but there’s rampant Internet speculation that she’s the wife of a wealthy European businessman. Her clothing choices, although not uniformly high-end (she mixes in a lot of items from Zara and Forever 21), would bear out the “wealthy” part, at the very least. The modelesque blonde has some of the rarest Birkins in the world, including both the So Black and the Himalayan crocodile versions, plus a huge selection of exotic and leather bags from Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Dior and beyond. Check out some of our favorites of her snaps below, but if you love to ogle beautiful bags (and shoes – the lady loves her Louboutins), we highly suggest you join her legion of Instagram followers, currently 904,000 strong. If you’re acquisition-minded, Upcloseinstylish is also excellent about posting brand and style names for everything in her photos.

Just Can’t Get Enough: Taylor Swift Loves Her Dolce & Gabbana Sara Bag

Just Can’t Get Enough: Taylor Swift Loves Her Dolce & Gabbana Sara Bag

Generally, stars vary their day-to-day handbag choices quite a lot. Not only does the average celebrity have plenty of money to buy whichever bag she might desire, but most are also regularly sent the Next Big Thing by brands with which they have existing relationships. Not only does it help the brands subtly promote their products, but it gives stars new things to be photographed with every time they leave their houses. Sometimes, though, a star loves a bag so much that it becomes a constant companion, and that appears to be the case with Taylor Swift and her Dolce & Gabbana Sara Bag.

Taylor’s clothing choices are always very measured and precise, probably out of consideration for her traditionally young fanbase and her carefully crafted image as on of pop music’s girls next door. As Taylor has gotten older, though, she’s embraced pieces that are more expensive and luxurious, and this bag is a great example of how her stylists are attempting to bridge the gap between the new and old Taylor. The Sara is from an enormously well-known luxury brand, but it’s not flashy or particularly obvious. Taylor’s preferred versions of the bag are neutral and mid-sized, which makes the look seem accessible to her admirers, despite the fact that it retails for two grand. Those leather versions are currently a bit scarce, but you can pick up the bag in black lace for $1,896 via MATCHESFASHION.COM or gold brocade for $1,945 via Net-a-Porter.

For all the ways that Taylor has worn her Sara bags, check out the gallery below.

Stock Up on Exotic Hermes Bags and Beyond at Moda Operandi

Stock Up on Exotic Hermes Bags and Beyond at Moda Operandi

This is a trunkshow that needs little introduction. We’re huge fans of both Moda Operandi and Heritage Auctions, and when they team up, they give online customers unprecedented access to the rarest, most luxurious bags in the world. From now until April 28, you can shop a lust-worthy selection of vintage and pre-owned Hermes bags in both exotics and standard leathers, plus a few leather accessories and silk scarves. We’ve collected the sale’s most jaw-dropping pieces below, but we suggest you check out the full selection via Moda Operandi now.

Check Out Which Bags Celebs Carried at Coachella 2014

Check Out Which Bags Celebs Carried at Coachella 2014

Coachella is a unique event. Not only is it the only rich-hippie desert concert weekend that I know of, but it’s a rare opportunity to spot celebrities mingling among mere mortals with relatively little security or separation. That also means it’s an opportunity for handbag-spotting, and although some celebs opt to leave their expensive accessories at home, plenty of others carry whatever handbags they’d use to go out to dinner back in Beverly Hills. Below, check out what we caught the rich and famous carrying in Indio this past weekend.

Shop 25% Off at ShopBop’s Friends & Family Sale

Shop 25% Off at ShopBop’s Friends & Family Sale

The ShopBop Friends & Family Sale is a favorite around the PurseBlog office, and this season’s deal has arrived! Use code INTHEFAMILY14 to get 25% off (up from the normal 20%!) on nearly any purchase at ShopBop, but act quickly. Not only do the site’s best pieces sell out quickly during these sale periods, but the code will only work for a few days!

Shop the ShopBop Friends & Family Sale Now!

Michelle Williams is Back For Another Round at Louis Vuitton

Michelle Williams is Back For Another Round at Louis Vuitton

Despite changes at Louis Vuitton in every area from creative director to accessories strategy, it looks like one thing is staying constant, at least for now: Michelle Williams will be the face of Louis Vuitton’s accessories campaign for another season.

These images aren’t of the Fall 2014 collection; instead, Williams is being retained as the personality behind the brand’s advertising efforts for its everyday bags. Like Michelle’s previous campaign, these photos, which were shot by Peter Lindbergh, include the Capucines bag, but now the Lockit and Alma have been added to the mix. The classic shapes and nearly logo-free finishes of these bags emphasize what Vuitton has been saying for months: in an effort to attract more “desirable” customers, leather is in and logo is out. Check out the entire campaign below.

Here Comes the Bride: Spring 2014′s Best Wedding Clutches

Here Comes the Bride: Spring 2014′s Best Wedding Clutches

New York got its first real taste of spring weather over the weekend, and while the city basket in warmth, you could almost hear the rustle of tulle liberated from closets and the clack of pearls pulled out of jewelry boxes. Wedding season: it’s here.

Weddings bring up a whole host of dressing quandaries for everyone from brides to plus-ones, and although we can’t solve all of them for you, we can tell you what you should be carrying alongside your gown, bridesmaid frock or sundress. From the sweetly traditional to the aggressively literal, check out the year’s best wedding bags below.

PurseBlog Beauty: Dry Skin Essentials for Spring

PurseBlog Beauty: Dry Skin Essentials for Spring

The first thing that it’s important for you to know about this post is that I have really, really dry skin. I’m 28, and people always say that skin gets drier as you age, so I shudder to think where I’m headed from here. The second thing you need to know is that I have successfully conquered my dry skin, and I’ve done it with the daily use of the five products below.

Winter is generally credited with being the time of year that’s toughest on dry skin, but in my experience, seasonal transitions like the one we’re experiencing right now can cause some wacky skincare problems. If your years of skincare trial-and-error haven’t been as fruitful as mine, maybe I can point you and your dry skin in the correct direction.

PurseBlog Asks: Where Have All the Great $1,500 Bags Gone?

PurseBlog Asks: Where Have All the Great $1,500 Bags Gone?

As you might imagine, we spend a lot of time in the PurseBlog offices talking about bags. Bags we’re plotting to buy, bags we can only buy in our imaginations, bags we think are a waste of money – it all comes up eventually. Last week, Bea posed an interesting question to me: if I had $1,500 and could buy any handbag I wanted, what would I buy? Which, in turn, lead me to a question of my own: where have all the great $1,500 bags gone?

In the five-plus years I’ve been covering the accessories industry, the market has cleaved in two. While premier designer bags get more expensive by the year (partly because of rising costs for materials and labor, partly because higher prices actually make the bags more enticing to affluent customers), contemporary brands have lowered their core price levels. Brands like Rebecca Minkoff and Botkier used to aim for a $595 price tag for their everyday bags, but in recent years, many of those same brands report that business is more sustainable at a $395-$495 price point.

That parting of the market has made way for noteworthy “premium contemporary” brands like Alexander Wang and 3.1 Phillip Lim, whose handbags average around $800 and satisfy younger customers with high-end tastes and real-world (or relatively real-world) budgets. Those brands might make a couple bags in the $1,500 price range every season to fill out the very high end of their range, but what happened to all the $1,500 bags that used to anchor entire brands?

When the Celine Luggage Tote debuted, it cost $1,750, but now it starts at $2,400. Before it, the Proenza Schouler PS1 cost $1,595, but it was raised to $1,695 several seasons ago, and the marquee bags that Proenza has launched since have all cost much more. Now, when similar brands debut a bag they’re hoping will catch on like those did, they generally price it at $2,000 or above, like the Chloe Baylee Bag ($2,050) and the Saint Laurent Sac de Jour ($2,950). During the It Bag era of the mid- to late-2000s, you could bank on getting a premium bag for around $1,500, but that number has increased rapidly in the past few years.

Although premium contemporary labels have been extremely successful at filling some of the price gap, there will only be more room for new brands as premier prices reach higher and higher. Who will step up to meet that inevitable consumer demand remains to be seen.

The Many Bags of January Jones, Part Two

The Many Bags of January Jones, Part Two

As we mentioned yesterday, the final season of Mad Men starts this weekend, and because several members of the PurseBlog team are totally obsessed with me show (present company included), we’re pretty excited. We also figured this would be a perfect time to update our handbag surveillance of Betty Draper herself, January Jones.

We first took a look at Jones’ collection back in 2012, and unsurprisingly, its grown since then. We’ve documented as many of the new additions as we could track down below.

Farfetch Free Shipping Notice April 2014

farfetch free shipping codeThe opportunity to shop the inventories of hundreds of specialty boutiques around the world is pretty enticing, but paying for shipping to the US from a small boutique in Italy doesn’t sound all that fun. Today, we can solve that problem for you. Starting now and ending in the wee hours of April 11, you can get free worldwide shipping at farfetch.com. Happy shopping.

Get Free Shipping on Any Order at farfetch.com!

Want It Wednesday – (Almost) All White Everything

Want It Wednesday – (Almost) All White Everything

I grew up in the Deep South, in a deeply southern family, so there were a few rules for dressing that were always clear. Among the strictest of standards was the idea that you don’t wear white before Easter, and although that rule (along with its post-Labor Day twin) have long been scuttled, it’s still a strong association in my mind. With Easter on the horizon, we chose this Want It Wednesday to feature our favorite white (or mostly white, or almost white) pieces of the season.

Character Study: Joan Holloway of “Mad Men”

Character Study: Joan Holloway of “Mad Men”

On Sunday, the seventh and final season of Mad Men debuts, which spells the beginning of the end for two of television’s most exciting female characters: Joan Holloway and Peggy Olson. Today, we’ll pay a small tribute to the force of nature that is Joanie by breaking down her accessories style in the second installment of our Character Study series. (Scandal superfan? Check out our first edition, starring Olivia Pope.)

Translating Joan’s style into today’s fashion presents a unique challenge because Mad Men is so inextricably tied to a very particular era and, by extension, that era’s very particular aesthetic. Handbags in the early 60s weren’t the functional carryalls that we know today; instead, shapes tended toward the compact and structured, with an emphasis on top handles and, later, small shoulder bags.

Within those parameters, Joan’s style tends toward the attention-getting. On the show, the character has spoken about being a woman who was raised to be admired, and she adorns herself accordingly. Her style is bright, detailed and exquisitely tailored, with occasional notes of kitsch that characterize the time period’s ultra-feminine look. With her promotion to partner at the end of the fifth season, Joan could certainly afford any of the retro-modern bags we’ve chosen below.

Givenchy’s Fall 2014 Bags Take a Step Toward a More Subdued Look

Givenchy’s Fall 2014 Bags Take a Step Toward a More Subdued Look

By now, we’re all used to Givenchy’s handbag MO: a solid stable of distinctive, fan-favorite shapes, made over for each season with a few tweaked details and one or two hyper-distinctive prints. In the recent past, it’s been gonzo florals, cartoon deer and the Virgin Mary, but for Givenchy Fall 2014, creative director Riccardo Tisci is taking a largely stripped-down approach to his brand’s accessories.

We can account for part of the shift as a result of this collection being, technically pre-fall; Givenchy refers to its big cold-weather collection as winter. Pre-fall collections are generally less directional and primarily consist of staple pieces that can bear a long shelf life, which means that there are likely still a few Givenchy accessory flourishes left to come before the year is over. It’s worth noting, though, that the brand’s Winter 2014 show was hugely ladylike, contrary to some of Givenchy’s recent streetwear leanings, and perhaps these bags are indicative of that evolution.

Check out Givenchy’s full Fall 2014 handbag lookbook below.

Jomashop Chloe Coupon Code April 8

Chloe Marcie BagWe’re always looking for a good deal, and until April 11, one of our favorite deals just got better. Jomashop offers a wide selection of designers handbags and accessories at already low prices, and with code TPFCHLOE10, PurseBlog readers can get another 10% off any Chloe handbag purchase. If you need a little springtime closet addition, now’s the time.

Shop 10% Off Chloe Bags at Jomashop Now!

Bag of the Week: The Rag & Bone Enfield Shoulder Bag

Bag of the Week: The Rag & Bone Enfield Shoulder Bag

Bag: Rag & Bone Enfield Shoulder Bag

Price: $795 via ShopBop

Why it’s the Bag of the Week: Rag & Bone has long been great at making cool-girl wardrobe staples in nearly every product category, but the brand’s bags have never been exactly on target – until now.

One-of-a-Kind Croc Handbag Among $100,000 of Merchandise Stolen from Saint Laurent Chicago

One-of-a-Kind Croc Handbag Among $100,000 of Merchandise Stolen from Saint Laurent Chicago

Late last week, word broken that more than $100,000 worth of clothing, shoes, handbags and accessories had been swiped from Saint Laurent’s Chicago boutique in a brazen smash-and-grab robbery in the middle of the night, and now we’ve received an interesting note from a tipster: a Saint Laurent Crocodile Sac de Jour Bag, priced at over $29,000, was among the loot missing from the store when the cops arrived.

Several stories from the Chicago local news allude to a one-of-a-kind handbag among the stolen goods, and for a brand like Saint Laurent, “one-of-a-kind” all but assures you that the piece is made out of some kind of exotic material. Our tipster, who works nearby, told us that the bag is a croc Sac de Jour, and indeed, one such bag can be found on Instagram under the hashtag #saintlaurentchicago, captured by user jacobjlahr. A brand’s largest flagship boutiques usually have a couple special products to tempt their highest-value customers and dazzle all the others, and this bag was likely among them.

There’s no word yet on possible suspects for the robbery, but it’s part of what appears to be a rising tide of crime at luxury boutiques, which house plenty of high-dollar merchandise that’s easy to resell and often lack more than cursory security measures. At this point, the only real question is where thieves will strike next.

If you’d like to acquire some Saint Laurent without threat of a jail sentence, we’d recommend MATCHESFASHION.COM.

Exclusive: Explore Coach’s Spring 2014 Collection and New York City’s Best Street Art

Exclusive: Explore Coach’s Spring 2014 Collection and New York City’s Best Street Art

New York is a city of rich, intense, constantly changing visuals. From the iconic architecture to the endlessly interesting people who dwell here, there’s so much to look at and take in that sometimes we don’t know where to look next. That means that sometimes we miss the incredible work of New York’s legions of talented muralists and street artists, but now that spring is in the air, we’ve teamed up with Coach to hit the streets, shoot some exclusive photos, explore the brand’s beautiful Spring 2014 collection and highlight some of our favorite public art in the city we all call home.

Coach’s spring collection continues to be inspired by the great city of New York while truly capturing the iconic downtown edge. The line is less uptown and more downtown, with a little bit of Brooklyn’s considered grit instead of the Upper East Side’s slick polish. There’s still plenty of luxury to be found in Coach’s bags, of course, but Coach continues to expand their ready-to-wear, outerwear and shoes to round out the brand’s complete look. The end result is both urban and classic, like a minimal blazer with leather insets or a Borough bag with a smart navy stripe. The art that forms the background for these photos, on the other hand, ranges from pop to goth, dark to vibrant, just like the city itself.

Take a look at our exclusive photos below.

To shop the full Spring 2014 collection, head to Coach.com. A few items are available in select Coach stores and by calling 866.262.2440.

All photography by PurseBlog’s Vlad Dusil.

Coach's Spring 2014 Collection - Look One (1)

Coach Leather Varsity Jacket, $1,098. Coach Bleecker Daily Shoulder Bag, $198. Coach Leather Stretch Pencil Pant, $898. Coach Lexey Heel, $198.
Coach Stripe Sleeve Jersey Boy’s Shirt in stores or call 866.262.2440 to order.

Karl Lagerfeld Seems to Have Endorsed the Fanny Pack

Karl Lagerfeld Seems to Have Endorsed the Fanny Pack

Karl Lagerfeld is, to put it lightly, an interesting dude. Not only does the Kaiser have a knack for the utterly luxurious (as seen at Chanel, Fendi and beyond), but he seems to have a parallel appreciation for low culture as well; his designs often feature inventive spins on the kinds of objects that regular people interact with everyday, recast as fashion pieces that are purposefully fantastical and ripe for discussion in the fashion press. Lagerfeld does the same at a more accessible price point in his eponymous contemporary line, where the inclusion of the Karl Lagerfeld Printed Canvas Belt Bag shouldn’t feel all that shocking.

When I laid eyes on this bag, the initial surprise I felt was not that Lagerfeld had put his name (and indeed, his visage – the tonal print is Uncle Karl in profile) on a fanny pack, but instead that his Fall 2014 send-up of the American supermarket didn’t feature one of the brand’s iconic flap bags repurposed as a belt bag. What bag is more typical of suburban superstore culture, after all, than that hands-free wonder of 80s tourism? Maybe that’s something we can look forward (“look forward”) to in the next collection; for now, Lagerfeld superfans will have to settle for this little bag. Buy through Net-a-Porter for $125.

Big Surprise: “Factory Extras” are Actually Just Fake Bags

Big Surprise: “Factory Extras” are Actually Just Fake Bags

If your interest in designer handbags has sprung up any time in the past ten to 15 years, then you’ve heard the tales of “factory extras.” They’re not fakes, according to the people who would like to convince you to part with your money. No, they’d never sell you fake bags!

Instead, what these sellers claim to have are bags made alongside the real thing, and they are the real thing, but the factory got the math wrong (because math is hard) and now they’ve got all these high-quality, totally-not-fake bags on their hands, and they just don’t know what to do with them, except to sell you one for a great price, because they’re nice people and they just have a friend who has a hookup with the factory manager. So it’s totally on the up-and-up, not sketchy at all! Well, guess what: those bags are actually counterfeit, according to Chinese luxury culture site Jing Daily. We’ll wait while you deal with your shock and horror at this unsettling news.

Trying to avoid fakes is a central concern of anyone who’s ever bought a big-name designer bag in a consignment shop, online auction or website with which they weren’t particularly familiar, and although seasoned consumers know that any deal that seems too good to be true probably is, first-timers (and we’ve all been first-timers) often want to believe that maybe they’ve found a way around the traditional consumer marketplace. As Jing Daily points out, though, people willing to sell you a fake a bag are also probably willing to fake the story behind it, if it means a couple hundred bucks in their pockets, and their smiling faces are not to be trusted.

If you’re searching for a deal, the best thing you can do is do your research, check up on sellers you’re considering both online and off and know what price levels to expect for the bag you want. If you’re feeling a little gun shy, online outlets like THE OUTNET and YOOX are both good places to find a designer bag bargain, as well as curated designer resale sites like The RealReal.

[Photo via Flickr]

Get the Look: Khloe Kardashian Carries Elizabeth & James

Get the Look: Khloe Kardashian Carries Elizabeth & James

It wasn’t that long ago that holding any of the Kardashians up as style inspiration would have seemed a bit silly; for people who consistently wore expensive clothes, bags and shoes, the finished product just never felt all that chic. Times, they are a-changing, though, with Kim on a very controversial Vogue cover and Kendall Jenner walking a slew of prestigious runways from Marc Jacobs to Givenchy. Today, we’re taking a look at a perfectly casual outfit from Khloe Kardashian.

Khloe’s my personal favorite of the Kardashian-Jenner clan; she has the best sense of humor and seems the most like a real human being to me. She also tends to skew a little more casual than her sister, which means that, these days, her style is actually a pretty good guide to looking well-dressed in your off hours. Who would have seen this coming only a few years ago? Below, check out all the pieces you need in order to make Khloe’s spring neutrals a closet reality, including one very pretty Elizabeth & James Cynnie Sling Bag.

Man Bag Monday: Ben Minkoff Oversized Weekender Bag

Man Bag Monday: Ben Minkoff Oversized Weekender Bag

Tomorrow, I set off for a week in Georgia to visit my family and attend my college’s spring football scrimmage, so I’ve been thinking a lot about travel bags in lieu of, you know, actually packing a travel bag. They’re the unsung heroes of the leather goods industry – they do a lot of work, and none of it is in optimal conditions, no matter how many ads leather goods brands show us that depict beautiful Italian men loading immaculate weekenders into the back seats of vintage convertibles.

In a practical sense, the Ben Minkoff Oversized Weekender might offer the best of both worlds at the best price you’ll find for a full leather bag of this size. Saffiano is among the most durable leathers you’ll find, and the largely black colorway, reinforced corners and multiple carry options will help resist wear. Based on its scale relative to the model in East Dane’s product pictures, it’d easily hold enough to cover your needs for a long weekend trip, and for a lengthier travel time, it’d make a solid carry-on. For less than $500, you can’t ask for much more. Buy through East Dane for $450.

Kate Spade Friends & Family Coupon Code April 2014

Kate Spade Friends and Family Sale April 2014Sale season doesn’t come around all that often in high-end fashion, but a couple of times a year, we get something that’s basically as good – Friends & Family Sale season. We’re in it right now, and today, we’re happy to report that through April 7, you can get 25% off any purchase at Kate Spade, Kate Spade Saturday and Jack Spade with coupon code S14FFUS. All three brands makes huge selections of spring-perfect clothing, accessories, bags and shoes, and a solid 25% discount isn’t exactly something to sneeze at.

Shop the Kate Spade Friends & Family Sale Now!

This Hermes Desk Set Will Set You Back $91,600

This Hermes Desk Set Will Set You Back $91,600

Intellectually, we all know that the world of Hermes (and, by extension, the world of Hermes customers) is not like ours. It’s easy to forget that, though, until something like the Hermes Plein Cuir Alligator Desk Set comes along, providing countless hours of workday luxury for a mere $91,600. If you have less desk space than the ability to purchase nearly $100,000 in Hermes exotics to adorn your office might imply, fret not – all of the pieces can be purchased individually, including a pencil cup that costs nearly $6,000.

Unlike a lot of brands hoping to be mentioned in the same breath with the iconic French leather house, Hermes has long sold quite a few of its most covetable products online, including some handbags. This desk set falls into the brand’s “Surprise!” category in its online storefront, which plays host to a rotating selection of luxury oddities and unexpected objects. Despite its astronomical price tag, this set does make a certain amount of sense in the context of the brand; most Hermes customers do have an exceptionally finely appointed office somewhere, even if they’re no longer at the stage in their careers where they have to sit in it every day. They’ve also probably run out of fun things to buy, if an alligator desk blotter has come up in their shopping list, so

The Best Bag Deals for the Weekend of April 4

The Best Bag Deals for the Weekend of April 4

The further we get into “official” spring (and the more it feels like actual spring might be here to stay), the more colorful and diverse the Internet’s sale offerings become. Today’s weekly roundup of bag deals features everything from chartreuse to salmon pink, with a few neutrals thrown into the mix for those of you who prefer something a little more subtle. Also, a reminder: almost all purchases at Bloomingdale’s are 20% off through April 6 with code FANDF, and you can always check out the latest online sales via our Deals page!

PurseBlog Beauty: Sunless Tanning Without the Skin Damage

PurseBlog Beauty: Sunless Tanning Without the Skin Damage

I get a sense that a lot of women feel weird about being pale when the weather outside starts to get warm. I don’t ever feel weird about being pale, mostly because I have no idea what it’s like to be not-pale, but, you know, I’m a good listener. I hear things. Lately, most of those things have to do with the impending need to bear limbs in public that have previously been shielded from the winter cold, and in my mind, the best way to do that is via a good sunless tanner.

My mother has been drilling the anti-tanning gospel into my head since I was a child, and as a result, I’ve rarely laid out and never been to a fake tanning bed, even in my early-2000s high school days. The only color I’ve ever had is from a bottle, more or less, and you can find a couple of my favorites below, as well as a couple I’ve heard on glowing recommendation from friends. A word to the wise, though: be careful about handling light-colored bags or clothing until you’re sure how they wear. (May we suggest the chicest beach bag ever? After all, skipping the sun will save you some money on skincare down the line.)

The Many Bags of Lily Allen

The Many Bags of Lily Allen

If you’ve ever wondered exactly what it might be like to be one of Karl Lagerfeld’s special friends, a quick tour through the bag collection of British singer Lily Allen is pretty illuminating. Allen, with her signature mix of fashion world glam and filterless British grunge, is so beloved by Karl that she even starred in a Chanel handbag campaign a few years ago, and now that she’s back in the spotlight after getting married and having a couple of kiddos, we thought it was high time we looked into her collection, from her first days of post-MySpace fame to the present.

Chanel is the 2014 PurseBlog March Madness Champion!

Chanel is the 2014 PurseBlog March Madness Champion!

There could only be one. We assembled the bracket, you voted through four rounds, and finally, Chanel is the winner of 2014 PurseBlog March Madness, beating out Celine in the final round, plus all its previous competitors. With a bag lineup that ranges from true classics like the Classic Flap to the avant-garde beef bags of the Chanel Supermarche Spring 2014, Chanel’s audience is wide and its prestige and heritage are huge.

We’ve also noted recently that Chanel is a huge favorite among celebrities of almost every type, and with the Boy Bag modernizing the chain-strap shoulder bag for a new generation of customers, the brand has given itself a new lease on life that should carry it for the foreseeable future.

If you need to brush up on your Chanel news, we can certainly help you with that. If you’re all caught up, we want to hear your thoughts about this year’s winner in the comments!

Want It Wednesday: Finish the Look

Want It Wednesday: Finish the Look

We’ve once again reached midweek, and that means it’s time for another round of Want It Wednesday. This week, the members of the PurseBlog team have carefully cataloged our most-wanted accessories, but here’s the catch: we excluded handbags. There are so many other little details that go into a look that we don’t get to talk about all that often around here, so from caps to kaftans, we’re doing it today.

11 Great Ways to Start Your Designer Handbag Collection

11 Great Ways to Start Your Designer Handbag Collection

We get a lot of reader email asking for advice and recommendations, but the one questions we’ve received most consistently over the years are queries about what a young woman should choose for her first designer bag. Those questions are very near and dear to our hearts – Megs and I can both recount the acquisition of our first bags in vivid detail – and today, we’re here to provide answers both general and specific.

On the whole, most successful first-bag purchases are some combination of classic and recognizable. Discretion may be the better part of valor, but for almost anyone, the rush of that first fancy purchase is knowing that everyone else knows you have something fancy, at least in part. Don’t worry about being inventive or finding the Next Big Thing; just get something you love and that you’ll be proud to carry until you find your next big bag crush. Below, some of our favorites.

Louis Vuitton Rolls Out New Colorful Prints with Damier Couleurs

Louis Vuitton Rolls Out New Colorful Prints with Damier Couleurs

By now, we’re all aware that Louis Vuitton is in the middle of a massive re-brand, with a new creative director in Nicolas Ghesquiere and a renewed emphasis on discretion and craftsmanship instead of the ubiquity and showmanship that characterized Marc Jacobs’ tenure at the French powerhouse. (It’s important to note, though, that Jacobs’ tactics turned record profits for Vuitton for much of his decade-plus stay.) In order to play up its signatures without using its monogram, the brand has debuted Louis Vuitton Damier Couleurs for Spring 2014.

The first run of four bags, which includes two clutches, a shoulder bag and a tote, are streamlined, simple and come in up to seven colors ranging from grey to chartreuse. They’re recognizably Vuitton because of the check print, but they’re different enough not to fit into the brand’s brown ubiquity. This LV’s first Damier expansion for women since the introduction of the wildly popular Damier Azur nearly ten years ago, which has clearly demonstrated for years that there’s significant market interest in the print beyond just its original colorway. Check out all the bags, colors and prices below.

An Up-Close Look at the Coach’s Fall 2014 Handbags

An Up-Close Look at the Coach’s Fall 2014 Handbags

As any fan knows, Coach is in a state of flux right now. Gone is longtime creative force Reed Krakoff, and in his place, accessories guru Stuart Vevers, late of Loewe and Mulberry, has arrived to take the stalwart American accessories brand in a more fashion-forward direction. We brought you exclusive photos of Coach Fall 2014 back when the brand staged its first-ever runway show at New York Fashion Week in February, and last week, we had an opportunity to get up-close-and-personal with the bags, as well as the collection’s excellent outwear, knits and shoes.

Because of Coach’s deep American roots, Vevers chose to use workwear and the American West as his chief inspirations for fall. How aggressively those inspirations show themselves depends heavily on the bag – some have beautiful, subtle studding over pebbled leather, others are covered top to bottom in oversized turnlock elements that feel like they’re working too hard to set a tone. The good news for bag lovers, though, is that the much-loved Borough is back in versions both printed and embellished, and there’s a new line of ultra-light shoulder bags, inset with chain detailing and finished with trendy fringe, among others. Check out our photos of the Fall 2014 collection below.

Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Reunion, Part 3: The Husbands Speak

Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Reunion, Part 3: The Husbands Speak

And then, it was over. Last night, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills finished both its fourth season and seemingly interminable three-part reunion special, and hopefully it’s the last time we’ll have to deal with Carlton and Joyce in such a capacity. Rumor has it that they won’t be asked back for next season, and based on how little we heard from both of them other three hours of reunion whining, Bravo seemed to be encouraging us to forget about them entirely. You got it, Bravo.

1. We spent the first portion of the episode discussing a party from at least one, maybe two, seasons ago. I can’t entirely remember which season the first Brandi-Scheana encounter happened in, which makes it even more problematic that we spent the first several minutes of the reunion listening to Lisa and Brandi argue over whether or not it was a setup.

2. Yolanda is confused about Scheana’s motivations. Indeed, why would you worry about a woman’s boyfriend if you’ve already schtupped her husband while they were married? Yolanda asks the important questions and has the important haircut.

3. Arguing over whether reality stars strategize and form alliances could not be more moot. Of course they do that stuff. If they didn’t attempt to team up to win camera time and audience attention, they wouldn’t be very good at their jobs. Does anyone who has seen Real Housewives more than twice think that it accurately depicts actual, real-life friendships between private citizens? And if you do, have you recently sustained a head injury? Did you seek medical attention for it?

4. “Oh be quiet, Carlton, nobody cares about you. Not even Lisa cares about you.” I do not often wholeheartedly agree with Kyle on anything, but she and I have similar perceptions of Carlton’s relative importance in both Real Housewives and real life.

5. Kyle thinks that Mauricio’s cheating rumors were a storyline this season. I pay more attention to Real Housewives than I generally care to admit to people who don’t work on the Internet, and other than to address Lisa being inappropriate on the topic once or twice, whether or not Mauricio ever cheated on Kyle wasn’t really discussed in any meaningful way during the season. Kyle can be mad about whatever drama she thinks Lisa tried to start, but until it got to the reunion and Kyle wanted to argue about it, Lisa wasn’t doing a very good job of making the cheating allegations a topic of interest.

6. Yolanda’s haircut is still great. And her black manicure! And her mid-heel Jimmy Choos! Next to Joyce, who was wearing a bedazzled figure skating outfit and ten pounds of retail hair,

7. Brandi wants Lisa to let Scheana die in a fire. It was a hypothetical fire, in this instance, but it seems like Brandi would be willing to set an actual fire if she thought Lisa would come rescue her. Lisa seemed less willing to burn people to death in theory.

8. Lisa, like any good reality TV star, is just out for Lisa. Brandi and Andy (like Andy isn’t totally complicit in all of this) both pressed Lisa on why she cavorts with Scheana so enthusiastically on Vanderpump Rules, and although Lisa tried to pass the blame, the reality was pretty clear. Scheana is pretty good at being on Vanderpump Rules, and Lisa finds her easier to be around than some of the other cast mates, and Lisa is interested in both making a successful show and doing things that are enjoyable for her. She’s probably more interested in that stuff than she is in being an actual friend to Brandi, who she made friends with in the name of reality TV. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

9. For how heavily the husbands were promoted, it took them forever to show up. 36 minutes into a 60-minute show, to be exact. It’s as though Bravo knew we didn’t want to watch another hour of these women sputtering at each other and knew that they had to promise an hour of newness to get us to tune in.

10. We’re still discussing whether or not Carlton made a spell and got Joyce’s husband sick. I have nothing to say about that fact that isn’t implied by simply stating it.

11. “When I was in a bad spot, you pulled away. I need someone to stay.” If you’ve ever been dumped in your life and didn’t want to hug Brandi and maybe split a pint of ice cream with her in that moment, I’m concerned for you.