NEWLY DISCOVERED HANDBAG TREASURES MAKE MY SEARCH EXTRA FUN
I keep a close watch on what is new as well as what is newly available in the world of handbag treasures. Let’s say this is sort of the-bag-of-the-month club. Sometimes there are bags I have never seen before. Then I jump for joy.
Other times, there are bags I love so much, they bear repeating. There are even handbag treasures that are so affordably special that I have been able to purchase them. Dasein fits right into that category. This brand is featured at the conclusion of this post.
HANDBAG TREASURE BRANDS
There are several brands that I adore. Besides this, I have special ways that I keep track of my passion for my favorite brands. To start, let me introduce the brands:
My pocketbook passion started about 30 years ago. Each year, I would buy myself a beautiful, popular, designer purse. To start my collection, I purchased numerous Dooney & Bourke bags, Coach bags, and then some Kate Spade bags.
My Passion and My Search
I began my journey searching for and purchasing the most attractive Dooney & Bourke ‘All Weather Leather’ bags.
Since the Internet was not yet a means of advertising and purchasing, items were available from beautifully designed mail order catalogs.
In fact, this is where my passion for pocketbooks began. The handbag at the left is very similar to one of my first purchases.
FAST FORWARD: Outlet Malls and The Internet
Over the years, the technology for shopping has become more sophisticated, appealing and convenient. If I want to make a purchase without leaving home, the Internet has become the place to go. If I want a feast including entertainment and purchasing delights, destinations like the Tanger Outlets are the ideal place to go
INTRODUCING: 21st Century Shopping – POSHMARK
There is no end to what I have been able to find online, at upscale mall shops and at mall outlet stores. But isn’t that the whole idea of retail shopping today? The possibilities are endless.
Here’s a video about the fascinating story of the immensely successful online social marketplace community known as Poshmark.
One brand, in particular has become my favorite vintage pocketbook passion, Italian made ARCADIA. This brand is one I recently discovered from the gangbuster technology for feeding my passion, online search and research. In fact, my favorite place to ‘window shop’ and purchase is on Poshmark. It is the hottest spot of them all. I visit almost daily.
The Evolution of How to Go Shopping
There is an evolutionary path to this search for collecting both new and vintage handbags. Collecting new handbags started with mail order catalogs and stayed there for many years. Then as technology was embraced, it evolved into the Internet.
Out of curiosity, I have even visited one of the Tanger Outlet Malls I had heard so much about. Of course I made a purchase. The mall was an appealing, well designed shopping village. In addition, it had a movie theatre so no parking space was wasted when shopping hours waned.
Three Primary Venues
At present, three venues have become my primary sources of feeding my pocketbook passion. They are online discount sources, like Poshmark, online company websites, and thrift stores.
Donations Passed On To Me, Online and In Stores Bargains
Becoming a frugal fashionista has increased my passion for shopping. In other words, my extremely tight clothes and accessories budget has not diminished my joy and ability to acquire new attire. In fact, the degree of savings is directly proportional to the fun and bountifulness I experience. It may surprise readers to learn that the least expensive and most fun ‘free’ (clothes) donations to me are from a local church food pantry.
Then increasing in price from least to most, I frequent thrift shops, online bargains websites like Poshmark, and rarely something new at a discount chain like HomeGoods or Savers. In addition, I will buy a quality name brand when it is on sale. But the rule is, it must be at least 50-70% off.
ALMOST PROFESSIONAL SHOPPER
Hobby to Pro
In fact, I am becoming so adept at this pastime that I feel like a pro. What amazes me the most is that I like the clothes and accessories I am acquiring as a frugal fashionista is better than regular retail shopping.
Believe it or not, my wardrobe is nicer and would be more expensive new than I could ever afford. For example, my accessories include numerous Coach Leather, Kate Spade, and Dooney & Bourke handbags.
Within a fairly short period of time, I have gone from a middle class, middle aged shopper to a fixed income savvy senior shopper. When the concept was first presented to me, it took some time for me to adjust. But now, I love being a frugal fashionista and I plan to get better and better at this great way to go shopping.
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It is a well known fact in the fashion industry that haute couture can only be afforded by the very wealthy. Thanks to the world of ‘knock-off’ fashion, the extraordinary becomes affordable. Therefore, this blog post provides some really surprising financial examples of this in the handbag industry.
As Meryl Streep deliberately explains to Ann Hathaway in, ‘The Devil Wears Prada‘, the extraordinary births the ordinary. Meryl Streep describes the origins of a shabby blue sweater that Anne Hathaway is wearing. Its history is from glamorous haute cuttiere. Anne Hathaway is totally oblivious to this. At this stage in the movie, Anne has no idea that the the ordinary is inspired by the extraordinary.
WILD ABOUT HANDBAGS
Although I am not devotee of high fashion clothing, I am wild about handbags. Therefore I have been studying the world of glamour in this industry. One of my favorite companies is Rebag. I have been introduced to luxury handbags through their social media and website. This adds to the knowledge I already have to what I consider affordable quality handbags including Coach, Dooney and Bourke, and Kate Spade.
HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS
Since I have only been able to encounter handbags in the hundreds in person, I can only surmise the difference in the cost of those in the thousands.
My favorite Coach vintage bag is called the Willis bag. Because it is a classic, variations of it have been made over many decades. A recent version, in green, and two original designs are pictured below.
They are all high quality Coach products but their age can impact the price by several hundred dollars. Due to its rarity, the vintage Willis is about twice the cost of the new one.
THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS
I had no idea that there were handbags that were more expensive than new automobile or even a house. Even those designer bags have imitators or want-to-be handbags. The designer bags include the Hermes Birkin bags which are six and seven figures. Their inspired versions cost a few hundred retail like the totes from Coach and Kate Spade.
Both very expensive and less expensive handbag companies make whimsical purses. Great whimsy inspires affordability. The most famous of this is Judith Leiber handbags. They are very whimsical as well as expensive. In similar fashion, Kate Spade came out with its frog bag. The former retails for a few hundred dollars. The latter goes for between about $5,000.
These two totes are so similar. In fact, I took a double take when I discovered the Burberry Remington tote. It’s hard to believe that it can cost up to five times as much as the Kate Spade on the right when this designer ‘knock’ goes on sale.
GUESS WHICH BRAND THIS ONE IS
Sometimes the affordable bags are so well made that one can’t tell the difference between luxury, ‘working girl designer’ (like Coach and Kate Spade) or a total ‘knock off’. This example is from the best knock off company I have found. If you’re curious, the answer is in the Sources and Resources section.
As a handbag collector and flea market stalker, I am always on the prowl for that special but accessible bag that the seller is practically giving away. Wouldn’t it be great if someone was selling an extraordinary purse for next to nothing. That is my dream. So I continue to search and collect in the hope my dream comes true.
My designer purse gems were not difficult for me to select from my rather large collection of favorite designer and style bags. Some are on my studio wall to provide a decorative view of this room. Others decorate my bedroom, and the rest are housed in their own cabinet. Four of my designer purse gems are featured in this blog post. Indeed these four are my favorites even though I have many others that I love.
For example, I own about a dozen Coach bags. These and others purses are the ones that serve as decoration on my studio wall. They are all still usable as pocketbook. They are truly my designer purse gems.
From the above and other purses that I have collected, there are four that are the absolute gems. The images below or either from my own collection or from the companies themselves. How I wish you could see them and touch them. Maybe one day, they will all be in a design museum or a handbag collection in a interdisciplinary one. Museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Modern Art, also in New York and The Smithsonian in Washington D.C. Then you will able to see them in person.
Did you know that there are other museums that do house outstanding everyday objects of superior design? Well, there are. Even though some of my bags are design to last ‘forever’, I hope that as many people as possible will be able to enjoy them by experiencing them. Then my designer purse gems, will be your design purse gems, too.