Dear Sharon: Designer logo handbags are all over the place. It seems like every magazine I flip through, every department store ad I notice, and just about every chichi woman I see is going loco over logos. I don’t want to be left out of this trend. I need to get a new purse, but cannot afford to pay top dollar for some of these status bags. I’ve seen logo look-alikes in some stores in my mall that are hard pressed to distinguish from the real thing. What do you think? -Bag Lady
Dear Bag Lady: What do I think? Just listen to the latest rant from the Cheerleaders For Fashion: Louis Vuitton. Gucci. Fendi. Dior. How do you spell it? We don’t care, we gotta have more. Yup, monogram logo mania is sweeeeping the universe.
There once was a terrific Bottega Veneta campaign that had a tag line something like, “when your own initials are enough…”. So it goes for quiet chic and, happily, my initial matches Hermes. There is a certain coolness to the revived logo flash and the return to luxury trend is red-hot, but in all honesty, shouldn’t they pay you for being a walking advertisement?
You can plaster yourself silly in handbags, wallets, umbrellas, hats, boots, raincoats, and toaster covers (nah, just kidding) from any or an assortment of luxury houses’ logo monograms. The point is to strut your luxe. All status-seeking cache is blown away by wearing a (probably illegal, trademark infringing) copycat logo.
Some companies are designing squiggly graphic replicas of top designer logos that do capture the mood, but not the initials. This can be fun, with one major caveat emptor: If you are dressing to impress, those who are familiar with logos will not be so “hard-pressed to distinguish” the scribble from the real monogram.
If you covet the authentic logo trend, but cannot afford the pricey buy, a little goes a very long way in label blazing, so think small for a big look. Play double-duty with makeup and travel cases– these cute little nothings pack a mighty something when you wear them as an evening clutch or stash them as your handy, diminutive purse inside a humungous carryall.
Do you want the full logo Monty at a smidgen of the price? Vintage is the way to go. There are decades full of fantastic logo bags at flea markets, thrift shops, and vintage boutiques (certain collectible styles can carry heavy price tags)… just keep your eyes open and be aware that the savvier the source, the higher the price. Online auctions are also brimming with logo handbags; search under the designer name and check for a guarantee of authenticity.
If you are not fussy about the most of the moment shape or style, some name-dropping designers sell leftover stock to off-price stores and discounters. You’ll find basic models or last season’s must-have at a fairly good saving.
But why not just get yourself a gorgeous logo-less bold bag in a fresh style? Prada’s ubiquitous bowling bag, has inspired a wave successors. The doctor’s bag shape comes in great two-tones, another current trend. Matchy-matchy shoes and bags are back again, so coordinate an embossed leather ostrich pattern or get wild and witty with a seventies velvet print bag and shoe duo. Ladylike gold chain alligator or embossed leather crocodile handbags are great… so are the super-luxurious vintage ones. How about a tweed or a herringbone duffel bag that matches your new suit? Capture leather mania with a patent or waxed leather tote in Bordeaux or olive.
The decision is yours, just don’t get yourself another black nylon shoulder-drag… this season, style is out of the bag!
Copyright (c)2000 Sharon Haver