Louis Vuitton Tribute Patchwork Bag, (World's Most Expensive) Handbag of the Day
Posted Mar 11th 2007 5:02PM by Nicole Weston
Last week saw the launch of the Louis Vuitton Tribute Patchwork Bag, which considering price and exclusivity, could very well become the next "it" bag for celebs and fashionistas. The large shopper has a noticeable gold chain handle, but the thing that makes it stand out is that it is made up of samples of 15 different Louis Vuitton Handbags from the LV spring/summer and cruise lines. "It takes all the best parts of the season's creations and rolls them into one. We are confident that the bag is utterly exclusive and that it will remain so," said a spokesman. The bag is limited edition and each one is numbered. Price: £23,484 ($45,352).
Louis Vuitton Tribute Patchwork Bag, (World's Most Expensive) Handbag of the Day - Luxist
It's In The Bag
People Spend Thousands To Carry Status Handbags
By NICK WATT
March 16, 2007— Sitting in her London loft, surrounded collection of handbags, Jasmine Lennard says, "It sort of means you've achieved a certain level of success if you've got a certain type of handbag."
Even though "£20,000 [about $39,000] for a bag is insane. You know, I see that when there are children starving," Lennard continues. "But I work for my beautiful things."
Like Lennard, many others also appreciate the importance of a handbag.
"We were told by one of our consumers that if there was a fire in her house, the one thing she would save would be her Mulberry handbag," says Lisa Montague, Mulberry's chief operating officer, "which I found, in one way, quite shocking."
Accessory or Investment?
In another way, that's sweet, sweet music. "Women are willing to pay more and are more passionate about bags," says chief industry analyst Marshal Cohen of the NPD Group, a market research firm. "They now call them an investment."
Mulberry sales are up 44 percent year-on-year, and the quintessentially English brand has just opened stores in New York and Los Angeles. The U.S. handbag market is worth around $6 billion a year and growing. Designers push their bags in magazines, and models often carry handbags on the runways of fashion shows.
And then there's Louis Vuitton's new Tribute Patchwork, a collage creation made from some of the fashion house's iconic bags. The Tribute Patchwork retails at around $45,000.
The (male) psychologist's view? "I would say anybody that pays $45,000 for a handbag is trying to make a statement. It's an aspiration thing," says Ben Fletcher, a professor in the University of Hertfordshire's psychology department.
Back at Lennard's apartment, she unpacks a brand new Louis Vuitton bag. I naively ask if she might use the shoulder strap provided. "I'm not a fan of shoulder straps," she says with raised eyebrow. "I think it's a little bit peasant."
Lennard, a model and aspiring television presenter, is a self-confessed handbag addict. She says beautiful bags give her confidence.
"If you have a fantastic bag and you know you have a fantastic bag and everybody who looks at you knows you have a fantastic bag, you feel like Superwoman," she tells me.
What about just a nice dress?
"Bags are not like dresses," cautions Fletcher. "If you're a good-looking woman and you put a good dress on, you look good," he says. "But if you're not so good-looking and you buy an expensive dress, it doesn't look so good. … That bag, whether you're well-dressed or not, pretty or not, shows a statement."
And men shouldn't be smug here. They spend a lot more on status symbols, cars being the most obvious.
For the woman who can't afford the genuine article, there is always a fake version from the Far East, or the cheaper look-alike from a High Street store. This week we went to see Anya Hindmarch, the designer of the top-notch bags that bear her name, as she launches her 2007 fall collection at a London art gallery.
"Handbags have become the accessory," she tells me as well-heeled guests arrive, air kiss and get down to the serious business of bag buying.
For the true connoisseur, a cheap knockoff just doesn't cut it. "For us, it's about tactility," explains Lisa Montague at Mulberry. "The quality oozes from the style itself. And that's very hard to replicate at a lower price."
ABC News: It's in the Bag