Which Handbag Style Is Right for You?

clutch handbagThe right handbag can be the perfect compliment to any fashion. Here are some tips to help you choose the right one to match your style.

A patent handbag is perfect for daily use. Whether you need a bag for work or a casual get-together, a patent handbag is the ideal choice.

Oversized handbags are always in style. If you like to carry a lot of items around so you are prepared for anything, go with an oversized tote bag.

If you carry a lot of small items and don’t want to have to dig around searching for them in a large handbag, a pocket bag is the right choice for you. Choose a bag with enough pockets to hold all the items you use on a regular basis.

A convertible handbag can hang across your body or be carried in your hand. Make the strap longer for times when you are on the go and make it shorter for a chic look.

If you are overwhelmed by a large bag, go for a mini handbag. Pick a bag that is just large enough for the basics.

The clutch is the hottest handbag this year. This type of bag offers a vintage style for someone who is constantly on the go. Choose a clutch that is just the right size to hold the essentials.

Metallic handbags are becoming a hot trend. Choose a fashionable color that will accent other items in your wardrobe.

While the colors that are in style may change, white is a classic color that is always trendy.

Choose a handbag that compliments your body type. Try on several and see which one looks the best and feels the most comfortable. Consider your personal style and how it will accentuate other items in your closet when making your choice.

How to Choose a Handbag That Will Stand the Test of Time

handbagHandbags can be pricey, so you want to choose one that will be a wise investment. When selecting a handbag, you want to pick one that will stand the test of time in terms of both style and quality. Here are some tips to help you choose the right handbag.

Select a high-quality handbag. You want a piece that will withstand wear and last for many years. Opt for the highest quality product you can afford so that you will be able to enjoy your bag both day to day and at special events for years to come.

Leather is the best choice of material for an investment handbag. Leather is durable and looks even better with age.

Choose a handbag in a neutral color that can compliment many wardrobes. A handbag in a neutral color can be paired with both casual and formal attire.

A structured handbag is the best choice for a long-term investment. You want to choose a handbag that will maintain its shape and be able to resist daily wear and tear.

When choosing a handbag, keep in mind that trends and fashionable designers can change over time. Avoid selecting a bag with a large logo that might not be as popular in the future. You should choose a handbag from a reputable label, but pick one with a more subtle logo.

Avoid choosing a handbag with a lot of hardware. Pieces of hardware can fall off or become damaged with time. Opt for a more simple look.

If you choose to invest in a handbag, be sure to take proper care of it. Keep it clean, store it in a dust bag, and do not put it on the floor.

When choosing a handbag, select one that is high quality and will still be fashionable years from now. Keep these factors in mind when choosing the perfect bag for your collection.

Coach Makes Changes to Boost Sales

Coach handbagCoach announced recently that its profits exceeded estimates. It was a welcome piece of good news for the brand that has been struggling to maintain its position in the handbag industry.

According to Bloomberg, Coach has been experiencing a decline in sales for the past four quarters. Its shares have fallen 39 percent since the beginning of the year.

Analysts believe Coach has been struggling recently because it has opened a series of outlet stores throughout the United States. The outlet stores carry less expensive handbags, which have attracted less wealthy customers but reduced the brand’s exclusive nature and pricing power. With Coach handbags more readily accessible to lower-income consumers, wealthier customers have become less interested in the label’s more expensive products. Instead, those consumers are purchasing handbags from more expensive luxury brands, such as Tory Burch and Michael Kors. Those brands have experienced double-digit growth in sales recently.

Despite its declining sales, Coach still retains 23 percent of the $12 billion handbag market in the United States. The company hopes to maintain its position and draw back wealthier customers by repositioning itself as a “modern luxury” company, rather than an “accessible luxury” brand.

Coach is undergoing a dramatic transformation to achieve this goal. The company recently hired a new creative director, Stuart Vevers, who previously worked for Mulberry and Loewe. Coach has also hired a new CEO, Victor Luis. The company is cutting 150 jobs, offering fewer discounts, and closing 70 stores, which represent 20 percent of its stores in North America. Coach is opening or remodeling stores in the 12 largest markets and selling pricier handbags.

Coach is trying to transition to a position as a lifestyle brand by offering shoes and outerwear in addition to handbags. The company has also updated its packaging, store appearance, and logo, which now reads “Coach New York,” rather than “Coach 1941.”

Handbag Designers Use Fur in Fall Collections

fur handbagHandbag designers are competing with each other to capture the attention of wealthy customers. The hottest trend in luxury handbags this fall is fur.

Popular designers, including J. Mendel, Brunello Cuccinelli, Valentino, Burberry, Fendi, Marchesa, Donna Karan, Marni, and Derek Lam have introduced fall collections featuring fur-lined handbags.

Fashion designers are trying to appeal to wealthy consumers who believe the financial crisis is behind them. The industry is creating more high-end products and remaking their brands to appeal to wealthier customers. They are often finding that their most expensive products are the first ones to sell out.

The new designs incorporate fur and other rare materials, including crocodile, handmade lace, and animal pelts. Some of the fashion designers are also using fur in their dresses and coats.

Many designers have become interested in fur at the same time because they all monitor cultural trends and consumer patterns when creating their collections. They were also inspired by the particularly cold winter when they were designing their Fall 2014 collections.

The handbag designers are trying to compete with each other and stand out, so many pursue unconventional ideas. Even some designers who are anti-fur, such as Stella McCartney, use faux fur in their handbags.

Some retailers refuse to sell fur handbags in their stores due to negative attitudes toward its use in fashion. Designers will therefore have to market their handbags directly to consumers, which most of them do already. Some of the handbags are produced only for special order, not to be sold in stores. Even if fur handbags are not widely available in stores this fall, they are still expected to become a popular trend.

Kate Spade Introduces Fall Handbag Collection

kate spade fanKate Spade’s fall 2014 collection was previewed in a fashion show at the Raffles Hotel on July 14. The collection includes handbags, clutches, dresses, and shoes with designs and patterns inspired by elements of Asian culture. Pret-a-Portea, Raffles Makati’s collaboration with Kate Spade, was also launched at the event.

The Transcontinental Express collection includes pieces that draw their inspiration from Old World Travel, such as a clutch that resembles the steam engine on a train from the Shanghai Express. The Shanghai collection’s showpiece is a bag decorated with a golden birdcage and embroidered birds. Another handbag is crafted with black or gold lasercut leather shaped like a traditional Asian fan and decorated with matching tassels and zippers.

The classic handbags are available in a variety of colors in both large and small styles. The clutches are designed with black or shiny patent leather and golden accessories. The collection includes handbags and clutches adorned with fake and real fur, as well as mini messenger bags that can also function as shoulder bags or clutches. The satchels can be worn as shoulder or cross-body bags.

The fall collection will make its debut in stores in August. The Shanghai collection will be introduced in September. The collection will be replaced every month.

Kate Spade was co-founded in 1993 by Kate Spade, who had previously worked as senior fashion editor and head of accessories at Mademoiselle magazine. Kate Spade was acquired in 2007 by Liz Claiborne, Inc., which was acquired by JC Penney Co. in 2011. After Liz Claiborne was renamed Fifth & Pacific, Inc. and sold off other brands, Kate Spade New York became its sole brand. It was renamed Kate Spade & Company this year.

Ela Handbags Offer Simple Elegance

ela handbagSwedish designers Ela and Martin Aldorrson have created a line of trendy ela handbags that are now being sold at Saks Fifth Avenues around the country.

The handbags are known for their simple elegance. The Aldorssons select a theme every season that serves as the basis for the handbags’ designs and colors. Ela Aldorsson often skips the sketching process, instead making a paper mock-up to figure out the bag’s scale, function, and design to speed up the process of bringing the handbags to life. The handbags are then tested for a few weeks to see how they function and if any changes need to be made. The final samples are then shown to buyers.

The first handbag the pair designed was the MILCK clutch, which was created to hold the essentials: money, ID, lipstick, cell phone, and keys. It was designed to have a unique asymmetrical shape that would be instantly recognizable, even without a logo. The rest of the handbags in the collection followed from that first design.

The Aldorssons are influenced by the style of many A-list celebrities, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Miranda Kerr, and Emmanuelle Alt and their everyday styles. They also draw inspiration from styles they see on the streets of Europe and New York and in magazines and department stores.

The ela fall 2014 collection is about romance and striking a balance between feminine and masculine details. The new handbags in the collection will include stamped and digitally printed marbled leather that appears to be chiseled from stone, muted camouflage that combines all of the colors of the collection, and pearls. The designers are currently collaborating with Club Monaco and are designing exclusive silhouettes for Saks Fifth Avenue and Holt Renfrew, a Canadian department store.

New Max Mara Ads Feature Amy Adams

Amy AdamsItalian fashion group Max Mara has teamed up with Academy Award nominee Amy Adams to promote its accessories for its new 2014 ad campaign.

Last year’s successful campaign featured Jennifer Garner. The brand wanted to follow it up with ads featuring another A-list celebrity. Adams earned a Golden Globe this year for her performance in “American Hustle” and will appear in “Big Eyes” by Tim Burton later this year.

Photographer Mario Sorrenti took the photos for the advertisements. The ad campaign includes five photos: three for fall and two for spring. Adams poses in one photo with the Signature Bag, which features “puntino” saddle stitching, and in another with the Margaux bag, which has asymmetrical handles and can be completely zipped up or partially closed with a flap. The stitching is concealed, and the handbag has a long inner shoulder strap. Adams also modeled sunglasses for the ads. Sorrenti created a short film about the advertising project.

The images were unveiled at the Max Mara boutique in New York City this week. The company also planned a dinner for about 80 people to celebrate the kick-off of the new ad campaign. The photos will be featured in about 50 Max Mara boutiques around the world beginning in late August. The ads will be shown in new places where a celebrity face is more important, such as Dubai, Russia, China, and Portugal. The ads will be featured in magazines and online starting with the bags in August and following with the sunglasses in October. Billboards will also be displayed in countries around the world.

Max Mara has been producing handbags and other accessories at its leather goods manufacturers in Tuscany and the Veneto region. Its sales have grown 33 percent over the past four seasons.

Saudi Princess Designs Baraboux Handbags

Baraboux handbagPrincess Reema Bandar al-Saud, chief executive of Harvey Nichols Riyadh, was frustrated that she was unable to find an attractive handbag that fit her lifestyle, so she decided to design her own. She is now the founder and creative director of accessories line Baraboux.

Bandar al-Saud spent most of her adult life in Washington, DC before returning to Riyadh at age 30. She became the first female chief executive at her family’s retail company, Alfa International, which operates Harvey Nichols Riyadh.

She wanted to create stylish, compartmentalized handbags to make women’s lives easier. She got the idea for Baraboux when she began working at Harvey Nichols Riyadh and collaborated with a team of designers for eight years.

Last year, Bandar al-Saud launched her line of Baraboux handbags at Paris Fashion Week. The leather handbags, or “toolkits,” are designed to be practical, with pockets for multiple mobile devices and tablets, adjustable handles, removable pochettes, and detachable clutches to allow owners to use them to suit their needs and lifestyles. The designs were inspired by Bedouin tribes’ practical way of life. The bags are handcrafted in Florence with Italian leather, and the hardware is bespoke. The handbags are priced between contemporary and luxury bags.

The Baraboux handbags are now sold in specialist boutiques and retailers around the world, including Browns in London, Saks Fifth Avenue in the Middle East, By Marie in Paris, and Apparenza in Russia. The company also ships its bags internationally.

Bandar al-Saud wants to expand Baraboux into more markets, broaden its travel offerings, and eventually open stand-alone stores with a curated selection of other products. She has hired London magazine editor Caroline Issa as a creative consultant for the autumn-winter 2014 collection.

Vera Bradley Hires New Executives to Change Strategy

Vera Bradley handbagVera Bradley has brought in six new executives from outside the company to lead changes to its global products, marketing, merchandising, and e-commerce. The company also named Robert Wallstrom its new CEO in November

Vera Bradley is making profits, but they have been decreasing. The company’s stock has also fallen in the past two months. Traditional products are not attracting new customers. Shopper traffic in the company’s retail stores has fallen significantly. Wallstrom believes significant changes to product offerings and marketing are necessary to reverse those trends.

Vera Bradley’s five-year plan encompasses many changes. The company will discontinue its baby gift and clothing lines and shorten the time needed to develop new designs, which has taken 12 to 18 months. Instead of focusing mostly on floral patterns, it will offer more solids. Vera Bradley will reduce the number of handbag styles offered by 30 to 40 percent. The company plans to offer handbags made from real and faux leather, as well as some quilted handbags. They will be more expensive than bags the company has sold in the past, but they will still be competitively priced compared to bags made by other companies. The company will create new products to be sold exclusively in outlet stores. The product line will be expanded to include more stationery, rolling luggage, scarves, and a fragrance.

Vera Bradley will also focus more on customer demand when deciding which products and how many to produce, rather than simply producing items and trying to sell them to customers as they have been doing. The company wants to achieve growth by modernizing and appealing to a wider variety of customers.

Vera Bradley’s new chief merchandising officer will change store layouts to improve sales. The company has signed a five-year contract with Look to market and distribute its products in Japan and plans to close its existing 13 stores in Japan to cut costs. It will begin to sell its products in Macy’s, in addition to its current sales in Dillard and Von Maur. It will open fewer full-price and outlet stores and end sales to retailers than don’t sell much of the company’s merchandise in a bid to boost productivity. The executives want retailers to limit their orders to the most popular items. The company will also reduce spending on air freight and payroll.

Edie Parker Bespoke Clutches Popular with Celebrities

Nicky HiltonEdie Parker’s line of bespoke clutch handbags have become trendy with many celebrities such as Jessica Alba, Sofia Vergara, and Paris and Nicky Hilton because clients can customize them with their first names, initials, catchphrases, or designs of their choice. The bags have become popular with several high-end retailers, including Holts, Barneys New York, and Net-a-Porter.

All Edie Parker handbags, either ready-to-wear or custom, are crafted and decorated by hand from hand-drawn designs at a factory in Illinois. The clutches also have mirrored interiors. The handbags are well known for their meticulous craftsmanship.

Many of the Edie Parker handbags transform acrylic into a luxurious material. American designer Brett Heyman has long been interested in vintage acrylic, wicker, and magazine bags.

Over the years, Heyman eliminated from her personal collection handbags that she considered cumbersome or overly retro and was left with a collection of hard-to-find acrylic clutch handbags. This inspired her to launch a collection of petite evening clutches.

She began Edie Parker in 2010, naming the brand after her daughter. She was also inspired by famous actresses, models, and socialites Edie Beale and Edie Sedgwick. Heyman served as Gucci’s director of public relations for several years, but she does not have a formal design background.

Heyman approached many American plastic makers looking for a company to produce her handbags. She finally located a company in the Midwest that shared her vision.

Heyman says the clutches have become popular because they inspire a sense of nostalgia. Heyman believes people are attracted to retro designs because of a desire to express their individuality.

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