BOSTON–With the arrival of fall, it’s now time to seize the handbag trend defining the season. From luxury, metallic colors, totes, magenta, and chain handles – fall in love with the luxurious designs. If you’re really into fashion you know an outfit isn’t complete without the perfect handbag. It is not all about the logo standbys, but really fun, fresh handbags that will complete your wardrobe. This season we are seeing a major change in handbag trends in higher end and mainstream stores.
The “haute couture” stores such as Chanel, Marc Jacobs, Valentino, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Vera Wang are displaying their purses in colors and shapes they have not shown in the past. For the Fall-Winter season, designers have been in the handbag lab creating the “must-have” bags. The 2008 Gucci collection portrays sophistication at its best with fresh styles that keep it in the forefront of handbag styles.
This season’s new Babouska collection has some consumers saying the line is gaudy. Consumers do not like a lot of “hardware” on their bags. They don’t want a lot of buckles, metal, and jewels embellishing their purses. They want the handbag to be beautiful all on its own.
Handbags get bigger with cooler weather because there is more to carry, such as hats, umbrellas, and wraps. According to Marie Johnson, sales associate at Marc Jacobs, “The handbags are in colors that have not been popular for many seasons; we are seeing a lot of jewel tones and in recent years we have seen mostly neutrals. We are also seeing major changes, not just in the color of purses, but in their shape and size as well.”
Sales Associate Karen Mitchell of Valentino said, “The shapes of the bags this year are very interesting. In the past the purses have been smaller but this has completely changed. The style for this season is big bags, such as messenger and hobo bags. Trends come and go, but classics can last forever.”
Maybe not forever, but they can last more than one season. Most classics have a ladylike feel with a rectangle shape, and understated luxury. Handbag designers are also trying to put a new spin on classic purses; they want to show that just because the bag has been around for years doesn’t mean it isn’t stylish. The leather tote doesn’t have to be boring — there are logoed styles, patent, exotic skins, quilting, bold hardware and bright colors. The “It” bag, the leather tote will be your faithful friend throughout the years. This is one investment that will get you lots of mileage.
The same trends are seen in mainstream stores such as American Eagle, Urban Outfitters, Banana Republic and The Gap. These are the stores where the average woman shops and it is important to see if the upcoming trends predicted by the higher end stores remain true at the mainstream shops as well. At Urban Outfitters, Sales Associate Laura Kingston said, “As I was unpacking our shipment, all I saw were colors. I have worked here for three years and this is the first season that the majority of the bags aren’t black.”
This season is going to mark a whole new phase for the handbag. Not only will they be bigger but they will be in bold, vibrant colors such as green, purple, orange and blue. Women this year will be buying purses in shapes and colors they never have before. This year will clearly change the way handbags are viewed.