Why Do We Buy Designer Bags?
As a seller of designer bags (and the occasional buyer), I often think about why we invest in them. Why do we spend months saving up to buy these expensive constructions of leather?
To the inexperienced eye, a high-end bag is just a pretty piece of leather, sometimes embossed with a brand name. Other times they’re covered in studs, buckles, and other frilly embellishments. But to the bag lover, a luxury bag is the ultimate reward after months of saving up. It’s an expression of style and taste, the finishing touch to our outfit when we want to show that we’re polished and confident fashionistas (even if we don’t always feel like it).
Bags As Art
Added to that is the artistic merit of designer bags. Think Alexander McQueen’s elaborate knuckle clutches, or Loewe’s geometric Puzzle bag. With designers constantly stretching the limits between the visually impressive and the practical, bag lovers relish the opportunity to own one of these feats of design.
Left: Loewe’s Puzzle bag from F/W 2015 (Credit: farfetched.com) | Right: Embellished Fish Knuckle Box Clutch from S/S 2015 (Credit: saksfifthavenue.com).
Then there’s the impeccable standards of craftsmanship. Hermès, known for its meticulous construction process, requires their craftsmen to train for at least 3 years before working with their skins. A single artisan is assigned to each bag, and every stage is undertaken with functionality in mind. Each bag is formed using the saddle stitch, meaning that if a stitch came loose, the surrounding stitches aren’t affected. The hardware is attached using their signature ‘pearling’ method, which – unlike screws – allows the metal to stay in place for longer. Us bag lovers crave the opportunity to own the product of such high standards of craftsmanship.
Some people focus their spending on cars. Some spend on travel, and others on their home. And some invest in all three. Who are we to judge how others spend their cash on life’s comforts? Because by definition, a luxury bag is just that: a luxury. Of course they’re not essential, but is a decorative cushion? Artificial flowers? First-class travel?
The aim of a designer bag lies not in its obvious purpose of holding a wallet and phone. Bag lovers know it’s much subtler than that. The pretty pieces of leather we hold in the crook of our arm or on our shoulder are an extension of ourselves.
Of course we can say that spending £1000+ on a bag is irresponsible and irrational, and given the current economic climate, there’s no denying that many consumers partake in this kind of impulsive spending.
But a designer bag that’s treasured and cared for will always be a worthwhile investment – whether you keep it for years to come, pass it on to a relative, or sell it on in the future.
What are your thoughts on why we buy them?