Picture it, you’re walking through the mall when you look to your left and see a young lady who is maybe in her twenty-somethings wearing casual clothing and carrying an over-sized purse. What is plastered all over it? A small print that consists of two G’s. You may think to yourself, “I bet that was expensive,” take note, and move on. A few minutes later, you notice another lady who is older in appearance with a smaller bag that has double F’s on it. You think the same thing, take note once again, and continue walking. Next comes another young lady with a black, patent leather bag that contains the iconic double C bedazzled on it. What is the association between all of these ladies? Designer handbags. They have the ability to appeal to everyone from almost all walks of life and make the innocent passerby do a double take. But what is the drawing point? Most people want to complain of price when they are brought up in conversation, but have most of these people ever actually owned one? Probably not. So what is it about purses with official stamps and logos all over them that makes us die with envy whenever we see one? Let’s explore.
First of all, in order to understand the lure, the reasoning behind owning a handbag must be realized. The first obvious point is to carry things. A girl needs her make up, cell phone, keys, breath mints, and a few other staple items that would never all fit into pockets (if they are even available). This is where the handbag comes in to save the day. It can be huge for those who are unwilling to minimize their carry load or dainty for an evening out with the beau when all that is needed is extra lip gloss for the post-smooch touch up. There are shapes, sizes, and styles for all occasions, which brings up the second point.
Handbags are the perfect way for a girl to passively (or not so passively) show the world her personality. A teen with a carpeted messenger bag says she is artsy, a lady with a sturdy leather strap says she is ready to take care of business, the girl from the mall with the patent leather claims fashionista, and the bubbly girl with a heart purse receives an eye roll. But what does someone with a designer handbag want people to think? Or is she even thinking about others’ opinion when she selects the new Gucci Suki? To be honest, it depends on the person.
I said that a woman wants a purse for utility, to carry things. If it is going to work as our daily suitcase, it better be up for a challenge. Weathering the storm of everyday life can take a toll on us, let alone a few pieces of cloth sewn together. This is one of the greatest attributes of going designer, they are made of rich materials that can withstand almost anything that is thrown their way. What does this mean? They last for a long time, a VERY long time; whereas, cheap or off-brands wear out easily and must constantly be replaced. So if someone wants to complain about the price of purchasing luxury, counter their argument with the idea of replacement costs. Since designer bags are known to be dependable and long-lasting, this is where most of the appeal surfaces for the woman who isn’t actually looking to turn heads or spark attention whenever she steps out of the house. She just wants durability and functionality, something that designer bags are made for.
Then we have is the stereotypical response for why people go designer – they want the social status. Let’s be honest, if you see a girl with a cloth bag that is worn on one side and has initials that seemingly stand for nothing on it and then see a girl with the latest Fendi, who are you secretly going to want to be? The girl with the Dr B tote. That’s because no matter where someone is in the world, they are always striving to be in the social class just above theirs. The only exception is for those who have already attained the ultimate status; however, they must take measures to maintain their elite position. Since everyone knows that designer handbags are expensive and not for the common folk, this creates the simplest and easiest way to seem superior among peers. The best part? All that is required is throwing a bag over your shoulder and suddenly the image of sophistication and superiority is created.