Designer’s go above and beyond trying to design the next “It Bag.” The bag that will be as coveted as the Birkin, and copied by every fast fashion retailer in the Western world. Luxury labels know that women of all sizes think it’s worth it to spend big and invest in a quality handbag over any other luxury item; the “cost per wear” is arguably lower compared to a high end pair of shoes or well tailored coat. While a season’s “It Bag” has a long way to go before reaching the status of Hermes’ Birkin, one bag has changed how many designers are makingbags.
Mansur Garviel’s bucket bags are sold out online and are few and far between in department stores. Their fundamental design elements are being reimagined by many other luxury designers. MG’s bags are made out of leather that goes through a special process to smooth over any impurities, making them feel and look like rubber. No etching, no pebbling, no saffiano, no patents, just a smooth surface. Similar to patent leather, smooth leather (technical term pending) can easily be wiped clean with a Clorox wipe, and remains looking NWT months after you leave the store. What I like most about this type of leather is it stiffens the fabric, so bags automatically look minimalistic, structured and polished. These structured bags make a great decoration for top of your bookcase when you’re not being photographed at NYFW.
Sophie Hulme is another high end designer that is quietly creating her handbag empire using this type of leather. Her bags range from small wallets to large backpacks. After trying one out on the 5th floor of Bergdorf Goodman a few weeks ago, their tote bag is definitely at the top on my wishlist.
Kenzo’s pre-spring handbags are also rubberized, and Saint Laurent Paris, Lanvin, Balenciaga, and Alexander Wang have bags in this material as well. Ted Baker, Cambridge Satchel Company, Tory Burch, JCrew, and Rebecca Minkoff also have smooth leather bags on sale now for the consumer less willing to spend $1000 on a handbag. Happy shopping!!