January 2008 Designer handbag woes of the month. Warnings are on Television, online and on the news. Everywhere you surf or shop, you can read about or hear about two current issues concerning a woman’s handbag:
1. Health issues concerning women who carry a heavy handbag.
2. Limiting designer handbags sales imposed by the department stores.
Do you think it’s a coincidence? First, we hear about how unhealthy handbags are becoming, and then we are told we can’t buy as many as we want. It is all quite humorous.
FIRST issue – Health Concerns and A Heavy Handbag.
The concern of health related issues around carrying a heavy handbag has been on T.V. talk shows, the news and online. When was the last time anyone wrote a story or news flash about the weight a Pharmaceutical Salesperson lugs around on his/her Doctor office visits? These folks use bags on wheels the load is so heavy! And, they do it everyday from the trunk of a car or van, up flights of stairs, on elevators, down long hallways, through crowds and some even inside and out of taxis. Or, what about the lap top industry taking notice about the weight people carry around all day to do their jobs? Most women carry a large bag because they commute to work and need extra items to make it through the day. Or, they are too busy to clean out the bag before they leave the house. Students have been lugging heavy book bags for year. What’s their health concerns? You may think it is a joke, but some women like carrying a large purse because it makes them feel smaller. There are a lot of big women who think they look strange carrying anything less than a large bag. A bag plus normal contents equals normal handbag weight.
There are many large handbag styles that weight little. Chanel, even with its long chain straps, uses light weight lamb leather and vinyl in its designs. The USA brand of Tano all-leather bags are light weight considering their size. Gucci uses monogram fabric in their construction making the bag weight tolerable.
Women who commute and travel to and from work everyday enjoy taking a bottle of water, a book to read, some munchies and female essentials. These women either carry a small purse and a second tote bag/briefcase or one large attractive designer handbag. This does not mean the same weight in a purse is carried out to dinner on a Saturday night or when shopping at the grocery store. There’s a purpose behind the heavy handbag, and it hasn’t caused any life-threatening disease. We may want to look closer at these “handbag rental” companies who pass along germs and viruses from person-to-person instead. Yuck, just the thought of using a handbag a stranger has carried is repulsive. Renting a designer handbag poses more health issues than carrying a heavy bag!
SECOND issue – Limiting designer handbag sales by the department stores.
This is such an unrealistic predictor of designer bag sales. Most of the websites in question have had a limit on the number of designer items they would sell regardless of the “breaking news.” Plus, it won’t hurt the sale or resale of designer purses. Women will buy what they want and figure out a way to get it regardless of anyone’s rules! What we should really be focused upon is the prices women pay for their fashion icon purchases. Seems like there’s a much bigger issue here than quantity. The issue should be quality and cost. The weakness of the USD plays an important part, too. Some handbags sell for the same price as a new car! That’s what we need to look at. Not, how many we are allowed to purchase, but rather how much we have to pay to own one.
The best materials come from Europe. Italy’s leather and designs have ranked the highest over the years. However, if the same bag was assembled in a more cost-effective manner, the price would be less. The hype about Hermes, Chanel, Gucci, Prada, Burberry, etc. is all just a matter of taste, style and design. Some of the design houses are notorious about pricing. Others, focus more on production and distribution. Then, the counterfeit market jumps onboard and screws it up for all of us. In the end, it doesn’t matter how much women are allowed to purchase, it’s how they can figure out a way to manipulate the system to get what they want.
The best example is the Hermes Birkin bag. The bag is large, heavy, hand-held and high-priced. Most women who want one figure out a way to get it even though they are rarely available through Hermes. Look at eBay. There are sellers on eBay who list 10-15 Birkin bags. Where are they getting these bags if Hermes limits the manufacturing, distribution and resale of the coveted Birkin? Someone figured out a way to buy them regardless of the Designer’s decision for limiting sales. Honestly, most women who carry a Birkin suffer from hand, wrist and neck pain due to its weight. Even Jane Birkin herself reports she stopped carrying the bag because over time it became too painful. The empty Birkin bag outweighs any other handbag filled with a person’s daily essentials.
Are we concerned? Is there something we need to worry about? Or, is the designer handbag industry looking for ways to sell more bags? The fashion bag industry is booming. In 2005, the average cost of a designer purse the major high-end department stores was about $2000. In 2007, the same item averaged about $3000. A woman’s designer handbag wishes are here to stay regardless of health issues, availability and cost. Women get what they want, and in the fashion industry they suffer to look good! This is not going to change or fade away in the near future. So, go shopping and carry on….it doesn’t matter how much you spend or how much it weighs. Every working woman deserves the designer handbag of their dreams!