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Forget everything you knew about the “it-bag.” The recent trend in the luxury-goods market is knocking that concept on its head.  Though the notion of “timeless” has always existed within the high-octane fashion houses of Chanel, Bottega Veneta and Hermes, recently more brands have jumped on the bandwagon as subtle shapes and textures have emerged on the shelves. Recently, Yves Saint Laurent changed its name to Saint Laurent and debuted its “Classic Duffel Bag.” How can something debut as a classic? Shouldn’t something become classic over time with the mass-approval of the luxury consumer? Similarly, Prada, a brand that has always produced wild and eccentric designs (i.e.: fairy collection, bejeweled collection, ruffles collection), has recently changed its entire lineup to focus on classic Saffiano Lux tote bags. And even at Chanel, after the “Le Boy” bag was first released it was instantly dubbed as Chanel’s “new classic.”

 

If we take a step back, it seems that the move from bejeweled and blingy seasonal bags toward the “forever piece” began as a result of the 2008 recession. Perhaps people became more careful about buying expensive designer goods, so when they did invest in a splurge-worthy bag, they wanted to make sure it was timeless. From a marketing perspective, “classic” has become the main way to reassure the consumer of the safety of spending thousands of dollars on a handbag. It further encouraged the notion of building a collection that would stand the test of time and more importantly hold its value. From an aesthetic perspective, “classic” has also changed the way a handbag came to be designed: simplicity as the new stamp of chic.

 

So, it seems that the term “it-bag” has been replaced by the term “classic.” While the two terms by definition are at complete polar opposites to each other, we wonder if there really is any difference between the two. Certainly there is. When the Fendi Spy Bag hit shelves, it was marketed as the newest arbiter of cool. Same with the Chloe Paddington, whose chunky lock could be seen from a mile away and served little functional purpose. The hype over these bags died down with time. Such bags were a mark of excess; it was about being able to get the newest trend season after season.  A consumer had to keep up with the emergence of newer more desirable bags. In stark contrast, today’s Celine Luggage Tote or the Phillip Lim Pashli were deemed classics from the day of their launch, thus holding the promise of wear season after season. But in reality are they just "it bags" in disguise? Will they still be coveted years from now? We will be interested to see.  Regardless of the answer, in our opinion it is important to be a discerning consumer. Look for the bags whose designs have already stood the test of time, instead of buying a newly-ordained “classic” that may very well turn out to lose its luster over time. In our opinion, it’s about investing in true classics that retain their desirability due to their refined design and immaculate craftsmanship. 

 

Posted By Eve

Welcome to Luxury Bond

10/6/13 7:06 PM

            

What feeling does the word “luxury” evoke when you hear it? Luxury can trigger a feeling of being pampered, of enjoying success, of aspiring for the best, of defining yourself. Fashion-lovers can probably appreciate any of those exhilarating feelings when they walk in to a bright store, taking in the sites and sounds of consumer indulgence. To me, a high-end shop always feels like a wonderfully warped western version of an eastern souk. Everywhere you turn there is an exotic item to behold or snakeskin bag that charms. To each luxurista, the experience of enjoying the finer things in life triggers its own unique sensation.

However, regardless of what luxury makes each of us feel, what does luxury really mean? The Cult of the Luxury Brand, by Radha Chadha and Paul Husband posits that the spread of the luxury model consists of five stages: Subjugation, Start of Money, Show Off, Fit In, and Way of life. Though the authors’ thesis focuses specifically on Asia where this phenomenon is most stark and clearly illustratable, each of the fives stages is fairly self-explanatory, so any of us may find ourselves relating to the evolution. As a brief summary, “Subjugation” implies a state poverty and deprivation, wherein the consumer is unable to purchase any product beyond basic necessities. “Start of Money,” means the onset of economic growth and the beginning of shopping for the high-end. “Show Off” suggests the display of economic status that follows the flow of steady income. “Fit In” triggers the consumer’s need to conform to a lavish lifestyle led by those around him or her. “Way of Life” denotes that the consumer is locked in to a luxe habit that becomes the norm. 

The last stage of the evolution is of particular interest to us here at luxury-bond. Entering the final stage of the luxury lifestyle means that it becomes a way of life in every sense of the phrase. People in this last stage curate and cherry pick their material possessions, not in a shallow way, but with a deep appreciation for how the item is produced and its underlying quality and artistry. Like a chef who goes to the market to hand-select the best items for his menu, so does the luxury lifestyler choose clothing and accessories. Even if the ingredients the chef chooses are the most basic, they are still the freshest and highest quality. So it goes with us here at luxury-bond. Each item we select is intended to be timeless, no matter how basic. We have embraced the fifth stage and hope that the beautiful items we sell here will help you bond with luxury until it becomes your way of life too. 

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