That Great Bag Feeling
By Roos Vinyard
What is it that women (and men) love so much about bags? What did Carrie Bradshaw mean when se said - twice: It’s not a bag, it’s a Baguette. It’s not a bag, it’s a Birkin. Of the former, which first launched in 1997, more than one million versions have been sold. And the Birkin, which is the holy grail of handbags, has a streak of being the most valued bag on the planet, with a 2 million USD tag on the so-called “Sac Bijou Birkin” by Pierre Hardy. We asked ourselves, and then you: What does a handbag mean to you? We fitted the pieces together to understand what it means to experience “The Great Bag Feeling”.
What is there to love about bags? It’s purseonal. The apex of the great bag feeling stems from the fact that it is an extension of you. A purse expresses the wearer’s values and belief systems. A black tote from Acne says: Hi, I’m practical, sophisticated, and transparent, whereas a crisp white Balenciaga hourglass bag screams: I’m avantgarde, you can talk to me about anything!
Sitting at the intersection of aesthetics and utility, our research showed that the “right” handbag satisfies the following criteria: fashionable beauty, functional design — think strong straps to carry your diary and deep pockets to safely store some treasures, like your great grandmother’s ring. You also care about versatility: to use your purse for multiple occasions and combine it with multiple outfits, and about the quality of the (leather) material.
That’s for the outside, but contents reveal even more. After all, a bag carries your personal belongings. When we asked about content, common responses included phone, keys, lip balm, essential oils, sunglasses, water, wallet and snacks. The “what’s in your bag”-phenomenon has been around forever. Our gut instincts understand, that in order to know the identity of celebrities, we simply must peek inside their bag.
Even men seem to understand this little trick. Matthew McConaughey spoke in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days: ‘Guys, a woman's purse... it's her secret source of power. Alright? There are many dark and dangerous things in there, that we, the male species, should know nothing about.’ Carrie Bradshaw’s response: ‘I'm thinking balls are to men, what purses are to women. It's just a little bag but we'd feel naked in public without it.’
The great bag feeling is emotional: it’s a sensation of empowerment. You said:
‘A great handbag empowers a woman because she knows everything she needs is by her side.’
‘It provides us with the ability to take everything we need for every situation wherever we go, while still looking ahhhmazing!’
‘You keep all the things in there that you need and it is a statement piece: it can add to a look which is so empowering’
You only know you love her when you let her go. The best way to find out what sparks a bag, is to ask what it feels like to live without. Your answers included confused, frustrated, naked, unable to do important things and even, distraught.
Why do we buy bags? Because they are an extension of our identities. The recently passed legend Karl Lagerfeld — may he rest in peace, said: "Luxury bags make your life more pleasant, make you dream, give you confidence, and show your neighbors you're doing well." That is why we made it our mission to empower women by providing the ideal bag. That is to marry the practical and the beautiful into a personal luxurious item that is designed to last.