I came across a little brown bag that everyone is raving about, beginning with Vogue. It’s apparently so inaccessible, that it reminds me of Carrie’s famous Big. Unattainable, so that much more wanted.
Indeed, this little bag has a few attention-grabbing details – the vertically positioned handle (great for carrying on your hand or in your hand), the interesting lock (makes it look like a vault) and the lines of the bag, although not revolutionary yet different somehow.
Gabriela Hearst made it on a whim, thinking she would give it only to close friends and acquantainces; well, the stores found out about it (Brie Larson is one of her friends, cough cough*). Now, the Nina bag is in demand, yet Hearst doesn’t want to sell it to department stores – if you want it, you have to email her. One small reminder: it costs $1,995.
My question is for the buyers, not the designers: what would make you send that email? I imagine it has to be in the form of a cover letter or something, to really convince the designer YOU are worth the bag, not the other way around. So why do it?
It’s clear that the limited range of bags and their exorbitant price translates to quality and a sense of exclusivity but we’re lying to ourselves if we think it will make us stand out in a crowd or that we’ll talk of the bag as our very own Nina. It’s not our own; you, me and a thousand or more women are going to eat cereal for a week or more just to have that IT bag, just to belong to an elite crowd.
Once it’s in our posession, what would happen when we took it out? In an elite crowd, it would be recognised as THAT bag that every girl signed up for and already has; in a friend gathering where no one cares about our bags, but about us, that accessory might receive compliments yet the name wouldn’t trigger a thing. At most, people would try to associate it with movies and TV series (Nina.. hm.. oh the Nina that did this, in the second episode of that?!).
Bummer, I know. After spending 2000 dollars on a bag, we wouldn’t feel victorious or envied like Marie Antoinettes, we wouldn’t even feel special or unique – the designer might, she made it, but us? No.
So, should we chase IT bags after all? Should we care? If we want to belong, yes. If we want to be unique, let’s make our own bags – as a friend reminded me some days ago. What do you think?