Wholesale Designer Handbag Directory

Latest Press: New Luxury Fakes

admin | Press | Thursday, 13 December 2007
276 views

knockoffs-lede-large.jpg
Image via Conde Nast Portfolio

Recently I was interviewed by the lovely Megan Angelo at Conde Nast Portfolio. She put together an amazing and information filled article on the new luxury fakes in the designer market. It is an interesting read and there are great quizzes to test your knowledge of fakes on the right hand side of the page. The fact of the matter is that those in the world of creating knock offs are getting more and more skilled. Ask a friend if they have been duped into buying a fake, and I bet at least 75% have. Luckily, we all keep learning more and the companies themselves are trying to fight the fake peddling market also.

Via Conde Nast Portfolio.

Read the informative article below!

It was August 2005, less than a year after Antik Denim??s launch, and the jeans manufacturer already had friends in all the right places. Leggy celebs Teri Hatcher, Kylie Minogue, and Cameron Diaz had been photographed in the company??s signature Western-inspired styles. At Kitson, the L.A. shop that pipelined Ugg boots and Von Dutch caps to popularity, $250 Antiks were zipping off the shelves.

But the company was about to discover the downside of infiltrating the in crowd. Antik reps were weaving through the annual Magic fashion trade show in Las Vegas when they came upon a distressing sight: a Chinese manufacturer proudly displaying exact copies of their designs.

??We freaked out,?? says Samuel Bellahsen, legal counsel for Antik??s parent company, Blue Holdings. ??We made a civil seizure and closed the booth.??

The counterfeiters who flood street markets and websites with fake fashion once preyed solely on Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Prada??luxury Goliaths owned by multibillion-dollar corporations. But now they??re mimicking this-minute trends from niche designers and forcing companies like Blue Holdings, which did $49 million in sales in 2006, to set aside part of their budget for scrubbing out impostors.

??We??ve spent an enormous amount of resources to fight it,?? says Blue Holdings C.O.O. Scott Drake. ??These guys that do it, they do it and then lay low for a while, and we think we??re okay.??

Just the day before, Drake got word that ersatz Antiks had turned up among $230 million worth of faux merchandise that police found in a raid of Queens and Brooklyn warehouses. The jeans had been retailing on Manhattan??s Canal Street??historically, a knockoff hotbed??for $45 a pair. ??I sigh because it??s a never-ending battle,?? he says.

It??s not profits they??re fighting for. Most high-end designers will tell you that phonies don??t significantly detract from sales, simply because their customers don??t make a habit of frequenting sidewalk vendors. They??re more concerned with how fakes chip away at a brand??s cachet??how customers could be lost when they see someone else in a bad imitation of their pants and are turned off for good.

Hoping to keep such instances to a minimum, Blue Holdings retains the watchdog services of a nationwide network of antifraud law firms. (The company declined to name the organization.)

As Hellahsen explains, Blue Holdings paid the firm a $50,000 flat fee to scour flea markets and the internet for takeoffs on their designs. The lawyers then use that money to purchase any fakes they can find??actually buying the goods is usually the only way to track the sellers to a real address. Once Blue Holdings confirms that the designs are counterfeit, the lawyers notify the sellers of impending legal action. ??Usually, these are individuals, small people, and 95 percent of the time they pick up the phone, call our law firm, and apologize,?? Hellahsen says. The lawyers then arrange for an out-of-court settlement, which the firm collects.

Still, the best defense against scam artists, designers agree, is chameleonic change. ??If we make a new jean and ship it on July 1, that product will be on the street by the end of August,?? says Drake. So Antik has accelerated its design cycle, introducing new pocket motifs at a faster rate. They also abolished their old trademark patch??an easily imitated swatch of brown leather??and replaced it with a black-leather swatch embossed with a delicate silver tree print. Such changes help to put distance between loyal customers and the wannabes. ??At one time, whatever fakes you found in Soho, I could be shipping a similar product at the same time,?? says Drake. ??That no longer happens.??

But as designers are stepping up their game, so too are counterfeiters, says Luann Ensminger, chief of the commercial fraud unit for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, which conducted June??s New York raids. She says that the majority of fakes are produced overseas, out of U.S. law enforcement??s jurisdiction, in factories that also produce legitimate goods. Counterfeiters bribe factory owners into letting them use their facilities overnight.

The expanded access has helped counterfeiters broaden their repertoire. Looking over the list of trademark-holder victims from the raids, Ensminger saw ??the big boys: Chanel, Coach, Louis Vuitton, but also Baby Phat, Seven for All Mankind, Rocawear, and Red Monkey.?? Pat Reilly, a spokesperson for I.C.E., added, ??I had to google some of the brands because I??d never heard of them.??

And counterfeiters?? newly sharpened sense of what??s up-and-coming extends far beyond denim. Two ubiquitous purses on Canal Street this summer bear the names of Jimmy Choo, the designer better known for his pricey stilettos, and Kooba, a fledgling handbag brand favored for its simple and durable leather styles. One vendor said that she had completely sold out of a shipment of bogus versions of Kooba??s giant Natasha tote in two weeks.

Both Kooba and Jimmy Choo declined to comment for this story, reflecting a tendency among designers to keep mum on the subject. ??It??s an awkward topic,?? says Jennifer Pinto, head of public relations for Juicy Couture, another wildly imitated brand. ??The only thing I can tell you is that we??re constantly reinventing ourselves and evolving.??

Meaghan Mahoney
, one of the two founding members of the Purse Blog, which chronicles and reviews handbag trends, says that faking bags from Kooba and Jimmy Choo is a savvy move by counterfeiters. ??These designers are having their bags be seen on countless celebrities and are finding a more secure place in the market, but they??re still not known to everyone,?? she says. ??Louis Vuitton is one of the most counterfeited brands in the world, and so many people know to expect this. Counterfeiters hope that the younger crowd will be deceived into buying these bags in the hope that they??re getting a real Kooba.??

Even the rareified world of co-branded luxury items, in which two high-end names collaborate on a product, has fallen prey to fraud. Some of Canal Street??s priciest wares right now are $55 replicas of the Breitling for Bentley watch collection. The real thing retails for anywhere from $5,850 to more than $100,000. Breitling manufactures fewer than 200,000 pieces a year and sells them in only 60 to 70 percent of their 340 authorized U.S. retailers. Yet Lisa Roman, head of marketing at Breitling, says that fakes popped up everywhere within a year of the four-year-old collection??s debut. ??Our biggest foe is the internet, on which we don??t authorize any sales,?? she says. ??We take it as a sign of flattery, but it diminishes the integrity of the brand.??

Across the board, small designers agree that constantly shifting is the key to escaping, if not exterminating, copycats. Caleb Westbay, vice president of sales for Ed Hardy, which makes the popular tattoo-inspired T-shirts and trucker hats that overtook Canal Street almost as quickly as they did Melrose Avenue, says, ??It sucks, and we take it seriously. But if we move fast enough, they can??t keep up with us.??

Press: The Fashion Blog Stars

admin | Press | Thursday, 13 December 2007
242 views

Listed in great company, we were covered on a story that introduced many to the Fashion Blog Stars. We feel lucky to be considered one of the best, and we hope to keep up our reputation!

Here is the excerpt about our site:

Given the importance of the handbag in the life of contemporary woman, it??s fitting that there are a number of blogs dedicated to paying tribute to this vital accessory.

These two are possibly the best, each wielding an inordinate amount of power when it comes to predicting ?C and promoting ?C the ??it-bag?? of the season. Boasting millions of visitors each month, these are the sites that are attracting a lot of advertising from bag e-tailers, keen to tap into their obsessive users and their seemingless bottomless wallets.

Sometimes gushing (??Miu Miu does it again, tickling us silly with another adorable bag! Ok, the bows might be a little cutesy but if you’re a sophisticated girly girl, this bag was made for you because you know you can pull this off with a sleek and flirty outfit.??) and sometimes downright damning (????look at these pockets hanging off the bag, do they not remind you of fat bloated cow tongues dangling at the butcher? Or perhaps the designers at Bulga have serious issues with saggy breasts.

We said we liked functional outer pockets on a bag but that doesn’t mean we want half a dozen pockets that are a.) not cute and b.) not useful??) these self-appointed critics can make or break a bag ?C and possibly the brand behind it.

Read the rest at Daily Mail

Press: The Fashion Blog Stars

admin | Press | Thursday, 13 December 2007
263 views

Listed in great company, we were covered on a story that introduced many to the Fashion Blog Stars. We feel lucky to be considered one of the best, and we hope to keep up our reputation!

Here is the excerpt about our site:

Given the importance of the handbag in the life of contemporary woman, it??s fitting that there are a number of blogs dedicated to paying tribute to this vital accessory.

These two are possibly the best, each wielding an inordinate amount of power when it comes to predicting ?C and promoting ?C the ??it-bag?? of the season. Boasting millions of visitors each month, these are the sites that are attracting a lot of advertising from bag e-tailers, keen to tap into their obsessive users and their seemingless bottomless wallets.

Sometimes gushing (??Miu Miu does it again, tickling us silly with another adorable bag! Ok, the bows might be a little cutesy but if you’re a sophisticated girly girl, this bag was made for you because you know you can pull this off with a sleek and flirty outfit.??) and sometimes downright damning (????look at these pockets hanging off the bag, do they not remind you of fat bloated cow tongues dangling at the butcher? Or perhaps the designers at Bulga have serious issues with saggy breasts.

We said we liked functional outer pockets on a bag but that doesn’t mean we want half a dozen pockets that are a.) not cute and b.) not useful??) these self-appointed critics can make or break a bag ?C and possibly the brand behind it.

Read the rest at Daily Mail

Press: Exclusive Status, It#8217;s in The Bag

admin | Press | Thursday, 13 December 2007
318 views

louis vuitton tribute patchwork bag Believe it or not, one of the ultra-exclusive Louis Vuitton Tribute Patchwork Bags is making its way into the nation’s capital. A super elite LV customer has ordered the $52,500 which is set to appear later this season. Ylan Q. Mui of the Washington Post interviewed me for her article, Exclusive Status: It’s in The Bag. Read the article below, and thanks again to Ylan!

Forget your Coach purse. Put away your Kate Spade. Even Hermes’s famous Birkin bag seems positively discount.

The Louis Vuitton Tribute Patchwork is this summer’s ultimate status bag, ringing in at $52,500. And it is arriving in Washington by the end of the season, ordered by a woman whose circumstances and identity the company has ever so politely (again and again) declined to disclose.

Some fashion followers, however, feel that history should not be sliced, diced and rearranged into one purse.

“Limited-edition handbags give us purse fanatics something to drool over, to lust after, to want,” said Meaghan Mahoney of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., who writes the Purse Blog. “But there comes a time when no matter how limited something is, no matter how much fuss goes behind it . . . the product just plain old sucks.”

Still, Mahoney said she would relish the opportunity to see the Tribute Patchwork with her own eyes.

“At least that way, those who are lucky enough to see the handbag in person will gain instant bragging rights,” she said. “After all, the bag is not much more than bragging material by itself.”

Read the entire article at Washington Post.

Latest Press: New Luxury Fakes

admin | Press | Thursday, 13 December 2007
237 views

knockoffs-lede-large.jpg
Image via Conde Nast Portfolio

Recently I was interviewed by the lovely Megan Angelo at Conde Nast Portfolio. She put together an amazing and information filled article on the new luxury fakes in the designer market. It is an interesting read and there are great quizzes to test your knowledge of fakes on the right hand side of the page. The fact of the matter is that those in the world of creating knock offs are getting more and more skilled. Ask a friend if they have been duped into buying a fake, and I bet at least 75% have. Luckily, we all keep learning more and the companies themselves are trying to fight the fake peddling market also.

Via Conde Nast Portfolio.

Read the informative article below!

It was August 2005, less than a year after Antik Denim??s launch, and the jeans manufacturer already had friends in all the right places. Leggy celebs Teri Hatcher, Kylie Minogue, and Cameron Diaz had been photographed in the company??s signature Western-inspired styles. At Kitson, the L.A. shop that pipelined Ugg boots and Von Dutch caps to popularity, $250 Antiks were zipping off the shelves.

But the company was about to discover the downside of infiltrating the in crowd. Antik reps were weaving through the annual Magic fashion trade show in Las Vegas when they came upon a distressing sight: a Chinese manufacturer proudly displaying exact copies of their designs.

??We freaked out,?? says Samuel Bellahsen, legal counsel for Antik??s parent company, Blue Holdings. ??We made a civil seizure and closed the booth.??

The counterfeiters who flood street markets and websites with fake fashion once preyed solely on Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Prada??luxury Goliaths owned by multibillion-dollar corporations. But now they??re mimicking this-minute trends from niche designers and forcing companies like Blue Holdings, which did $49 million in sales in 2006, to set aside part of their budget for scrubbing out impostors.

??We??ve spent an enormous amount of resources to fight it,?? says Blue Holdings C.O.O. Scott Drake. ??These guys that do it, they do it and then lay low for a while, and we think we??re okay.??

Just the day before, Drake got word that ersatz Antiks had turned up among $230 million worth of faux merchandise that police found in a raid of Queens and Brooklyn warehouses. The jeans had been retailing on Manhattan??s Canal Street??historically, a knockoff hotbed??for $45 a pair. ??I sigh because it??s a never-ending battle,?? he says.

It??s not profits they??re fighting for. Most high-end designers will tell you that phonies don??t significantly detract from sales, simply because their customers don??t make a habit of frequenting sidewalk vendors. They??re more concerned with how fakes chip away at a brand??s cachet??how customers could be lost when they see someone else in a bad imitation of their pants and are turned off for good.

Hoping to keep such instances to a minimum, Blue Holdings retains the watchdog services of a nationwide network of antifraud law firms. (The company declined to name the organization.)

As Hellahsen explains, Blue Holdings paid the firm a $50,000 flat fee to scour flea markets and the internet for takeoffs on their designs. The lawyers then use that money to purchase any fakes they can find??actually buying the goods is usually the only way to track the sellers to a real address. Once Blue Holdings confirms that the designs are counterfeit, the lawyers notify the sellers of impending legal action. ??Usually, these are individuals, small people, and 95 percent of the time they pick up the phone, call our law firm, and apologize,?? Hellahsen says. The lawyers then arrange for an out-of-court settlement, which the firm collects.

Still, the best defense against scam artists, designers agree, is chameleonic change. ??If we make a new jean and ship it on July 1, that product will be on the street by the end of August,?? says Drake. So Antik has accelerated its design cycle, introducing new pocket motifs at a faster rate. They also abolished their old trademark patch??an easily imitated swatch of brown leather??and replaced it with a black-leather swatch embossed with a delicate silver tree print. Such changes help to put distance between loyal customers and the wannabes. ??At one time, whatever fakes you found in Soho, I could be shipping a similar product at the same time,?? says Drake. ??That no longer happens.??

But as designers are stepping up their game, so too are counterfeiters, says Luann Ensminger, chief of the commercial fraud unit for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, which conducted June??s New York raids. She says that the majority of fakes are produced overseas, out of U.S. law enforcement??s jurisdiction, in factories that also produce legitimate goods. Counterfeiters bribe factory owners into letting them use their facilities overnight.

The expanded access has helped counterfeiters broaden their repertoire. Looking over the list of trademark-holder victims from the raids, Ensminger saw ??the big boys: Chanel, Coach, Louis Vuitton, but also Baby Phat, Seven for All Mankind, Rocawear, and Red Monkey.?? Pat Reilly, a spokesperson for I.C.E., added, ??I had to google some of the brands because I??d never heard of them.??

And counterfeiters?? newly sharpened sense of what??s up-and-coming extends far beyond denim. Two ubiquitous purses on Canal Street this summer bear the names of Jimmy Choo, the designer better known for his pricey stilettos, and Kooba, a fledgling handbag brand favored for its simple and durable leather styles. One vendor said that she had completely sold out of a shipment of bogus versions of Kooba??s giant Natasha tote in two weeks.

Both Kooba and Jimmy Choo declined to comment for this story, reflecting a tendency among designers to keep mum on the subject. ??It??s an awkward topic,?? says Jennifer Pinto, head of public relations for Juicy Couture, another wildly imitated brand. ??The only thing I can tell you is that we??re constantly reinventing ourselves and evolving.??

Meaghan Mahoney
, one of the two founding members of the Purse Blog, which chronicles and reviews handbag trends, says that faking bags from Kooba and Jimmy Choo is a savvy move by counterfeiters. ??These designers are having their bags be seen on countless celebrities and are finding a more secure place in the market, but they??re still not known to everyone,?? she says. ??Louis Vuitton is one of the most counterfeited brands in the world, and so many people know to expect this. Counterfeiters hope that the younger crowd will be deceived into buying these bags in the hope that they??re getting a real Kooba.??

Even the rareified world of co-branded luxury items, in which two high-end names collaborate on a product, has fallen prey to fraud. Some of Canal Street??s priciest wares right now are $55 replicas of the Breitling for Bentley watch collection. The real thing retails for anywhere from $5,850 to more than $100,000. Breitling manufactures fewer than 200,000 pieces a year and sells them in only 60 to 70 percent of their 340 authorized U.S. retailers. Yet Lisa Roman, head of marketing at Breitling, says that fakes popped up everywhere within a year of the four-year-old collection??s debut. ??Our biggest foe is the internet, on which we don??t authorize any sales,?? she says. ??We take it as a sign of flattery, but it diminishes the integrity of the brand.??

Across the board, small designers agree that constantly shifting is the key to escaping, if not exterminating, copycats. Caleb Westbay, vice president of sales for Ed Hardy, which makes the popular tattoo-inspired T-shirts and trucker hats that overtook Canal Street almost as quickly as they did Melrose Avenue, says, ??It sucks, and we take it seriously. But if we move fast enough, they can??t keep up with us.??

Press: Kelly Girls

admin | Press | Thursday, 13 December 2007
248 views

hermes kelly girls While our site reads “Shallow Obsessing Strongly Encouraged“, there is so much more to the people of Purse Blog and Purse Forum. Boasting over 68,000 registered members, The Purse Forum is one of the fastest growing and most active communities on the web. Nestled in the vast forum are sub-forums upon sub-forums of members. These members have congregated because of their passion for handbags yet in the end have formed much more. Many have met others and become great friends, while groups of members are enjoying meeting up to shop and eat. This past spring a group of Hermes members did just that, resulting in a fabulous weekend and a feature in the New York Times. Christine Muhlke from the New York Times met with the Hermes ladies to see a little bit into their world. Yesterday in a special style section of the NYT was an alluring article about some of the women behind the Hermes group. For a fun read about our amazing Hermes Forum please check out the article at NYT!

Special thanks to all of the ladies who participated and Christine for featuring the fabulous members of our forum! :mrgreen:

It??s amazing the girls you can meet on the Internet. It??s a democracy that brings together collectors, fetishists and everyday enthusiasts from around the globe to share their knowledge about, say, meerkats or Churchill. Now even lovers of the world??s most expensive handbags are geeking out.

Purseblog.com is a two-year-old site whose 58,000 forum members chat about Marc, Louis, Jimmy et al. The site??s most elite forum is, naturally, Herm??s, where women with handles like H_addict and BirKineSS post their latest purchases, rhapsodize over their dream sacs and go into so much detail about leather and hardware you??d think it was a Dungeons & Dragons site.

Read the rest of the article after the jump!

??Cyclamen only comes in epsom and ch??vre,?? reads a typical post, ??and there are no ch??vre Evelynes.??

There??s also a real-time component to the community, like the New Yorkers who hit the Madison Avenue store every Friday; the group that went to Las Vegas, dining at restaurants like the Olive Garden to save money for their higher shared purpose; and the Asian contingent that met in Singapore.

During an early spring weekend, almost 30 of the faithful converged on Manhattan to put a face to the avatar. But first they shopped ?? some members recognizing one another from their purses. (??I knew that was your Lindy!??) The perky blond Southerners stuck together, as did the women in black, while locals couldn??t help flaunting their relationships with the S.A.??s, or sales assistants, the true keys to the kingdom. (Forum regulars have been scolded by their S.A.??s after posting their purchases, angering the have-nots.)

After scouring the store, SoCal and traceyd adjourned to La Goulue for Champagne. (Out of embarrassment, all of the women interviewed requested that only their screen names be used.)

??We met in the Chlo?? room,?? said SoCal, an attractive 30-something brunette in jeans, heels, a tailored jacket and a crocodile collier de chien bracelet ?? or C.D.C., as the ladies refer to it. Traceyd, an impeccably maintained Upper East Side boho with a taste for ethnic jewelry, had posted, ??Should I give my 16-year-old a Paddy???

Like others in the forum, traceyd had traded up to Herm??s, selling her 50-plus ??It?? bags to focus on Birkins, which start at $7,000: ??I thought if I had a Birkin, that??s all I needed. But it wasn??t.?? She now has three Birkins, as well as eight other styles. But, she added, Herm??s has made her more selective: ??I??ve bought less crap in other areas of my life.??

Though they??d never met F2F, they knew a lot about one another, encouraged by threads like ??Do you ever not long for anything else???

??The people on the blog think the Herm??s girls are the most snobby,?? SoCal said. And while she acknowledged that the Herm??s demographic is older and more educated, she asserted that they??re not a bunch of ??trust-fund girls,?? just powerful women who happen to have a fetish.

I asked SoCal what she does. ??I??m a tenured professor of psychology,?? she said with a laugh.

And traceyd is a successful screenwriter. They were joined by an anesthesiologist, a surgeon, a pharmacist, a lawyer, a corporate risk management consultant, another psychologist and a designer from Australia the next evening, at an Upper East Side town house. They weren??t all draped in scarves and enamel bracelets; one wore sweats. In fact, the more they spoke, the more it became clear that they were collectors, not shopaholics ?? another rabbit hole entirely.

??That??s a 28 in noisette!?? one said, checking a Kelly from across the room.

??It??s havane, not black!?? another said, showing off her C.D.C. ??It matches my eb??ne Massai!??

But soon their conversations turned to work, parenting, hobbies, the war.

??It??s beyond bags,?? said shopmom411, a Berkeleyite whose posts are accompanied by the Epictetus quote ??Know, first, who you are; and then adorn yourself accordingly.?? She added, ??This group has opened up my world in a way that nothing else ever has.??

Someone shouted, ??Heather??s getting a divorce. What scarf should we buy her???

For this sisterhood, which is planning a pilgrimage to Paris in ??08, their purses transcend status. ??It??s a way of life,?? explained Ninja Sue, who bought her 12th bag that day.

Shopmom411 said, ??We saw all these women with Birkins on Madison, and I don??t think any of them appreciate what they have.?? The gang clucked in disbelief. ??Some of us have more bags than the really wealthy people,?? she said. ??We??re just average ladies with a passion.??

Article via New York Times

Press: Kelly Girls

admin | Press | Thursday, 13 December 2007
238 views

hermes kelly girls While our site reads “Shallow Obsessing Strongly Encouraged“, there is so much more to the people of Purse Blog and Purse Forum. Boasting over 68,000 registered members, The Purse Forum is one of the fastest growing and most active communities on the web. Nestled in the vast forum are sub-forums upon sub-forums of members. These members have congregated because of their passion for handbags yet in the end have formed much more. Many have met others and become great friends, while groups of members are enjoying meeting up to shop and eat. This past spring a group of Hermes members did just that, resulting in a fabulous weekend and a feature in the New York Times. Christine Muhlke from the New York Times met with the Hermes ladies to see a little bit into their world. Yesterday in a special style section of the NYT was an alluring article about some of the women behind the Hermes group. For a fun read about our amazing Hermes Forum please check out the article at NYT!

Special thanks to all of the ladies who participated and Christine for featuring the fabulous members of our forum! :mrgreen:

It??s amazing the girls you can meet on the Internet. It??s a democracy that brings together collectors, fetishists and everyday enthusiasts from around the globe to share their knowledge about, say, meerkats or Churchill. Now even lovers of the world??s most expensive handbags are geeking out.

Purseblog.com is a two-year-old site whose 58,000 forum members chat about Marc, Louis, Jimmy et al. The site??s most elite forum is, naturally, Herm??s, where women with handles like H_addict and BirKineSS post their latest purchases, rhapsodize over their dream sacs and go into so much detail about leather and hardware you??d think it was a Dungeons & Dragons site.

Read the rest of the article after the jump!

??Cyclamen only comes in epsom and ch??vre,?? reads a typical post, ??and there are no ch??vre Evelynes.??

There??s also a real-time component to the community, like the New Yorkers who hit the Madison Avenue store every Friday; the group that went to Las Vegas, dining at restaurants like the Olive Garden to save money for their higher shared purpose; and the Asian contingent that met in Singapore.

During an early spring weekend, almost 30 of the faithful converged on Manhattan to put a face to the avatar. But first they shopped ?? some members recognizing one another from their purses. (??I knew that was your Lindy!??) The perky blond Southerners stuck together, as did the women in black, while locals couldn??t help flaunting their relationships with the S.A.??s, or sales assistants, the true keys to the kingdom. (Forum regulars have been scolded by their S.A.??s after posting their purchases, angering the have-nots.)

After scouring the store, SoCal and traceyd adjourned to La Goulue for Champagne. (Out of embarrassment, all of the women interviewed requested that only their screen names be used.)

??We met in the Chlo?? room,?? said SoCal, an attractive 30-something brunette in jeans, heels, a tailored jacket and a crocodile collier de chien bracelet ?? or C.D.C., as the ladies refer to it. Traceyd, an impeccably maintained Upper East Side boho with a taste for ethnic jewelry, had posted, ??Should I give my 16-year-old a Paddy???

Like others in the forum, traceyd had traded up to Herm??s, selling her 50-plus ??It?? bags to focus on Birkins, which start at $7,000: ??I thought if I had a Birkin, that??s all I needed. But it wasn??t.?? She now has three Birkins, as well as eight other styles. But, she added, Herm??s has made her more selective: ??I??ve bought less crap in other areas of my life.??

Though they??d never met F2F, they knew a lot about one another, encouraged by threads like ??Do you ever not long for anything else???

??The people on the blog think the Herm??s girls are the most snobby,?? SoCal said. And while she acknowledged that the Herm??s demographic is older and more educated, she asserted that they??re not a bunch of ??trust-fund girls,?? just powerful women who happen to have a fetish.

I asked SoCal what she does. ??I??m a tenured professor of psychology,?? she said with a laugh.

And traceyd is a successful screenwriter. They were joined by an anesthesiologist, a surgeon, a pharmacist, a lawyer, a corporate risk management consultant, another psychologist and a designer from Australia the next evening, at an Upper East Side town house. They weren??t all draped in scarves and enamel bracelets; one wore sweats. In fact, the more they spoke, the more it became clear that they were collectors, not shopaholics ?? another rabbit hole entirely.

??That??s a 28 in noisette!?? one said, checking a Kelly from across the room.

??It??s havane, not black!?? another said, showing off her C.D.C. ??It matches my eb??ne Massai!??

But soon their conversations turned to work, parenting, hobbies, the war.

??It??s beyond bags,?? said shopmom411, a Berkeleyite whose posts are accompanied by the Epictetus quote ??Know, first, who you are; and then adorn yourself accordingly.?? She added, ??This group has opened up my world in a way that nothing else ever has.??

Someone shouted, ??Heather??s getting a divorce. What scarf should we buy her???

For this sisterhood, which is planning a pilgrimage to Paris in ??08, their purses transcend status. ??It??s a way of life,?? explained Ninja Sue, who bought her 12th bag that day.

Shopmom411 said, ??We saw all these women with Birkins on Madison, and I don??t think any of them appreciate what they have.?? The gang clucked in disbelief. ??Some of us have more bags than the really wealthy people,?? she said. ??We??re just average ladies with a passion.??

Article via New York Times

Press: USA Today on renting designer Handbags

admin | Press | Thursday, 13 December 2007
258 views

Recently, Vlad was interviewed by USA Today about our take on the designer handbag rental websites. While the idea seems great, it is something we realize that does not appeal to our readers and our members. The fact of the matter is, handbag aficionados want to own their bags first and have them as part of a growing collection. Thank you again to Maria for the interview!

“Our ladies are just too picky ?? they’re collectors, and they want the sensation of owning the bags,” say Vlad and Meaghan of Fort Lauderdale, co-founders of PurseBlog.com. “Many are repelled by the idea of another woman’s fingerprints or stains or germs.”

Read the entire article at USA Today or


Can’t afford that high-end handbag? Just rent it

You can rent a car and rent a DVD ?? but rent a handbag?

Thanks to the Internet and Americans’ infatuation with high-end designer handbags, rent-a-bag is a concept that a growing number of women are embracing.

MORE: Get a handle on handbag rental websites

Because who really has closet space for scores of handbags? Why spend the equivalent of a mortgage payment on a bag that might languish in the closet after one season? How do you get the next “It” bag for a special occasion?

Today there are two websites operating in the USA ?? BagBorrowOrSteal.com and FromBagsToRiches.com ?? plus at least three in Britain, one in Germany, one in Australia and one in Canada. Although neither U.S. site will say exactly how many, the sites are believed to be renting thousands of bags a month to women all over the country.
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“It’s a great idea,” says Jennifer MacNeish, 42, of Melrose, Mass., who has rented dozens of bags in the past year from BBOS. “You can spend a lot of money buying handbags, and no matter how fabulous the bag, a month later you want the next one.”

The two sites are differ in some details: BBOS, for instance, has a vintage-bag curator who buys expensive designer bags, such as an Herm??s Crocodile Birkin bag available to rent for up to $6,010 a month (to get a new one you have to join a years-long waiting list). FromBagsToRiches also operates a related consignment site, called BagBanco.com, where women can sell their used handbags and get back up to 80% of the sale.

“Women feel empowered” by toting designer brands, says Samuel Mangiere, chairman of FBTR. “It’s not about ownership, it’s about the experience of having a designer bag for even a brief period of time.”

The media coverage has been widespread and laudatory. But some bag blogs, such as PurseBlog.com and BagSnob.com, are not keen on the concept. Among other things, bloggers worry about hygiene, although the sites say bags are routinely cleaned.

“Our ladies are just too picky ?? they’re collectors, and they want the sensation of owning the bags,” say Vlad Dusil and Meaghan Mahoney of Fort Lauderdale, co-founders of ThePurseBlog.com. “Many are repelled by the idea of another woman’s fingerprints or stains or germs.”

The sites generally work like this: Browse the bags online, ranging from costly Chanel to more affordable Coach. Click on one (or more) you want to borrow, choose rental by week or by month, and it ships that day or the next. Keep it as long as you like; your credit card will be charged for each extra week or month. After renting, if you want the bag you can buy it, usually at a discount from retail price. Otherwise, send it back and get another one.

“People are trying to replicate celebrity culture ?? it’s this idea that I can have the bag of the moment for the moment,” says fashion journalist Lesley Scott, who blogs at FashionTribes.com.

Indeed, many women feel guilty about or bored with their bag collections and hate the clutter in their closets, Smith says. “This is a great way for them to enjoy more luxury and still feel good about it.”

admin | Press | Thursday, 13 December 2007
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Recently, Vlad was interviewed by USA Today about our take on the designer handbag rental websites. While the idea seems great, it is something we realize that does not appeal to our readers and our members. The fact of the matter is, handbag aficionados want to own their bags first and have them as part of a growing collection. Thank you again to Maria for the interview!

“Our ladies are just too picky ?? they’re collectors, and they want the sensation of owning the bags,” say Vlad and Meaghan of Fort Lauderdale, co-founders of PurseBlog.com. “Many are repelled by the idea of another woman’s fingerprints or stains or germs.”

Read the entire article at USA Today or see below!

admin | Press | Thursday, 13 December 2007
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Juicy Couture Dog CarrierFace it, a juicy girl is the glam girl. Now I know all of you girls see Paris Hilton, Jessica Simpson and other hip celebs toting their dogs around in cute little carriers and dressing them up in cute little outfits, and I know some of you desperately want to be so posh and cute with your loveable pets too. So here is your chance.

I’ve found the perfect pet bag made by the totally glamourous Juicy Couture. I must admit I am very partial to Juicy Couture, but hey, who isn’t? This cute Juicy terry dog carrier measures 12″H x 15″W x 9″D, which will hold up to 15 lbs. So yes, you do need one of those little fluffy stuck-up poodles or such a breed. Other features include a double wrap-around zip with heart and signature “J” pull tabs and a side double-zip flap (for the poochies head) with heart and “P&G” charms, and heart-shaped push-lock closure. How utterly adorable! The bag is gonna cost you around $275, but when you have a cute little puppy who needs to be transported, what better way to carry it then in a super glam hotel-on-wheels!