Friday, January 18, 2008

The End of the Logo Bag

Women in the 1990s embraced the logo bag as the visible mark of upper-class wealth; today, this same status symbol has become as commonplace as the $150-$200 Seven jeans that appear on the backsides of teens and women alike. Oddly enough, its wild success was the very cause of its lackluster appeal today; the proliferation of designer copies ("fakes") sold on every corner in Chinatown and on Fifth Avenue, the inability of many women to distinguish the fakes from the real (thus equating all logo bags with fakes), and the heavy push of the "it" bag status have all weakened the appeal. The fashion elite all swear by logoless bags that carry with them the dignity of "quiet luxury" and the personal knowledge that their genuine bags are far pricier than these very same logo bags (the Monogram Canvas Speedy 25 is currently priced at $595, far cheaper than a high-end bag today, which runs at an average $1,500). This very craving for the elite high-end bag has inevitably pushed the prices up, so that a typical Chanel tweed purse is now $2,500, $1,000 more than it was less than two years ago, and even the prized Hermes Birkin bag (roughly $7,000) is seen on nearly every wrist on Madison Avenue. Consider, however, the freedom that comes from this inevitable conclusion: once you abandon the logo, you are free to enjoy quality and personal taste.

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