IT bags are the ultimate must have bags. The ones that according to elite fashion magazines will
never go out of fashion. Will not become old or old fashioned, but only vintage.
The term IT Bag was invented in the mid 1990-ties referring to such bags as Hermes Birkin and Hermes Kelly, Chanel 2.55, Givenchy Nightingale and few other of the small number of purses out there that got a massive attention and almost iconic fashion symbol status. Since then the market has developed so quickly that now almost all companies in fashion business offer their purse line and position at least one or several of their bags as the Must-Haves for the bag collectors.
These purses get features oin fashion news, on celebrity channels and cover the ad pages in many of the fashion magazines. Designer bags have now experienced an unprecedented hype and attention and customer demand as well. The marketing for having an IT bag has been very strong. Some say that the concept of IT bag is dead (as there is a surplus of great totes and satchels on the market), however the sales figures do not support that - there are still many highly priced purses that consumer ar willing to pay the price of "arm and a leg". It is more like the It bag is dead, long live the IT bag. Obviously there is a demand for special handbags with a proven "name". Also many purse hunters look for deals and brand bags on sale. Some of the largest fashion houses do have sales section, some don't. But there are some great bags on sale from less known designers, which are good value for money.
Here we will have a look at the top iconic bags and describe them in more detail, to see whether these purses are truly masterpieces of art worth the buzz.
How did the women get obsessing about handbags. Let's start with evolution of handbags:
To start with, first handbags (more precisely some sort of backpacks or sacks) were carried by men, who returned home after hunt or fight with food and other essentials. First materials for these sacks were either leather or leaves or any other natural material available.
Major development in direction of handbags as we know them happens around 14th century, as archeological discoveries in Egypt show wall paintings with men carrying bags (sack-like) around their waist. In 15th century the handbag becomes a symbol of status, purses are made of fine silks, in beautiful decorated leathers and ornamented with embroideries to make perfect little pouches for money. One could say that this is the first time of luxury handbag introduction as the decorations and materials were a sign of the person's wealth. The luxury and craftsmanship invested in these small pockets and pouches would make any modern fashionista go jealous. These bags did not resemble the today's purses - they were small drawstring pouches.
Next development happens around 16th - 17th century, when it becomes fashionable to wear the handbags under the skirt. This is partly due to the fashion demands - as it is very easy to loose the pouch in the abundant amount of fabric used for dresses. And also partly because of lack of hygiene, people used to wear small perfumed pouches under clothing and attached them to the girdle. Similarly the purses were used for carrying money, and women also had small pouches for cosmetics and all the things women carry around.
Fashion changed again in 18th century and more tight clothing was introduced so there was no more space for the purse under the skirt. The handbag reemerged in the traditional sense, it was still made of silk with no solid base or framework and the closure was a drawstring closure. France became the leading country fashion handbag wise and the most exquisite and jewels decorated handbags were made back then. Some of the pouches of that time can be seen on exhibitions and the level of detail and decoration in these small silk pouch bags is simply amazing.
The term handbag is introduced around mid-nineteenth century and it refers to a luggage like bag for men and women. The development of railroad technology in around 1820-ties went along with establishment of leather luggage and bag makers. The brands we know today as iconic, such as Hermes or Louis Vuitton were established respectively in 1837 and 1854. Handbag manufacturing now became the business of leather craftsmen not the tailors, as it was until then.
20th century is the era of handbags as we know them. Glam art deco style bags were the thing for 1930-ties. 1940-ties are more of a utilitarian approach to men's and women bag's as the handbags become bigger and more practical. Real fashion explosion happens at 50-ties. This is the rise of the handbag culture as Chanel and Gucci, as well as many other dictate the fashion for the elite and superstars of the time. In 80-ties and 90-ties the world experiments with unisex fashion and the same trends are reflected in purse industry. 2000 marks the time of rise of the IT bags or Must-Haves as part of new fashion concept. And right now everyone is obsessed with the purses, satchels and clutches. Not all can afford the high prices of the major fashion houses so they opt for Bags on sale.
In general there were really few It bags some years ago, namely the Kelly bag, Birkin bag, Nightingale bag, Spy bag and few more. Right now the market is very saturated and it is estimated that around 30 to 40 purses from current fashion brands are considered iconic and being marketed as IT bags. Surely only few of them will be remembered after some time and most will be forgotten the next seasons, when new IT bags are launched. But for the purpose of discussion, here are the iconic handbags Hermès Birkin and Kelly purse and other popular purses nowadays that have gotten a lot of attention both from elite magazines and fashion critics and consumers as well.
And they are Balenciaga Motorcycle,
Blumarine has its Rose clutch and Anna purse, there is also a B bag and Cocca satchel.
Dior Samurai is one of the most popular purses from this French brand, also the Chloé Paraty gained lots of attention, so did Borbonese Luna and Sexy hobo. Bottega Veneta
Knot clutch is known as an eye candy from the woven leather label. And many more.
Althogh no critics have mentioned that in particular there is a growing trend for eco-conscious people and designers are making faux leather and other synthetic material purses, the most famous designer in this respect is of course Stella McCartney with Stella McCartney bags on sale and also YSL has produced some purses like this.
Each season there are new purses added to shelves that are being marketed as the next It bags, but only few of them truly get the popularity the designers had in mind. Also the fashion market has become so global that the only thing really making the difference is the price. There are so many young and ambitious designers producing many truly great and elegant purses, but the market is still dominated by the grand names like Chanel or Chloe or Hermes.
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