OK, this is not exactly a fashion term... However, we certainly could not resist writing about our favorite handbag brands for 2009. (yes, we could have waiting until the end of the year to write this, but we make up our minds quickly here at Apparel Search).
For more current reviews, check the Best Handbags section.
A few of our favorite things....
There's certainly plenty of handbag brands to choose from whether they are sleek, sexy, and expensive or casual and affordable. Within the last few years it seems like every fashionista from the socialite scene to stay-at-home moms took a turn at playing designer and launched their own handbag labels.
Although the brands Apparel Search mentions below tend to fall into the luxury range, there are plenty of handbag labels out there to choose from, including affordable labels such as Simply Vera Vera Wang at Kohl's and Mossimo at Target.
Here, Apparel Search selects our favorite designer handbag brands and provides a brief description of why these brands are among our favorite picks.
Furla - Although it is elegant and understated, this Italian handbag brand is high on style. This chic collection tends to highlight shape with contemporary silhouettes that are either neutral in tone (with a palette of whites, tans, and chocolates) or pop with bold splashes of color. The company, which continues to invest in research and technology, offers a collection that is high on detail and Italian craftsmanship.
Mulberry - British luxury brand Mulberry presents a luxurious collection that fuses city chic with a sense of country craft. Renowned for its fashion-forward sensibility yet understated design, the Mulberry collection ranges from stylish totes to chic messenger bags and cool clutches in an array of eye-popping colors. Shoulder bags range from crisp tailored silhouettes to relaxed slouchy bags that offer a casual vibe.
Cole Haan - From chic drawstring totes to casual hobos and stylish backpacks, Cole Haan's collection focuses on the finest of details. Leathers include everything from handwovens to supple natural grain naked leathers, which bring a truly luxurious feel. The bags are accented with antique brass hardware and artisan seam stitch detailing, as well as braided straps.
Marc Jacobs - The Marc Jacobs handbag collection reflects a contemporary vibe. Colors range from bold purples to vibrant turquoises and more sedate emerald hues to understated white and black tones. Accent details include chain embellishments, as well as quilting, studs, and lively patterns that offer an artsy aesthetic.
Michael Kors - The company's heritage is rooted in producing polished, sleek, sophisticated American style with a jet-set attitude. The Michael Kors collection, emblematic of the highest standard of quality, includes handbags that range from sleek, tailored clutches to electric styles such as the pink patent leather Grab Bag. Kors offers a vast collection that caters to a wide variety of taste preferences. Here, bold Zebra totes mingle with more classic styles such as the pebble tote with a hanging logo charm.
Kenneth Cole - Kenneth Cole New York also offers an array of styles that cater to a wide range of fashionistas. From electric blue leather satchels to a bold pink fringe clutch to more classic styles such as the tailored hobos, Kenneth Cole offers chic city elegance, as well as fun flirty styles. Kenneth Cole is renowned for his advertisements, which often make more than just a simple fashion statement. His eco totes boast messages such as "We all have excess baggage" and "Use me again and again and again. I'm used to it."
Calvin Klein - Known for his minimalist styles, Calvin Klein's handbag collection tends to highlight a subdued color palette. From grayish metallics to classic navy and black, the collection celebrates simplicity and understated style.
Coach - Classic American style is at the core of Coach's design philosophy. Classic modern styling and craftmanship is key to the collection, which offers everything from satchels to shoulder bags, hobos and flaps to totes, crossbody bags, and beyond. The totes tend to reflect the classic style Coach is known for, but other racier styles boast bold butterfly patterns with an artistic flair. More contemporary styles flaunt tattoo designs that certainly resonate with a younger, trendier consumer.
Tod's - The Tod's brand, which signifies Italian artisanship and luxury, is also considered a trend setter in the handbag market. Whether it is a bold coral color, a vibrant purple, or a more subdued tan hue, Tod's bags share a common thread: fine taste and classic style. Some of the bags celebrate functionality such as the messenger bags, which tend to be a bit more casual yet high on style.
Gucci - Luxury comes in many shapes and styles at Gucci. Materials range from brown python and suede to ostrich. Fine accent details include gold hardware and gold/bamboo push lock closures. Colors remain neutral with a palette of grays and browns, but there are some pops of color notably coral and violet.
Learn more about handbags.
written for Apparel Search by Regina Cooper June 2009.
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