I've noticed a lot of comments in this forum to the effect of "once I tried X (more expensive designer), I could never go back to Y (less expensive) designer".
I have never felt that way at all. I owned a LV before I owned a Coach. My first designer bag was actually one of the most expensive I have (an 85th Anniversary Gucci), then I got my first LV, then I got my first Coach, then I got my first Tokidoki. I love the bags I love and have never seen less expensive as less appealing BECAUSE of being less expensive. I love the LVs I have, I always loved the mono pattern and I do think they are well made. But I reluctantly pay the price because if I want it, that's the only option. But do I think coated canvas should be more expensive than a great quality leather bag like my Coaches? No way. Does having an LV or Balenciaga keep me away from Coach ... or Fossil... or Tokidoki... heck, even some Lesportsacs, no way.
Just curious how people feel on this one. Do you only go up in price or do you love what you love regardless of price?
I have one or 2 brands that I buy to collect as well as wear but I like and wear all my bags designer or otherwise or I wouldn't have bought/kept them. I have even bought less expensive and lost-name vintage bags that I have never heard of, if I like them and (hopefully) they are good quality, no problem. After all, I live a varied life and one bag or even one brand would not work for me.
I'm like you ... my first bag was a Fendi but I still like buying non-premier designers. I like buying a bag based on its looks and functionality, not because it's this certain designer. I have Chanels and LVs but I still buy Coach and MK. I'm definitely an equal opportunist when it comes to bags.
The only thing I can say I no longer wish to have since I bought more designer branded bags is faux leather. Aside from the coated canvas LV all the others I now purchase are leather. I love leather hand bags. I buy Coach, Dooney, MK , LV and Fossil. I love them all. Leather and well made plus they appeal to me. I only have one style from each of the ones I mentioned. It is about the bag and style of it.
Actually, I started out with Coach and Dooney moved "up" to LV and Hermes and have since moved back "down" to Coach, Dooney and Kate Spade. I came to the conclusion that the bags -- while great -- are generally just not worth the money to me. I'm just as happy with a classic Coach as I was with an Hermes Kelly.
I have 2 gorgeous brown leather bags sitting in front of me right now. One is Fossil vintage reissue collection $268 and one is a Balenciaga pompon with giant gold hardware $1800-ish 2 years ago. I think they are both gorgeous and don't see anything that justifies that extreme of a price difference. (But I loved it and it was a 40th bday present for myself). But it certainly hasn't ruined me for buying this gorgeous Fossil tote recently.
I started with LV; since then, the highest up the chain I've got was Chanel and Bottega Veneta, neither of which were the be-all-end-all I was hoping for them to be. I've since gone back 'down' to brands like MbMJ and find they're even more pleasing to me than bags like the aforementioned Chanel and BVs.
I have a hard time with this and it's not b/c I want to... I see other less expensive bags I like, but just can't bring myself to carry them. I mean I obviously liked them enough when I saw them being worn to catch my eye, even enough that I have bought a few, but end up returning them b/c I just can't bring myself to carry them. I guess I am more referring to Coach, Fossil, MK and no-names per say. Not sure if it's b/c every one and their Mother is wearing them as well or what. I don't wear 'flashy' or logo bags either, most of my premier designer bags are pretty under the radar and likely not well known by others in my area...maybe that has something to do with it too? It's definitely something that I find super annoying and I wish I could overcome!
I'm the queen of "gateway" bags...I have a ton of them. My favorite is a Lacquer Red Brahmin Louise. I really love the way Brahmins look, so I don't think I'll stop carrying it..unless my tastes change drastically--which seems to be happening much more lately!
In general, I tend to like Premier Designer bags better than others, but I'll still see an OMG I NEED THAT Coach or even no name purse sometimes, and I'll get it and love it just as much as my super expensive bags.
I am not brand loyal, either. I love all of my bags--Coach, Hermes, BV, Celine, RM, and Balenciaga. If a designer produces a bag that appeals to me, I'm on it, regardless of its location in the expense hierarchy.
For the most part I think price dictated a lot of what I buy. Growing up, my family always lived within their means. It was comfortable but we didn't have the money to splurge on luxuries like designer handbags. My mother had a lot of handbags but she bought what she could afford and hence I'm quite similar. However I'm now yearning to move "up" so to speak and actually own a premier designer purse but I'm still scratching my head wondering how it could be justified? Oh well, until I can actually swallow a $1K price tag, I think I'll just keep yearning and dreaming =P
My first designer bag was an LV I bought in a consignment store. Then I went to Coach and Dooney. Then it was back to LV. Over the years, for the most part, I was LV exclusive. Then 3 years ago circumstances in my life changed. I sold most of my LV collection and actually carried Vera Bradley for awhile. Then back to a few pre-loved LV. I tend to want a 'new' bag every two months or so. On my budget I can't do that with LV even if it is pre-loved. My collection consists of MBMJ, LV, Dooney & Bourke and a couple of Vera Bradley totes. I am really hooked on Dooney and Bourke right now. When I was younger, back in the late 80's I wanted a Dooney & Bourke AWL backpack but couldn't afford it. Maybe, that is why I am so into Dooney, now. Plus they have improved so much since the It bag days.
Great thread! I find the marketing hierarchy of bags are a tool. It places the consumer in a certain frame of thinking. (ie., Premier is superior to Designer.) Fortunately I've never got into the Chanel or LV arena. A couple of LV's have appealed to me but then I ask, "what for?" My last two very expensive purchases were Gucci and a BV leather bag which I consider low key and fabulously made! I agree with other posters here that Dooney & Bourke makes an excellent product. I haven't succumbed to buy a bag of theirs yet, due to the excessive weight. I think what it comes down to for me is, style and craftsmanship and if there is a manufacturer who has that, I buy it. I have a soft spot for Gucci. I'm starting to resent the inflated $1k+ pricing and am not looking in that direction as much. I just don't see the justification. I look at some gorgeous Ralph Lauren bags sometimes and just can't understand how they come up with $3k+ prices!! Why is that bag worth the price? Did an artisan create it by hand and took a month's time to make it or was it knocked off on an assembly line in China??
In any event, kudos to all who can afford both but choose wisely!