What makes an IT handbag? Celebrity and magazines (Reuters)

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    (source: news.yahoo.com)
    What makes an IT handbag? Celebrity and magazines

    By Michelle Nichols
    Sun Feb 4, 11:59 AM ET

    In this file photo a model carries this handbag as part of Croatian designer Ivana Omazic's Spring/Summer 2007 ready-to-wear collection for fashion house Celine, in Paris October 5, 2006. (Charles Platiau/Reuters)

    The Hermes "Kelly" and "Birkin" handbags are perennials, while this season Marc Jacobs "Stam" and Yves Saint Laurent "Downtown" handbags are among the ones to be seen wearing, but what exactly makes an IT bag?

    Celebrities and magazine editors do, according to those in the industry.

    "The IT bag is of the season, hot off the runway, instantly recognizable and identifiable as an accessory for those in the know and with the budget to indulge," said Avril Graham, beauty and fashion director at Harper's Bazaar magazine.

    "It's identified at the shows by top editors as a must have bag," she said. New York's semi-annual Fashion Week is underway this week, with hundreds of designers showing fall collections.

    She said while the lifespan of an IT bag usually only lasts a single season, there were exceptions to the rule, such as the Hermes "Kelly" and "Birkin" bags -- named after Princess Grace of Monaco in 1956 and actress Jane Birkin in 1984.

    The waiting list for these bags, which cost several thousand dollars, is reportedly up to six years.

    For New York handbag designer Nicole Guttman, whose label Socoley is about to release its second season of bags, producing an IT bag is something she can only dream of for the moment, but she has already had a taste of the power of celebrity and magazines.


    Sending handbags to actresses Heather Graham, Naomi Watts and Keri Russell paid off with publicity in gossip and fashion magazines, she said.

    "I do believe that celebrities play a large role in making an IT bag," Guttman said. "It did grab people's attention when we were mentioned and they read about celebrities with our bags."

    Harper's Bazaar's Graham agreed.

    "There's no question that product placement plays a major role," she said.

    "If you see someone that is instantly identifiable as perhaps a fashionable person, someone like a Kate Moss, for example, can propel something into instant stardom by carrying it and wearing things in her own particular way."

    Rafe Totengco, accessories designer for Rafe New York, said a modern woman's handbag is like her "armor" and in The Handbook of Style, published last month by Quirk Books, he warns women to think carefully when investing in a handbag.

    "There will always be an of-the-season handbag that you crave -- be it signature shape, animal print, real fur, bead encrusted or simply because Kate Moss is wearing it -- but the major bags in your wardrobe should fall into five style categories," he said.

    He said these styles were the hobo, the clutch, the top handle, the shoulder bag and the tote.

  2. Interesting. I agree. I do have a question though that came to mind after reading the last sentence: what exactly is the difference between a tote and a top handle bag or a shoulder bag? Actually, when looking at designers' sites I often click on the totes section and then the satchel section (for example) and can't figture out what differentiates them.

    Does anyone have specific definitions for the following appellations? :



    messenger (a bag that you wear across the body, right?)




    Can a satchel be a tote also? Or a shoulder bag be a tote at the same time?

    I hope these questions don't seem stupid, and I hope it's okay to tag them onto this thread rather than starting a new one. :s
  3. I don't think Hermes Birkin/Kelly are it bags. They fall under classics with the Speedy and Chanel Classic flaps imo..
  4. http://forum.purseblog.com/handbags-and-purses/handbags-101-glossary-17419.html

  5. Thanks bag.lover! I did do a search before asking, but that glossary didn't come up (the key term I used probably wasn't the best choice...oops). Sorry for wasting space.
  6. Where is the Boston bag in the glossary? I still don't know why it's called that way.
  7. Maybe the Hermes Kelly bag was an it bag back in the day when Grace Kelly was carrying it around. I think it created quite the frenzy back then. Its since morphed into a classic.
  8. That's why I like classic bags like Birkin,Kelly,Chanel Classic flap. They never go out of style.

    I once saw a chanel white 2.55 which was made in the 60's. It still looks fab today!