Is there a real difference between Premier Designer bags and Designer


Emma 4ever in my <3
May 23, 2009
or is really in the mind of the beholder. Lately, I am feeling more frugal. Perhaps it's more mounting expenses but the more I look at manufacturers like Cole Haan or MBMJ, I am not seeing a major difference in the workmanship of the bags compared to a Longchamp for instance.

Anyone care to give their thoughts? :biggrin:


Nov 21, 2006
IMHO, I think a lot of it is all in our heads. For the most part, I think you're paying for the label name. Obviously, some of the premier designer bags will use exotic leathers/skins, but that's different than workmanship. I've had premier designer bags fall apart on me and designer bags that last forever.


Wool Vixen
Jul 9, 2008
Vancouver, WA
I so so feel you girl. I've sold all my chanel bags and am in love with my MBMJ right now.

i think the quality issues with a lot of premier brands have turned a lot of us off.

Now if I could just lose the Balenciaga bug... lol


Jan 7, 2010
San Diego
While I am sure I will always lust for many of the "premium" designer bags, recently I've become a huge fan of Marc by Marc Jacobs bags. I think they are a really good value and something I don't feel guilty about buying because I use them frequently. They are soft, well made and just so darn cute, I find myself using them more than many of my higher end bags. They seem like a good value for a great design, great function and great comfort. I just picked up today a MBMJ crossbody bag that is so comfortable on the shoulder, I could wear it everyday. I also like Cole Haan. There is an outlet near me so it's really fun to find some amazing CH bargains there. Both the MBMJ and Cole Haan are very well made, IMO.


Jul 30, 2007
I so so feel you girl. I've sold all my chanel bags and am in love with my MBMJ right now.

i think the quality issues with a lot of premier brands have turned a lot of us off.

Now if I could just lose the Balenciaga bug... lol
I'm also on the MbMJ bandwagon! I just can't get enough of the amazing leathers, fun colors, and chunky hardware. Besides, I don't think any of the 'premier designers' offer that much better quality. (Excluding Hermes, perhaps!:P)


Feb 6, 2008
I think Hermes and BV use the best materials, and still have a reputation for the best workmanship.

I have no problem with carrying "lower end" bags but I think those two brands still have quality. Don't get me started on Chanel and LV...I think all they have now is marketing. Their workmanship has disappointed me in recent years.


Meditate on that.
Jan 25, 2010
Phoenix, AZ
I have both, and I think it depends on the brand. Sure, marketing is always involved, but there really can be a big difference in the quality of the materials and the construction. The key is being able to look beyond the hype and identify the best value for your money.

Case in point: I have several Botkier bags and have been very impressed with the quality of the leather, how "solid" they feel, and how well they hold up. I also own a Bulga hobo that started to fall apart within the first two weeks (WTF?!). Those brands are around the same retail price. Meanwhile, I own several MJ collection bags, and even though I'm impressed by Botkier, I can tell that the MJ bags are higher quality. And in terms of design, more timeless. I am willing to pay more for this.

All that being said, carrying my MJs doesn't make me feel more special than when I carry the Botkiers. To me, it's about what I love and the value I get for my money. Which brings me to my last point, which is that I buy all my bags secondhand. My (fabulous, glamorous, interminably chic) grandmother always said, "Never pay retail." I subscribe to that. And it's allowed me to maximize the return on my investment, so to speak.


May 23, 2009
G-orgeous H-eaven
Very good fundamental Question BH

I have all sorts - I just go with what my heart and head take me bag by bag :broom:.

Although I admit I do look at 'premier' things first for the latest season it doesn't mean I don't look elsewhere.

Only very recently I found 2 bags under my bed from years ago I had forgotten about, one from Jigsaw and one from All Saints. I've already taken both out since, and these are not even 'designer' they are just 'high-street'.

It depends where I go and what I need and sometimes not even that but just what I like and what goes with my outfit.

:rtr:Having said that when I buy a premier designer bag I buy it with the intention of carrying it to my own funeral :nuts:. Not as a monetary investment but an investment in my 'core' style. When I buy a less-expensive bag I may want to keep it forever but I wouldn't feel bad at all if in a couple of years I just gave it away or similar.


Mar 5, 2009
I'll go with your mind/eye of the beholder theory, but IMO, what plays a larger role is whether one can afford to buy the pricier premier designers. I strictly limit how much I spend on handbags, shoes and scarves, but I have friends who have no need to limit themselves. I believe I'm a savvier shopper than my wealthy friends, because I look at the quality of the handbag rather than its name and trendiness.

I have favorite designers like Chanel, Prada and Gucci, but I own other designers, because what I wear is driven by event and setting. I love Prada for everyday wear and traveling, Chanel for the opera and symphony, but I wouldn't wear Prada or Chanel to a football game or to a water park.

I buy handbags that appeal to me, but I keep an eye on the bottom line. When I'm out and about, I have attitude, so I'm comfortable wearing any handbag that I love whether it's a Coach, a vintage D&B or a Chanel.



Feb 4, 2007
I haven't really noticed a difference in the quality in my bags, except for maybe BV, but I might be biased, I just love that bag so much. And yes, MJ is amazing!! I have stuff from his main line, the diffusion line and the special items and love them all equally!


Feb 4, 2007
Oh and Cole Haan quality is excellent! I tend to always buy their wallets and they hold up so well.


Oct 2, 2009
The South
I think it really varies brand to brand...and sometimes within a certain brand. I have seen some designer bags that could rival most premier designer bags in quality, and others by the same designer that looked like they would fall apart in a month.


Feb 16, 2008
Probably not a huge difference but I really hate to buy a bag and then turn around and find it on massive markdown. I stopped buying bags that went on sale bc of this limits me on the brands I buy.