Here's a selection
Here's a selection
It goes on to say that women are compromising their rent, lunch, and other clothing in order to fit an expensive bag into their budget. I know a lot of drug addicts who do the same thing to get their "fix." I also think it's offensive that handbag companies are raising their prices for no other reason than that people will pay more.In their pursuit of the season's most coveted bags, many are giving common sense the slip, parting with, say, $975 for a best seller like the Marc Jacobs Sofia bag, which which last fall commanded $895, or $1,445 for a leather Prada "bowler" bag that, a few seasons back, cost $940 or $990 for similar models. Shoppers' infatuation with handbags has lent that category significant clout, to the point, retailers and industry analysts say, that bags have supplanted shoes, jeans and even jewelry as consumers' choice signifier of affluence, social standing and hipness. Never mind that some models, in the battered and fringed styles now popular, look as though they belonged to a tramp.
"It seems that each year what we're seeing in the women's fashion luxury market there has been a migration from one category to the next," said Marshal Cohen, the chief retail analyst for the NPD Group, a market research firm in Port Washington, N.Y. "A few years ago it was shoes. Last year it was jeans. This is the year of the handbag."
Handbag sales, which were $5.34 billion in 2003, were projected to climb 8 percent for 2004, the latest figure available from Accessories Magazine, a trade monthly. Women who bought bags last year spent on average only $40 to $65, according to NPD. Ultra-luxury designer bags - from $650 to about $15,000, which account for an estimated 5 percent of the market - are important because the designs invariably filter down, setting the trends for the mass market.