After quite a long hiatus, I stopped in to the MJ boutique to see what was new. Some of the newer bags have caught my eye, and I'm really excited about the fall/winter collection! My former SA is now the store manager, and while we were chatting, she shared some interesting info: Marc is bringing in one of the former lead designers from Louis Vuitton (not sure who it is, she couldn't remember their name). When they come on board, she says that we should expect to see a dramatic increase in price. She said she didn't think the prices will be as high as LV, but that they will likely be comparable to Saint Laurent, Fendi and Valentino (in the $2-4k range). One of the steps in that direction was the discontinuation of the Stam and the Quilted Collection (including the Single & Large Single). This years Resort collection also inched a little closer to the "new" MJ - they used some better leathers and materials, the price point for that collection was higher than they are now for the Spring/Summer collection (the one bag I took picture of - the Medium Big Apple - is $2895!) She says we should likely see the prices increase with the fall/winter collection. While I was there, I took some pics of a few of the bags. There are two that I really liked, in fact, I'm pretty sure I will likely be buying one of them - the Big Apple Nolita. The leather was just incredible - soft and lightweight with a textured appearance (not really pebbled, but close) with a leather woven chain similar to Chanel. The price isn't bad either, especially compared to similar bags from other designers ($1095). I also really liked the Lads Mate in Atlantic, which reminds me of Petrol from the first year of the Stam. It seems like this collection might be his replacement for the quilted bags too - the cross-stitching minus the quilting. I've really liked most of the bags from this group that I've seen. In addition to the bags I really liked I snapped some pics of bags around the store. I do like how some of the bags are very simple with nice leather and clean lines, like the Doubles Maverick, which is a spitting image of the Celine All Soft, but at more than half the price (the leather is almost identical). I'm not loving all the grommets and oversized studs. Beneath all the hardware and ornamentation, the bags are nice and the leather's great. I wish he'd offer these same bags without all the decorations. Seems like they recycled some of the leather "bells" from the Memphis collection from Spring '09. Its been a disappointing few years (for me anyhow), but based on what I've seen this season (and even last season), I'm liking the direction MJ's moving. I'm very hopeful that his leaving LV is a good thing, and Marc gets back to making memorable bags that are durable and last a lifetime. I hope that the price increase - whatever that may be - doesn't end up hurting him. I think on the one hand, he will loose some customers, but on the other, if the quality of his bags is on par with what other designers at the same price point are offering, it could be a good thing. I'd love to see him return to lining his bags with suede. If he's going to be raising prices, I think he's got to use better materials than he has been using. I would never pay more than $2k for any bag that's lined with some of the linings I've seen him use (poor lining is the reason I passed on a Rio that I found on sale this past winter - I was all set to buy it, until it opened it up and was shocked at what I saw!). I also think he needs to do fewer bags with "bells & whistles". A few grommets or oversized studs are nice, but too much can make a bag look gaudy & cheap. What are your thoughts on the new collection and impending price increase?