REPOST: Get Carried Away with This Trio of Handbag Launches

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It’s not uncommon for up-and-coming fashion brands to launch as a capsule collection of apparel before expanding down the line to include branded accessories after a year or so. This article features three young but well-loved fashion labels releasing their first lines of handbags this fall.

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Image Source: news.instyle.com

They say good things come in threes, and amazing fashion launches are no exception. Recently, three brands rolled out their first-ever handbag collections—all of which were exceptional to say the least.

1. Ramy Brook

Let’s time travel back to the year 2010 when designer Ramy Sharp launched her contemporary womenswear brand Ramy Brook with the mission to deliver versatile day-to-night pieces—an area, she felt, was missing in the market place. Four successful years later, Sharp has applied the same thought to handbags (above). “Many of the bags can be worn in a few different ways, like a tote to a cross-body or a messenger to a clutch, just like a few styles from my ready-to-wear collection,” Sharp tells InStyle.com, calling out the fringe Stevie messenger as her favorite (it’s named after her daughter!). “The chain and fringe really have a wow factor—it has the right amount of detailing to keep it classic rather than over-the-top.” The 42-piece handbag collection ranges from $395 to $645 and is available for pre-order now at ramybrook.com.

2. Ash

Handbag Launches: Ash

Image Source: news.instyle.com

From sneaks swathed in fierce animal print to boots sprinkled with studs, it’s no wonder Ash’s fashionable footwear has found fans in some of our favorite celebrities and street style stars, like Jaime King and Alessandra Ambrosio. And that cool, rocker ‘tude has translated well—really well—into a 29-piece handbag collection. “Like the shoes, Ash handbags are focused on washed and textured leathers in deconstructed shapes with great attention to detail, such as fringe, chains, and custom-made studs,” said Kenny Horowitz, president of Ash handbags. The detailing can be found on such styles, like hobos, backpacks, and clutches, priced between $95 and $495 at ashfootwearusa.com.

3. Dannijo

Handbag Launches: Dannijo

Image Source: news.instyle.com

Technically, technically, the dynamic designing duo Jodie and Danielle Snyder behind the popular jewelry line Dannijo launched their first handbag collection earlier this year when they brought their signature art deco aesthetic to a seven-piece line of purses. But they’re at it again with a fall collection. Like its spring collection, the latest designs boast all the same unique elements found in the brand’s statement necklaces, but differ in new styles, like mini duffels and backpacks clothed in embossed leather, velvet stingray, metallic snake, and houndstooth. “We focused on easy-to-wear silhouettes that were quality made, functional, and had a strong sense of brand DNA,” said Jodie Snyder Morel. The 33-piece fall collection (between $98 and $1,098) is up for grabs at dannijo.com.

Miele Swiss is a New York-based retailer of fine leather handbags and luggage that merge design with purpose. For more resources and information on leather handbags and goods, subscribe to this blog.

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What is “real” and which leather should you choose?

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Image Source: retrointeriors.net

Interesting debate has always surrounded commodities and materials derived from animals, particularly on the production and manufacturing techniques used to make animal-derived products.

The meat industry, for one, has been widely chastised for its prevalent practice of “factory farming,” which is linked to animal cruelty. This is why certain “alternative” practices – such as vegetarianism and veganism – are being widely and aggressively promoted in the hope of encouraging the “lessening” of animal cruelty idea through a paradigm shift toward “ethical” living.

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Leather, being an animal-derived product, has not escaped this kind of scrutiny. At present, as the world becomes more and more conscious of environmental damage and depletion of natural resources, the inquiry is whether or not the leather is merely a necessary by-product of the meat industry.

This question has engendered certain “well-meaning” entities to promote alternatives to leather, an example being the so-called “vegan leather.” However, the production of vegan leather is also being scrutinized and criticized as being just as harmful or even more to the environment than the production of leather.

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Image Source: muslimvillage.com

What is the point of this discussion, as is true with all other discourse? Consumers, rather than joining proclaimed revolutionary movements or latching on to trendy or fashionable earth-changing concepts du jour against a demonized idea, should examine their own choices on a deeper level and never join bandwagons for the sake of. Critical thinking is the only way to achieve truly beneficial paradigm shifts.

What goes into that handbag or that chic It bag desired by fashion lovers the world over? Subscribe to this Miele Swiss Facebook page for more information about bags, travel luggage, and other industry issues.

Crossbody leather bags: The perfect travel companion

If there’s one type of bag ideally designed for frequent traveling, it’s the crossbody leather bag. Durable, comfortable, and stylish, this type of shoulder bag is the best companion for chronic travelers. Here are just some of the reasons why it and the jetsetter are inseparable:

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Compartmentalized. This feature is enough to make a crossbody leather bag the best choice for long-distance travel. With multiple compartments to fit all kinds of travel essentials, the bag is an on-the-road organizer. With a crossbody bag, a traveler can easily locate the passport one moment and sunglasses the next.

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Durability. Crossbody bags made from genuine leather are tough enough to handle extensive slinging and swaying, especially during long trips. Genuine leather is resistant to scratches, stretches, and discoloration.

Safety. Compared to cotton or nylon fabric bags, a leather bag is a safer choice to carry important stuff, especially in crowded tourist areas where theft is a concern. Leather is simply thicker and tougher, making it harder for pickpockets to pry open.

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Style. Genuine leather is a material that gets even more stylish over time. Through many travels, one can find the crossbody bag not just great for traveling, but also a natural fit for personality and sense of style.

Based in New York, Miele Swiss is a luxury brand of leather bags and purses. More bag models and information can be found in this Pinterest page.

Best buy: Study shows women derive most pleasure from purchasing a handbag

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Looks like women have another reason to go out and get the handbag of their dreams.

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A recent survey of over 2,000 women showed that the handbag was at the top of the list of items which gave women buyers the most ‘buzz,’ or buyer’s satisfaction, when purchased. Handbags came out on top, beating other items such as dresses, shoes, jewelry, and beauty products.

Image Source: myelegantdress.com

The survey, which was commissioned by the website saveme4later.com to mark the launch of its shopping app, also made a few inquiries regarding the buying and saving habits of women shoppers today. It found that most women—81 percent, to be exact—are more careful with their money than they were five years ago, giving purchases a lot of consideration before finally using up their cash. In this regard, the survey also found which items took the most thought before purchase (winter coats), as well as the least (underwear). The survey allowed people to draw the conclusion that the deeper satisfaction of buying a product stemmed from the fact that women are now planning and saving more rather than simply going out and using up all their money on temporary ‘wants’ before the next payday.

Image Source: justluxe.com

It does make sense, in its own pragmatic way: handbags are, after all, a woman’s most used accessory, not to mention often the largest as well. This means that a good bag must be compatible with a wide range of her outfits and styles, making nabbing the perfect bag a more satisfying task than most.

Miele Swiss boasts a large collection of fashionable bags to accompany any style philosophy. Visit this Facebook page for more stylish bag options.

REPOST: The Nerve-Racking, Soul-Searching, Exhilarating Process of Shopping for a Handbag

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Women have a lot to think about when shopping for a handbag.  They want to find the perfect arm candy that they can truly connect with and exactly fits their style and budget. This article deconstructs the anxiety called the Handbag Decision Paralysis (HDP)  that bugs most women who are in the market for a new purse.

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Image Source: online.wsj.com

FOR THE PAST SEVERAL MONTHS, I have been carrying a decidedly unglamorous bag to work. It’s a beige canvas tote that says Espolón Tequila with a picture of a skeleton riding a rooster. My husband got it free at an event. Nobody likes it.

As much as I would like to declare that I am making some sort of anti-fashion, pro-tequila statement, I have to be honest: This bag is not so much a choice as it is the consequence of not making a choice. Following some expensive missteps, and facing the recent explosion of beautiful options, I appear to be suffering from an increasingly common condition. Call it Handbag Decision Paralysis (HDP), a type of commitment phobia in the accessories milieu.

This past year, I first lusted after the near-ubiquitous Céline Luggage tote, then the very ubiquitous Proenza Schouler PS1—a trim, double-buckled satchel that seems to have colonized the first floor of Barneys’ Madison Avenue store, in all sorts of fabrications and hues. Most recently, I’ve been obsessing over the softly voluminous double-handled Givenchy Nightingale tote, which has similar cult status. I’ve wasted countless hours looking at images of bags online, emailing links to friends, debating the pros and cons of various color schemes and then wallowing in a shame spiral for spending so much time thinking about something as inconsequential as a sack in which to stuff my sorries. It seems I may not be alone.

Jennifer Zucher, co-founder of matchmaking service Project Soulmate, likens HDP to the dilemmas of dating. “Everyone thinks that the next person is going to be better than the last, and that’s why people don’t settle down,” she said. “It’s the same thing with bags.” She speaks from experience. For the past three months, Ms. Zucher has been struggling to find the perfect black handbag to fit an iPad, folders, books anda large wallet, perhaps with the option to wear cross-body.

The main cause of HDP anxiety, I suspect, stems from the irreversibility and economic significance of the decision amid what behavioral economists call “conditions of uncertainty.” That is to say, once you plunk down $2,000 or more for a bag and start wearing it, you can’t return it—and there’s no way of knowing whether everybody else on the street will simultaneously decide to start sporting the same style (or, worse, counterfeit versions of it). As we have seen with the Prada backpack, the Fendi Baguette, the Chloé Paddington, the Goyard tote, the Balenciaga City bag and countless others, an “It” handbag can be an unpredictable and bittersweet phenomenon.

In a modern, mobile world, there’s also something deeper going on with women and their bags, according to Judith Clark, professor of fashion and museology at the London College of Fashion. “On one level, it’s this banal thing: How do I choose a handbag?” said Ms. Clark, who curated the permanent collection at the recently opened Simone Handbag Museum in Seoul. “But it’s also a very intimate decision, having to do with the privacy that goes along with the inside of a bag.” In picking a bag, we are in essence showing the world how we pay respect to the contents of our lives, and perhaps even ourselves.

Kathleen Vohs, a University of Minnesota marketing professor who studies decision-making, said that the likelihood of paralysis rises when “people think that a decision reflects who they really are.” (Ms. Vohs is the lead author of the paper that President Obama cited in a recent Vanity Fair profile to explain why he only wears blue or gray suits. Apparently wasting mental energy on less important decisions impedes the ability to make crucial ones.)

Getting past HDP can take time. Rebecca Sinn, a 32-year-old editor at Glamour magazine, said that she has been eyeing the neat, top-handled Yves Saint Laurent Muse II bag for more than three years but just can’t pull the trigger. She likened buying the bag, which costs about $1,500, to “committing to adulthood,” something that she’s not quite ready to do.

Ask yourself: Will I love this bag no matter what?

When my friend Julie, a stylist, began emailing me pictures of the large Proenza Schouler PS1, we started a lively debate over whether the bag was still “It”—and if it was, whether this was a good thing or not. I had seen versions of it on the flash-sale website Gilt.com, which is a mixed blessing for bag enthusiasts. On one hand, it means you can get the bag for about 30% off. On the other, the discounting is a signal that the bag could be nearing the end of its “It” run. I’ve carried bags past their invisible expiration date; it’s a feeling akin to betting on the wrong horse at the Kentucky Derby.

“When you are considering spending that much money, you have to remove the question of trends from your mind,” advised Julie as I waffled over the PS1. “Ask yourself: Will I love this no matter what?” She and I both decided that we would not love this bag no matter what. Instead, Julie bought a Céline Luggage Tote a couple of months ago.

Ms. Zucher, the matchmaker, has been torn between three options: a Miu Miu tote ($1,495), a large Chanel shopping tote (about $3,000) and a YSL Cabas Chyc “East West” bag ($2,450). She finally chose the YSL because she felt it had the most “longevity.”

That quality might be more easily found in brands that have dispensed with the quest for It-ness, but still make bags that aren’t boring. Each year, Italian leathergoods company Valextra makes only two to three new models of its bags, which are scratch- and stain- resistant and highly functional. Chief executive Emanuele Carminati Molina sees them as “the expression of an enduring aesthetic.”

Longevity is also what French designer Myriam Schaefer is seeking in her bags. Ms. Schaefer—known for helping to design the Balenciaga City bag, which was an “It” sensation over a decade ago—has gone in a discreet and minimal direction with the eponymous collection that she started in late 2011. “I was tired of these bags that cost a fortune and that everybody’s copying after three months,” she said. “With my bags you can use them for 10 or 20 years like my mother and grandmother did.”

That sounds like a promising proposition, although committing to a handbag for 20 years is a little overwhelming. Maybe this is the root cause of my anxiety: knowing that my track record is spotty. Every single time I have bought an expensive bag, I envisioned us having a long future together, then soon tired of it.

I recently abandoned my plan to buy Givenchy’s Nightingale bag after seeing three women carrying them in Las Vegas. For now, I’m still carrying that canvas tote, but getting closer and closer to curing myself of HDP.

Miele Swiss is the perfect investment for bag junkies who value versatility as much as style without spending too much. The high-street brand of handbags and purses is created with precision and superior artistry, making it a perfect addition to any kind of outfit. Discover the finest bags and accessories to complement the season’s top fashion trends by subscribing to this Twitter page.