March 14, 2010

I Like Buying Stuff for You

If only, right? Even though I cannot actually buy you (and usually myself) stuff, I can at least help you pick out things. Let's just say I have clocked more shopping field time than your average homo guy. When local muse, marketing guru Lindsey Shook recently approached me about a new handbag, my ears perked up excitedly because of her high taste level and style code. Based on the two bags she sent me for reference and budget (low: Alexander Wang Rocco, high: Givenchy Studded Nightingale), I came up with a range of pieces with versatility and staying power. Lindsey, CEO of Harputs Market, is looking for a medium satchel that is not too trendy. That attitude is KEY: In order to go for a high price point while remaining responsible with money, stay away from "it" bags and trust in ICONS. The following is an assortment of handbags I chose for her.

(Click Image to Enlarge) From Left to Right 1. Be&D Genesis Leather Bag 2. Rebecca Minkoff Morning After Bag 3. Givenchy Studded Nylon Satchel 4. Yves Saint Laurent Medium Easy Bag 5. Proenza Schouler PS1 Messenger Bag 6. Givenchy Nightingale Satchel in Corset Chain/Old Pepe 7. Louis Vuitton x Sofia Coppola Bag

1. Be&D Genesis Leather Shoulder Bag, $1,095

The Genesis is a an excellent sized bag with accents that are trendy, but not overwhelming. It is a durable and popular bag that can be hand carried or worn using the cross body strap. The black leather and silver hardware will match everything. Slightly edgy, but simple enough to adapt to different outfits in your wardrobe.

2. Rebecca Minkoff Morning After Bag with Strap, $595
Its name suggests its purpose. The Morning After Bag is built for girls (or guys ha!) who need space for daily essentials and a little more for all-night adventures. The classic satchel silhouette is simple but modern, and the blue/white stripe lining is a pleasant surprise. There is also a mini M.A.B. for those who like the look but need to downsize. The M.A.B comes in variety of colors depending on the season.

3. Givenchy Studded Nylon Satchel, $735
Studs are on their way out this season. Unless you really committed to the entire look in the past and plan to continue with it in the future, a studded purse might not be the right choice when shopping higher price points. However, I added this to the mix because Lindsey showed an interest in studs and the price is not as high as the other selections. The studs are trendy, but the bag is a unique enough shape to where it won't get lost in the shuffle. Also, the different handles allow the bag to be a sling, tote, or cross body.

4. Yves Saint Laurent Medium Easy Bag, $1,295
The "Y" seams on this versatile bag is bound to be a classic for the house of YSL. The pebble grained leather is magnificent. You can also increase the capacity and change the shape of the bag from satchel to tote by adjusting the tabs on the sides. I have this bag in black, but I love it so much that I often consider getting the smaller version in the deep sapphire color. This bag also comes in different styles with studs or perforated/patent/printed leather, but I still swear by the soft leather.

5. Proenza Schouler Medium PS1 Messenger Bag, $1,595
The PS1 is a beautiful interpretation of the classic briefcase silhouette. It has been seen on the arms of many "it" girls, but is still sure to be a classic. What really impresses me with the PS1 is its ability to adapt to different personalities. The bag is reincarnated each season with new colors, though as seasons pass I still favor the black, navy or camel suede. This is another bag that comes with a strap so you can drink cocktails freely while texting. The medium is the perfect size if you need a bag for both day and night.

6. Givenchy Nightingale Satchels, $1,815 - $2,240
Givenchy Nightingales can be seen in many different colors, treatments, sizes, and finishes. It is a charming, roomy bag that is popular for a reason. The wide range of hardware seen on different styles of the Nightingale makes shopping for one a little tricky. The bag itself is that rare classic/statement piece, so buy one with a luxurious leather and simple accents that will give the bag staying power. I have found that even though decadent hardware may have an impact now, many people get bored of it as the fashion cycle turns. You will get more use out of a bag that you won't grow tired of looking at because it is too shiny, flashy, or dated.

7. Louis Vuitton Sofia Coppola Bag, $2,250 - $3,730
The Louis Vuitton SC Bag is my top pick for this selection. Because of its price point, it is almost a hypothetical suggestion, but it can be considered the bag that sets the bar. The SC bag is the perfectly sized, classic satchel that exudes class and refinement. The bag is lined in luxurious calf suede and comes in monogram canvas, asphalt suede, and jasper (red) or cobalt calf leather that has been specifically treated to produce the softest leather I have ever felt. The bag includes a covered padlock, clochette for the keys, a cross body strap, and protective feet at the base. You can bet that Louis Vuitton bags will last forever, so it is a great investment. I ache for this bag, and one day it will be mine! For now, it will remain one of the standards for searching for a high-quality handbag :)

- jerome

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