Designer handbags confer status to women around the world. They also ooze a unique aura. Women spend tons of money on these bags despite their exorbitant prices. They will be on waiting lists for new bags despite having an extensive collection of them.
Some women go to the extent of incurring debt so long as they get to carry a designer bag. But what exactly is the history of these designer bags?
The Origin of the Handbag
Presumably, ancient humans probably carried bags of wood and leaves. There are also depictions in Egyptian hieroglyphs showing men carrying bags around their waists. Surprisingly, right! It appears the men and not the women initially carried bags.
There were some developments in the bag later in the middle ages with the introduction of metal frames and the development of drawstring purses. These purses were hung from the hips or the waist.
Both men and women carried handbags during this period. The bags were hung from the waist or won across the shoulders. They were worn in a slung manner and were crucial for traveling. There were large bags typically carried by peasants since they had more stuff. Field workers also used their bags to carry seeds.
The wealthy later developed a pastime of gambling and throwing money at beggars. As a result, small purses that were used to hold coins developed. Also, women started wearing bags worn from their corsets. They used the bags to carry everything they needed.
Men also started giving bags to women as presents. The bags started to be decorated with beads, embroidery, and other embellishments as men sought to please their ladies. On the other hand, women used the bags to carry herbs and perfumes. They used the items because there were ‘evil smells’ in the air.
The initial version of what became modern bags came late in the 18th century. Before these bags came out, women wore pouches that were separate and shaped like pears or pockets under their garments, akin to the money bags we have today.
During the Regency period, there was the rise of the reticule. The bag derived its name from ‘reticulum,’ Latin for a network of lines. During this time, the Regency clothes had figure-hugging designs, making it difficult to hide the bags underneath the garments. As a result, the bags have become famous.
Another catalyst that led to the popularity of the reticule was Empress Josephine. She could be seen in Egypt with her fashionable bag, and soon its popularity spread to Western Europe.
The reticles were carried on drawstrings or chains with embroidery and beads and splendid materials like silk and velvet. Others were simple and netted or crotched. Women made a hobby out of making purses. They also started judging each other’s status by their reticle. It sounds very much like today!
The Origin of the Name Handbag
The name handbag started being used in the 19th century, with the first handbags being developed from ladies’ travel bags in the 1860s. The bags were leather and had locks and toilet compartments. Hermes later redesigned saddlebags or other bags that initially used horse feed and blankets into handbags.
The Twentieth Century
In Handbags: The Power of the Purse, Anna Johnson states that handbags became a symbol of independence in the 20th century. Chanel used this to their advantage, introducing trendy bags that suited the period well. As a result, the brand grew in popularity.
Women also started carrying everything in their handbags, from lipstick to money ta cards, and even pets in some instances. The handbags came in different materials and textures, from hand-woven straws to space-age synthetics.
There came different handbags to suit every occasion. Also, more affordable brands that offered versatile handbags started to develop.
The best bags of the 20th century were considered those from France and Italy. They were highly viewed as a symbol of class. Gucci, Fendi, and Prada are some of the brands still considered elegant and luxurious to this day.
Italian Designer Bags
These designer handbags are handmade with materials of high quality. The line has experienced designers, and they offer multiple contemporary and classic designs. Italian brands have demonstrated high standards of craftsmanship over the years, earning their rightful place in the fashion industry.
The Italian bags have unique textures and prints and come in bright colors. These run across the different Italian houses producing designer handbags. Below are some of the Italian brands that dominate today:
The brand makes handbags of all sizes and styles. It uses the best materials and the highest quality of leather to make these handbags prized as a symbol of status. They pride themselves on creating their handbags with great attention to detail and true love.
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Handbags from Versace ooze an aura of boldness and being ostentatious. They offer promiscuous styles due to iconic prints, eye-catching models, and glamorous looks. They also come in different sizes and color combinations.
The brand also offers luxury editions that knock their customers off their feet. These include gold embroidery and exotic skin that would challenge any luxury brand.
The Prada handbags are the depiction of art, quality, and elegance. They are made of the best quality leather calf and are often studded, printed, or classic. They have remained true to their roots, with the handbags being made from start to finish in the Prada House.
Giorgio Armani Handbags
The brand represents the signature style of the designer Giorgio Armani with elegant, simple, and timeless handbags. The bags are designed with a charming approach combined with contemporary designs. They come with high-quality leather and pastel colors, giving them a classic-clean appearance.
These bags are one of the most sophisticated handcrafted handbags made of the best quality materials.
Some of the Fendi products, from the shoulder bags to the clutches to the Baguette, have become demanded pieces in the luxury handbag categories. The brand has continued to get loyal customers due to the high levels of craftsmanship in their bags.