Details, Details: The Features That Set Designer Bags Apart

The Louis Vuitton Speedy. The Chanel 2.55. And, of course, the Birkin. Certain handbags are simply timeless – but what gives them their staying power? To truly understand the beauty of an iconic piece of arm candy, take a closer look at the details.

Features of Designer Bags

Haute Hardware
Splurge-worthy bags are all about the noteworthy hardware. The Chanel 2.55 – a classic shoulder bag – was intended to be both sleek and sensible. It’s rumored that Coco Chanel put a zippered pocket under the front flap for a place to store love letters. As for the Birkin? Hermès takes security to the next level with a signature lock and key attached to each design.

Must-Have Materials
The prices of raw materials have skyrocketed in the past several years. Even cotton is scarcer in supply. So coated canvas (à la Louis Vuitton), like leather, has become quite the commodity. And heavy hardware plated with precious metal only adds to the value. While the Birkin’s gold-plated hardware may seem elaborate, it’s really there to prevent tarnishing, which adds to the bag’s timelessness.

Masters at Work
It’s easy to forget that time is money. Craftsmanship counts. And the work done by handbag artisans can’t be replicated by a machine. As more processes become mechanized, handmade items are most desirable. To ensure that your handbag has been cured, cut, and stitched with care, pick a style made in Europe – the base of most powerhouse luxury brands.

By Jillian Hudon, Staff Writer

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February 18, 2014