The Girl’s Guides to Designer Fashion: The Legend of the Designer Bag

Fashion Industry Broadcast and Style Planet TV are proud to bring you their new Netflix Original series ‘The Girl’s Guides to the World of Designer Fashion’. In this series, we bring you The Legend of the Designer Bag.

The bag has never been more important in the world of fashion as it is today.

Whether it be a Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Prada or Kate Spade, the “IT” bag of the season is enough to
make the fashion celebrity pack swoon. Fashion Industry Broadcast had compelling reason to explore the evolution of the luxury accessories industry, its origin in history as well as its evolution in context of a fast changing social world.
Designer bags are much more than the keepers of our daily lives’ equipment, handbags
have been strongly influenced by technological and societal changes, such as the development of currency, jewelry, transportation, technology and cosmetics, as well as the role of women in society.

Embracing its paradoxical role as both signifier and concealer, the handbag gestures toward a myriad of tantalising psychological interpretations. It has been a chameleon object: Ancient, symbolic and indispensable, expressing the needs and tastes of both, its wearer and its time.

It is said that you can tell a lot about a woman simply from observing her choices of shoes and handbag. Whilst heels are often more of an internal statement of how a woman wishes
to feel, the designer bag is an extroverted shout out on how a woman wants to be perceived by others.

Today a woman’s handbag and the manner in which she carries it, is like a modern coat of arms, displayed as she marches into a battle, telling everyone around her three things: Where she comes from, where she sees herself currently, and where she plans on going.

Taking a look at history from its very beginning, purses, pouches, or bags have been used since humans needed to carry precious items. While the term “handbags” did not exist until the Mid-Nineteenth century, ancient pouches made of leather or cloth were used mainly by men to hold valuables and coins. Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs show men wearing purses around the waist, and the Bible specifically identifies Judas as a purse carrier. While during the Sixteenth and Seventeenth centuries, women’s gowns were so  voluminous  that all of their goods would fit into their pockets and so-called “Swete Bagges,” the people in the Eighteenth century started using “real” purses. These were named after the French expressions “reticules” or “indispensables”. This development mainly occurred
because the full skirts of the ancient regime became less popular in favour of a more slender
and narrow dress after the French Revolution.


Story By Eugene Walsh

Editing By Annalisa Astarita

Narration By Paul G Roberts




Subscribe to FIB’s newsletter for your weekly dose of music, fashion and pop culture news!