Would You Ditch Your Handbag For A £2.99 Tote? | sheerluxe.com

Would You Ditch Your Handbag For A £2.99 Tote?

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It’s impossible to remember a time when a handbag wasn’t a status symbol. Ever since wealthy Victorian women needed somewhere to stash their cash on long carriage rides, designers have exploited our carrying needs, creating everything from the sublime to the ridiculous; beautiful craftmanship at Hermès and Céline vs shopping baskets and hula hoop designs at Chanel. Whatever your opinion on designer price points today, there’s no denying the cultural currency these leather goods hold. But could a £2.99 tote have the same effect as a Chanel 2.55?

These days, street style stars influence so many of our fashion buys. The J.W Anderson Pierce bag was an under-the-radar hit until turns on the arms of Sincerely Jules, Something Navy and Happily Grey propelled it into the fashion mainstream, and the habitually uncool bum bag’s reputation has been transformed by the fashion crowd’s propensity towards Gucci’s new belted Marmont.

But the latest FROW trend throws everything we know about bags into question. For the SS18 collections, those in the know were spotted ditching expensive designer fares in favour of a string grocery shopper – the kind offering you might drag down cobbled streets in the height of summer, filled with baguettes and fruits from a Provence market. It’s not just your average show-attendees either; weighty influencers like Harpers’ Anna Vitiello, blogger Anne-Laure Mais (AKA Adenorah) and Camille Charriere have all embraced the low-key look.

The big question is – why? Bill Gates, one of the richest men on the planet, wears a $17 Cassio watch, whilst the TOWIE stars and Love Island contestants are dripping in designer accessories. With the balance of taste and wealth tipped out of whack, it’s possible that those who consider themselves in the fashion know are turning away from the look loved by Z-list celebs, and instead adopting the Bill Gates school of thought – it’s cool not to try.

Alternatively, the ever-scaling price of bags could be the reason for this sudden change. At the end of 2016, conventionally affordable US label Coach reported a three percent increase in sales in the year end quarter as a result of upping the price tags on their leather goods, proving even relatively attainable brands are now working against the consumer. Powerhouses like Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana, Marc Jacobs and Calvin Klein have all closed down their diffusion lines in recent years in a bid to protect or create a level of exclusivity that was otherwise diminished by more affordable price points. Could it be that even the fashion crowd no longer want to hand over hard earned money in exchange for stratospherically expensive accessories? Since 2015, the average Chanel handbag has increased in cost from £3,760 to £4,450 – that’s a hell of a lot more to shell out, even on a blogger budget.

Whatever the reason, it’s an undeniably Marmite look. But at under £3, it’s worth a go – and now Vetements has created a £2890 version, you know it's a style worth trying. Plus, once the Love Island lot’s got their hands on that other designer bag you’ve been lusting after, you won’t want it anyway.

Inspiration Credits: HarpersBazaar.com, Instagram.com/AdiHeyman, Instagram.com/CamilleCharriere, EJStyle.co.uk
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