Luxury Bags: Does the Cost Reflect the Quality?

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Think of any designer luxury bag you could buy right now. A few popular silhouettes might come to mind: The Dior Saddle; The Prada Cleo; Gucci’s latest iteration of their 1960s style, The Jackie. But what if we told you the expert-approved move might be to spend your money on lesser-known, mid-tier luxury brands? Recently, there seems to have been an uptick of people complaining about being fatigued by the designer luxury bag space — you know, those big Fashion Houses that come to mind when asked if you could have any bag, which one would you get? — and they have some pretty convincing points about why to invest in a lesser-known, but still up-to-par, name-brand bag. 

As it turns out, some might purchase with the same sentiment as that iconic Beyoncé song line. People might be swapping legacy bags for vegan leather totes because of the desired uniqueness. Carrying a bag more true to a carrier’s value might have more currency than a label. Gen-Z, statistically the most eco-conscious generation, has been embracing the vintage and second-hand clothing and accessory market and is also proudly adopting the; just because everyone has it, doesn’t mean I have to mindset. 

And with marketing tactics like influencer seeding, expensive no longer means inherently exclusive. Prada, for example, sends out their “It-bag” each season to celebrities and influencers. And while luxury bands still seem incredibly targeted in who they send free things to maintain an air of exclusivity, social media has made the styles feel overdone due to them being algorithmically fed to us so often. Whether or not you find it a genius business plan, you must admit that you’ve probably seen the brand’s geometric triangle silhouette on the arm of someone you follow. Instead, now Gen-Z is equating personal style to their personality and as an act of rebellious autonomy; Fashion is no longer about status. It’s about ownership of oneself in a highly consumerist world. Purchasing a mid-their brand might give you room to buy something else daring — or more faithful to your personal style. 

Mid-tier luxury can have a bit of everything: high-quality materials, fashion-forward aesthetics, achievable price points, and — arguably the most important —- a style that feels more your own. One that, ultimately, you can have fun with. 

“Let’s say you’re saving up for a heritage designer bag that’ll cost as much as your rent; chances are you’ll want to stick to a neutral or timeless silhouette,” Kendall Becker tells Teen Vogue. “But, choosing between $200-700 options encourages consumers to try new brands and styles.” 

We’ve got you covered if you need help figuring out where to start in your handbag journey. Here are some selects we’re currently crushing on, all $700 and below: 

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