'It' bags now passe; enter the exclusive and enduring signature bag as fashion flagship

The Associated Press

This undated photo provided by the Salvatore Ferragamo press office shows the Fiamma hand bag. Perhaps the ‘’It’’ bag’s star just burned too bright. Those must-have handbag wonders, which flew out of stores before dropping into sudden oblivion, have given way to something more enduring: signature bags. Iconic bags have been around since fashion fused with celebrity -- Hermes has the Birkin, Fendi the Baguette, Gucci the Hobo, and so on -- but now they are becoming a cornerstone of brand strategy, acting as a flagship item. These are bags so exclusive and enduring that they have become emblematic of the label they bear. Ferragamo has launched its own entry into the category this week, the Fiamma named for founder Salvatore Ferragamo’s late daughter. (AP Photo/Salvatore Ferragamo press office, ho)

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"I think people want something that endures," said Alison Minton, a fashion blogger and handbag enthusiast who chronicles her passion for accessories on her blog accessorygeneration.com. "I think people don't want to buy a new bag every season, but want a bag that is stylish and well-made and is going to last."

Minton herself has faced the "It" bag temptation. She resisted a friend's offer to pick up the Louis Vuitton Speedy Graffiti bag in Paris back in its heyday — and suffered a pang of regret when she saw the prices that the bag was later fetching on e-Bay.

Her collection now includes both icons and personal treasures, including a Birkin bag, a Gucci bag that her mother bought her in Italy a decade ago and a Goyard tote bag, which she said would now be out of her price range. "Luckily for me, when I bought my iconic bags, things were not as crazy as they are now."

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Online:

http://www.ferragamo.com/fiamma/en/usa/bag-collection

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