What are Designer Purses?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 19 September 2019
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For millennia, women and men have carried handbags and purses, but designer purses are a relatively new thing. It really wasn’t until the 1950s that designers began to create trademarked accessories, including purses. Some of the pioneers in this area include Coco Chanel and Louis Vuitton.

One thing that made designer purses different from other purses was unique details that often boldly advertised that the purse had been made by a designer or his or her design house. For instance, something associated with Coco Chanel’s designs is the quilted bag. A classic Louis Vuitton bag always has the trademark L and V sign, which unfortunately has been counterfeited in many instances.

People became more interested in making sure clothing showed labels of design houses, which might indicate taste, wealth and elegance. To satisfy this interest, more designers began to produce accessory lines, and designer purses became just one of the things you could carry to show off your ability to afford designer things. Many designer purses also suggested high quality and they might be produced in special ways that would make them last for years.

Certain classic looks were thought not to go out of style. Though design houses frequently produce new looks, they usually have one or two signature looks that are continually reproduced. Many women choose a classic design when they purchase their first designer handbag, something that should serve for many years to come and remain stylish.


You can pay a great deal of money for designer purses, and there has been growing criticism by some in the fashion industry about whether these prices are truly worth it. This isn’t necessarily as true as it once was. There are critics of the industry that deplore trends toward using less expensive materials and quicker manufacturing processes that may reduce quality. Many people know what they are truly paying for is the label rather than a bag that will last forever.

Due to high prices of designer purses, there is an aggressive industry that counterfeits these bags. Not only is purchase of counterfeit material illegal in many places, but also people often note quality is significantly lower. Most people who are really skilled at identifying designer work are able to spot fakes, too.

There is an interesting new trend developing so that more women can carry designer purses. Some companies offer designer bag rental. Prices may be high even on rentals: the classic quilted Chanel® tote can cost about $300 US Dollars (USD) a month or more. Some female friends skip renting and instead each possesses a designer bag or two that they loan to friends. A large circle of friends may pass around lots of different designs and look very fashionable without spending quite so much.


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