Quick - Look to your right!

jerzeegirlJune 2, 2006

Is this an example of wretched excess or is there a market that I am totally oblivous too. I just noticed the ad to the right of this discussion for bagborroworsteal.com. For $10 a month you can rent a handbag. Any handbag. And you can return it in a month and rent another handbag if you want. I can just hear Louis Black right now intoning about this...... Does this sound like something you would do? My handbag is such a personal thing I can't even imagine giving it back or even daring to give it back after using it for a few months. But maybe there's something to it. I'm asking.

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I can think of some people that I know who would do this. I am a SAHM now but I was in an industry in NYC where the BAG mattered...and the briefcase and the agenda. I am serious. You had to carry the right bag. I was in the sales end and if I didn't have the right look I wouldn't be hired. It is ridiculous but the way it is in some industries. I think in LA they say it is all about the car you drive; well in New York for women it is all about the bag you carry. I used to buy my bags at ebay or ebags.
Now, I am just the opposite. Living in the burbs, when I see every woman in line at the supermarket with the same bag I cringe. I actually look for the most unique/no name bag I can find. Admittedly, it is usually some type of tote bag - but there are cool ones!

So, to answer your question - yes it is excessive and yes there is a market for it. It is really crazy when you see 6th graders carrying Dooney and Bourke bags!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 11:27AM
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For $10 per month? That sounds cheap, considering how ridiculously expensive most high end bags are, and how short their "fashion life span" is.

Now would I pay it? No - Being "in fashion" is NOT important to me. If it happens, it's almost purely a coincidence that the styles I like and consider attractive on me just happen to be in fashion at the moment. And that *certainly* is not the case with present fashions.

For handbags, my personal favorite are the Dooney & Bourkes from what, 10-15 years ago? -- the All Weather Leather with tan trim. Simple shapes, classic lines, good, durable materials. Now cheap on eBay because they're not "in fashion" anymore.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 11:58AM
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I don't carry a bag unless I'm running away from home. I figure if I can't get where I need to go with a credit card in my pocket and some cash tucked in my bra, I don't need to go there.

And if I do, I pack a lunch.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 12:10PM
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Ok, I admit, I had to checked the link out. It is $9.95 per month to JOIN, then you have to pay per week or month for the BAG. The Louis Vuitton Speedy, which is not an expensive bag as far as LV goes (I've had the same one since 1988), is $90 per month. Add in the membership and it is $100 per month.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 1:16PM
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Sweeby, I have one of those "old" (I prefer the term vintage - lol) D & B tan bags too. My justification at the time when I bought it was that it would last forever. It is still in great shape! I love that bag.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 1:17PM
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pecanpie - you're a stitch. I LMAO every time you post. And I'm with you on the bag thing.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 6:24PM
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Among the amazing things in this town was an ancient handbag manufacturer, Mitchell Leather, that used to make bags for Coach (until, Mr. Mitchell said, their standards became unacceptably low). This charming elderly European man would talk bags endlessly, compare his 'babies' to Coach ones - leather, features, stitching, pockets, brass hardware - even take you up in the freight elevator to look at the hides and pick one out. Any design, any color combinations, *anything* made to order. Half the price of Coach and better quality.

He taught me to insert my wallet on end in narrow deeper bag. He could tell you why you should carry this or that shaped bag for your body size and shape.

He didn't keep regular hours except Saturdays. Otherwise phone him up and he'd come meet you. Important to leave enough time to visit. He embodied an elegance and grace and serenity rare these days. And cripes, he knew bags.

I love my 2002 black Coach station bag clone. Signed by him. With a key fob with my initials. And a change purse with a red zipper - "So you can see it in there. See?" he said proudly.

For a splurge, I always wanted to have him make me a briefcase someday, but I thought I couldn't justify the cost. Sedate black with startling fushia or purple lining. And I was very, very sad to hear he just recently closed down the shop. Poof. I so wish I'd had him make me that briefcase.

I'll take my beloved Mitchell bag over a rent-the-bag-of-the-month any day.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 11:00PM
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Wow. I am so out of it when it comes to bags. I just don't get it and never have, so I carry my Ross purse/backpack bag (brown leather, no name). It works and it's even cute. I don't even know who Dooney and Bourkes are and they're already 'out' - ha ha! Every now and then I crochet myself a cute purse and *I* like it. It even holds a wallet, keys, etc. But to be fair, in my exalted profession, the clientele don't care about the name or lack thereof on my bag. Of course, most of them can't read yet :)

    Bookmark   June 3, 2006 at 9:48AM
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I'm bummed that the only ad to the right on my screen is for menopause medication.

I'm not into designer bags either, but I do have a girlfriend who SHOULD use a rent-a-bag site. She has a closet full of overpriced purses that are now *out*. Big waste of money IMHO. I think part of the fun for her is being able to brag about how much she paid...

    Bookmark   June 3, 2006 at 10:22AM
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"I think part of the fun for her is being able to brag about how much she paid..."

I've got a friend like that... Spent $450 on "the cutest little lavender bag" that was "such a steal since it normally retails for over $700" -- Egads! For a lavender handbag? I could maybe, maybe understand spending that kind of money for a really fabulous black or navy bag you would carry every day for years -- like the Mitchell bag Celtic describes. But for lavender? There are better things to do with money...

    Bookmark   June 3, 2006 at 10:40AM
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This post reminds me of the hilarious thing that happened to me last year when my DD was in eighth grade.

When my DD was in sixth grade she wanted me to have a Coach bag in the worst way. I am the antithesis of a fashion plate and she hated that. So for my birthday, she convinced my husband to buy this ridiculously expensive bag.

Anyway fast forward to eighth grade and one of my daughters friends gets in my car, says hello, then proceeds with (Insert obnoxious teenage girl voice) " Oh my Gawddd!! You can't be serious! That bag is sooo last yearr. My mom wouldn't be caught dead with that!! Ha Ha Ha Aren't you soo embarrassed? Then she asks my daughter if she is embarrassed by me?

My wonderful daughter said "No way, I am sooo embarrassed that you spoke to my Mom like that!!!"

I was so proud and happy that my daughter defended me like that. Still can't believe how some thirteen year olds can be sometimes. Shaking my head in disbelief.......

    Bookmark   June 3, 2006 at 1:08PM
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Come to NY. Shop on the street. The "newest" bags cost $35! They knock them off so fast you can't believe it and you usually can't tell the difference either. Only someone very dumb or very insecure would pay $100/month for nothing.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2006 at 6:07PM
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Please don't buy knock off bags. It only supports child labor, mistreatment of workers and organized crime.

Mlaj - what a brat! Kudos to your daughter - you did good!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2006 at 6:29PM
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I think I speak for many guys in that.... I barely even notice what kind of bag (you mean purse, right?) you're carrying, beyond perhaps what color it is. I don't think I've ever looked for a brand name, and wouldn't know which ones are the expensive or fashionable ones anyway.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2006 at 8:42AM
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I'm sorry-- I just HAVE to check it out!! Ever since Sex in the City, I just can't go ANYWHERE without my Fendi and Minolos!! :-)

    Bookmark   June 4, 2006 at 3:32PM
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Bill you're such a show off. Next we'll hear that you're buying Sarah Jessica's extra wigs!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2006 at 4:40PM
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OK I admit it I am a bag lady. I change bags 2x a year, and my DH actually likes it because he now has a no-brainer anniversary present every September: a new fall bag. It really depends on my current mood/finances on how much I'll spend, I have done a few Coaches, but my current "spring/summer" bag was only $15. I would definitely not pay $100 a month to rent a designer bag, but (sheepishly) maybe I would pay $10!! I do buy a new one every September, and every May.

And Bill, Sex and The City did NOT help me with this problem!! Thank goodness I am tall so Jimmy Choos and Manolos are out of the question (I am also very clumsy!). I am a girly girl, and proud of it. :)

mlaj, OMG!!! I cannot believe that girl spoke to you like that. You should be extremely proud of both your daughter, and yourself for raising her. That girl is going to find it tough in life if her self worth depends on her accessories and the material opinions of others.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2006 at 1:45PM
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Mlaj - If you think about it, it's probaby a great thing that this girl spoke to you that way. At that age, young girls are so easily influenced by their peers, and I imagine that one could easily have been the driving force behind your DD's wish for you to have a Coach bag in the first place. But by then dissing you like she did, she really showed her foolish and shallow values, and I'm willing to bet she has MUCH less influence on your daughter now.

And three more cheers for your brave and loyal daughter!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2006 at 4:14PM
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Hello. My name is Allison and DD1 is a self-confessed handbag wh*re. It began in junior high when she discovered Kate Spade. At first it was a basic black backpack. Then the bookbag. Next came the matching wallet and day planner.

By her first year of college (FIDM in SanFran, no less) she was up to at least a two LV bag per year habit....later mixing in a keychain, a billfold. I KNEW she was in trouble when while visiting, we went in the LV Union Square store and Liz knew her by name...She sends DD1 Christmas cards!

Then came Chloe. Then she rebounded and got another LV fix.

I remember the most recent episode. She called me between classes: "MOM!" she exclaimed. "GUESS WHO is opening a STORE in Union Square?"

My mind raced, I couldn't think, I felt my throat tightening. "Who? WHO?"


I had no idea who, what or where a Goyard was! She goes on to tell me her professor had told the class Goyard would be opening soon - DD1 gasped so loud, her mouth dropping open, the entire class turned to look at her!

I fear it is too late to stop her from a lifetime of abuse. I only hope my story can help some of you with DDs just beginning this addiction.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2006 at 10:26PM
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Allison-- I fear my daughter is heading down the same path of designer handbad addiction.
She is finishing 9th grade and just received an award for Fashion Marketing.

Guess where she wants to go to college?---FIDM!!! We're in New York, so I kinda thought she would be into Parson's or something.

She is just soooo different from me. I am a target girl who loves payless shoes. I live in jeans and t-shirts and I only carry a Coach bag because it was a gift from DH at DD's insistence.

Oh and I have no idea what a GOYARD is either.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2006 at 7:59AM
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I think it's wonderful that the younger women know everything about fashion and love it so (of course I don't have to pay for their knowledge).

Goyard is just another one of the old-guard French brands (like Hermes and Vuitton) that's been tarted up and marketed. I personally find it underwhelming.

Here is a link that might be useful: Goyard

    Bookmark   June 7, 2006 at 9:15AM
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Oh wow! I am beginning to think that maybe $100 per month IS reasonable to rent a handbag (I can't even believe I am saying this!). I decided to do a little handbag research on eBay and there was a Hermes Birkin handbag in Ostrich for $18,500 - the price of a car for some! Now, I love Hermes and have used their parfum for many years (24 Faubourg) and have three of their vintage scarves. However, the thought of spending several thousand dollars on a handbag much less $18,000 is beyond shocking to me. Granted these leather goods really do last a lifetime, but c'mon.... Instead of making me feel good, I think it would make me feel bad (and this is even before factoring in a certain amount of innate guilt about social issues including homelessness, kids without healthcare, abused animals, victims of natural disasters, and the list goes on). After looking at the prices of fashionable handbage you can almost make an argument that renting a handbag is the responsible thing (and cost conscious) thing to do. And in some jobs I will grant that one really needs to carry a "power" bag.

celtic: I think I may have one of those Mitchell Leather Coach clones too, a satchel acquired in the early-90s for about $40. It's a beaut.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2006 at 9:56AM
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re: power bag, that reminds me of a funny story. I travel for work with my laptop. My spouse and I work together and we go on business trips together. He has one of those large bulky black leather laptop bags. I, being aforementioned bag lady, bought myself a beautiful, chic, printed laptop bag that, admittedly was impractical (so slim it held nothing BUT the laptop, not even w/ power cord!). He scorned me for it many times, making fun of it. But at our next meeting in New York, what was one of the first things out of the potential clients mouth? "I love that bag, it's so unique!" And this was a man. I get comments on it all the time. Go me! :)

PS I LOVE Hermes. If I won the lottery I would treat myself to one.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2006 at 10:24AM
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Relax jerzeegirl you're in no danger. If you were standing in Hermes with $18000 in cash in your hand you couldn't buy the bag you saw. They don't make them fast enough, they keep a waiting list that takes years to climb and unless you're connected you won't be able to buy that one or any of the other Birkin bags you might see.

As for anyone "needing" a power bag I'm reminded of something an old friend of mine, who runs a "power" restaurant used to say: "those who care don't count; those who count don't care."

Real power comes from confidence, not accessories.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2006 at 11:26AM
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I love that quote Rococogurl!!

Can't wait to use it on my DD.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2006 at 5:56PM
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mlaj and allison you can remind your dds (not that it will necessarily do any good) that the editor of Vogue never carries a handbag. A wallet and a cellphone. That's it.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2006 at 7:44PM
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As for anyone "needing" a power bag I'm reminded of something an old friend of mine, who runs a "power" restaurant used to say: "those who care don't count; those who count don't care."

Real power comes from confidence, not accessories.

How very eloquent!!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2006 at 9:28PM
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But, the devil wears Prada. Hmmm...wonder where she keeps her sunglasses? I guess she has people for all the "pedestrian" things we use our handbags for :D ...

If I could afford that Hermes Kelly I would have it. It is cool. I wonder if that one on ebay is real?

Why do people buy Ann Sachs tile when they can have just a painted backsplash? All dishwashers WASH dishes but yet some people have to have Miele. People that don't cook buy Wolf ranges.

If people can afford these things and it makes them happy - who cares? $100 a month to rent a bag - that is crazy. $10 maybe ;)

    Bookmark   June 7, 2006 at 9:29PM
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rococcogurl, DD1 has confidence. At 19, she moved 2,500 miles away without knowing a soul. She doesn't love shoes or belts or jewelry. Handbags seem to be her thing.

I don't think the Vogue editor comment would make a difference (she probably has already read it anyway). If she wasn't carrying a handbag or bookbag, she wouldn't be able to make it to class.

Good points, maggie.

mlaj2000, what about FIT? Will she stay in NY if FIDM? DD1 has been living in downtown SF for 2yrs, but just moved south of the city. Loves being able to drive again. SF is nice, but nasty. She couldn't walk the short distance to school in sandals without her feet getting black with filth!

Two of her HS friends, after graduating college, are now working in NY; one for Poleci and the other for Marc Posen - for the company (not in stores).

    Bookmark   June 7, 2006 at 11:08PM
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Bill, what a nice thing to say. Thank you.

When our DD was single she worked for one of the big designers here and learned a lot though not what either one of us necessarily expected. It's quite a different view from inside.

Oddly though, she was never a fashionista -- nothing wrong with that as I was one for many years. I mean, otherwise how would anyone know or care about Goyard? But, certainly as long as you can afford what you're buying (or are willing to take the consequences) clothes are a wonderfully girly and relatively harmless addiction whether it's handbags, shoes, jeans, whatever.

And then it's so easy to replace once the kitchen reno fixtures and furniture buying starts.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2006 at 1:36PM
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My briefcase is a Czech leather plumber's bag -- the plumbers there all carry this tan leather satchel for their tools. When I was living in Prague and Brno in '91-'92, all the American expats had one. I came back for a language program in '94 and snapped one up for $30. They're not making them anymore, as far as I know. I have carried it around, had it cleaned and restitched a gazillion times, etc for twelve years. I get compliments on it all the time. I particularly love it when folks (who clearly need glasses, it looks nothing like) ask whether it's a Coach.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2006 at 10:58PM
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Those Czech bags are cool - kind of like the leather bags the USPS used to have.

Here is the web site where you can purchase a Czech bag.

Here is a link that might be useful: Czech Bags

    Bookmark   June 29, 2006 at 12:24PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I find all this very interesting since I love beautiful handbags. But I can't bring myself to pay the equivalent of a small piece of furniture for a handbag. Although I have before.

I did check out that rent a bag site awhile ago but it was overpriced and I didn't like the bags offered.

I buy most handbags at tjmaxx and they really have some beautiful bags. But a $450 bag marked down to $199 is still a lot for a handbag. Maybe I'm hard on bags but I only like a bag when it looks brand new. No scuffs, marks or wear of any kind is allowed so I usually only get one season or two out of a bag. It took me along time to realize this. I used to buy the expensive bags thinking they would last forever...well, no, they don't and I want a new bag each season. So no more pricey bags.
I buy one new fall bag each year, ok, I've already bought two for this fall already, but that's it.
I'll buy a new spring summer bag this winter and carry it all season next year.

I keep all my bags in see through boxes in the closet. I do have lots of specialty bags but the one main bag takes me to the grocery store and about town (I work at home so I don't need much anyway) and the great thing about handbags is they always fit!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2006 at 10:11PM
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Jerzeegirl, wow! I guess the price increase is thanks to the Czechs finally getting into the EU... small price to pay. Great to have the reference to the site!

Inspired by this conversation, I got a Target knockoff of a designer bag the other day... for $13. Pale green vinyl. Lots of compliments on it, too. But I'd also happily take a Hermes Kelly bag, if anyone should feel rich and benevolent. (-:

    Bookmark   July 14, 2006 at 4:19PM
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This thread!

It's gotten me started on my old eBay habit again! But it's hard to complain when I just got two gorgeous 'very slightly used' Mark Cross bags for almost nothing. Incredible quality -- SOOOOO cheap...

    Bookmark   July 16, 2006 at 5:37PM
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