Handbags: Heavenly Designs / Hellish Price Point

July 29, 2006 • Magazine

Handbags: Heavenly Designs / Hellish Price Point

Handbags: Heavenly Designs / Hellish Price Point

Sun, 2006-07-30 01:00

Second City Style is proud to introduce the newest addition to our contributing staff, Rachel Yeomans aka Style Sleuth. Additionally, she will/can aide you in tracking down that article of clothing you wish you had snapped up when you saw it in the store and is now impossible to find. Just send your request to; stylesleuth@secondcitystyle.com.

Finding the Knock-Off or a Great Deal on the Real Deal

Rachel Yeomans

The other day I was on the phone with my editor, Lauren, talking shop, batting writing ideas, and then — “Oh my God! It’s the Yves Saint Laurent bag!” Oh yes, the black Muse oversized hair-calf handbag with metallic leather piping from the Spring/Summer 2006 collection that has taken the bowling bag to the heights of couture. My ears perked. This was no longer “talking shop;” this was “talking shopping!” And then her next comment almost knocked me off my chair. “Can you believe it? It’s at Urban Outfitters!”


Now, we’ve all been made aware of the designer knock-offs roaming the streets and strewn across Ebay — made to look so authentic hardly anyone would be able to tell the difference. You’ve seen those carts of Louis Vuitton clutches and Kate Spade satchels swinging from the mobile coat racks off Grand Avenue. There was also that Sex & the City episode revealing a trunk-full of fake Fendis sweltering in the California Valley heat. But now — the designer knock-off has reached a whole new level. It is now an $1,895 Italian designer handbag touted as a “pebbled bowling bag,” (1) displayed in a national chain store window for $58 (2). For those of you who have joined me in pining over that Yves Saint Laurent original while cringing over the price tag, let us say, “Halleluiah!”

Now…back to the bag…

When combing the stores and streets for other Yves Saint Laurent Muse bag look-alikes, the basics you should look for are as follows:
• Golden hardware.
• Shoulder straps with rings.
• Double-zip top.
• Lock detail on front.
• Metal feet.
• 14″H x 19 1/2″W x 6 1/2″D.

Urban Outfitters may have a less expensive storefront option for the designer accessory. But doesn’t that mean there are others floating around out there to also consider? But of course! The Internet features several designer-inspiration handbags (3), or if you’re dying for the original, unfortunately the discount will never be as steep from almost $2K to $60; but about $500 less? That’s not a cut to scoff at. (4)

Another “it” bag mimicked throughout handbag heaven is the Barbara Bui padlocked shoulder bag. And lucky for us budget shoppers, there are two styles already featured for a discount on footlux.com in the DANY suede or AGGIE leather styles. The full price for the Barbara Bui DANY bag (5) is $623 for with the following description:

• Chestnut color.
• Suede / Metal.
• Zip closure.
• Internal zip pocket.
• Embossed logo detailing.
• Padlock.
• Studs.
• Adjustable straps.
• Contrasting applications.
• 10.6″H x 3.35″W x 16.14″D.

And for the $669 AGGIE design (6), most of the descriptions are identical save the following:

• No studs.
• Textured Leather / Metal / Fabric.
• Internal cell phone pocket.
• No Studs.
• Contrasting applications.
• 6.6″H x 2.7″W x 14.4″D.

For all those other designer handbags you dream about at night or while sauntering by a designer display window, here are some other links you might consider browsing from time to time.

www.7starhandbags.com / www.capitalstyles.com / www.designersimports.com / www.eluxury.com / www.bluefly.com / www.fashionheaven.com

Because whether you are scouring for the real thing or its replica cousin, why do you have to go broke over it?

(1) Yves Saint Laurent Muse Hair-Calf Satchel
www.neimanmarcus.com: $1,895

(2) Pebbled Bowling Bag
www.urbanoutfitters.com: $58

(3) Melie Bianco Medium Dome Lock Bag
thefashionboutique.net: $59

(4) Yves Saint Laurent Muse Hair-Calf Satchel
styledrops.com: $1,274

(5) Barbara Bui DANY Shoulder Bag
footlux.com: Full Price: $623.83
Featured Price: $$499.07

(6) Barbara Bui AGGIE Shoulder Bag
footlux.com: Full Price: $669.28
Featured Price: $535.43

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