Statement Bag is Out, No-logo Handbags are In

Statement Bag Coach Saddle Bag 1941

In one of the more significant fashion trend stories of last year, the logo drenched statement bag has been regulated to the back of the closet and replaced by the discrete no-logo handbag. Visit any major designer boutique such as Kate Spade, Michael Kors or Coach and you will find that logo bags are out, having been supplanted by simply designed classic bags discreetly embossed with designer names.

Interestingly, this goes against the recent logo-mania fashion trend driven by designers such as Moschino and Anya Hindmarch who have taken familiar household and retail logos and popped them onto must-have accessories. The rise of the no-logo handbag runs contrary to this current interest in logos and branding.

Statement Bag Kate Spade Cameron and Cedar Street Maise

Kate Spade Cameron Street Lane (front) and Cedar Street Maise (rear), all with elegant branding.

According to market research group NPD, a third of all designer handbags now sold in the United States are discrete no-logo handbags. Though baby boomers are the biggest consumers of no-logo bags, comprising 40% of all purchases, even the teens and twentysomethings of Generation Z, who are into statement bags and measure their social capital by the number of ‘likes’ their instagram style photos receive, now represent 8% of all sales.

As with any fashion trend, there are always drivers. In the case of the no-logo handbag, certain designers were ahead of consumer tastes and in a position to capture the market early enough to make it their own.

Statement Bag Michael Kors

Michael Kors handbag with branded name on lock only.

In 2012, Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gabriel founded the New York brand Mansur Gavriel, a line of luxury leather handbags all made in Italy. They successfully established their luxury brand with a classic leather bucket bag discreetly branded with a gold embossed logo about the size of regular text. At a price point starting at US$595, sales have been growing phenomenally, proving that no-logo goods are gaining in popularity.

For myself, luxury has never been about owning a statement bag or displaying a designer logo. It’s more about being in-the-know and demonstrating a personal knowledge of quality goods and old world craftsmanship. With or without a designer logo, quality, utility and beauty are the true hallmarks of a luxury item. That’s what conveys my personal style.

Happy New Year!

Top Photo: Coach 1941 Saddle Bag 23 in burnished glove tan leather with discrete logo tag only | Photo: Edward Quan

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