Bluefly has my Beirn bag! This fabulous little-known designer that I discovered at a trunk show this past Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, in Henri Bendel in New York City. I was so excited to have something secret that I loved, and that no one else (except my sister) had. Sure, they showed me the pictures of Sarah Jessica Parker carrying the bag on an episode of Sex and the City, but that show was so fashion “out there” and not everyone picked up every single bag she carried. The only other time I have ever seen this bag anywhere but on my shoulder was during Paris Fashion Week. Having a cozy lunch on rue Rivoli near the Louvre, two models passed by, one carrying by bag in navy blue- I recognized it because it is identical to the one my sister chose. This is literally the only other encounter I have had with a Beirn bag, Not even a year after I discovered them, this bag is now one of the “It” bags being given away on Bluefly.com in their “Win-an-It-Bag” sweepstakes. How sad.
It all started with Longchamp. Yes, the brand everyone has now. Originally only available in Paris, my Aunt Jackie discovered this versatile brand when she was living here circa 1990. She fell in love with the variety of vibrant colors and convenient sizes available- she sent one as a gift to my mother, who used her navy blue Longchamp as a carry-all for her purse and other knickknacks while traveling. It’s the perfect carry-on size. When my sister and I became old enough, we each got a shoulder bag for carry-on luggage. They were perfect- mine was bright orange and hers was bright green. They were easy to spot, and the long leather shoulder straps made them so easy to carry. But now, it’s disgusting how cliché Longchamp bags are. I want to go back to Loyola, walk into Primo’s or Boulder and take a survey: “Raise your hand if you do NOT have a Longchamp bag.” It makes me so sad that something I discovered and I loved so much is now so horribly mainstream and seen every moment of every day.
Call me a snob, but I like some things to be mine and just mine. There’s that element of secrecy and exclusivity when your bag isn’t splashed with Louis Vuitton or Tory Burch logos- everyone that sees it knows exactly where you got it and how much it cost, because they have one too! Where’s the fashion fun in that? I love admiring people’s off-the-beaten-path fashion choices, and curiously pondering their non mainstream brand choices.
Especially with handbags. An investment piece that is never a cheap endeavor should be something that you love, and something that people associate with you. What’s so wrong about being the only one turned on to a certain brand? I love it when everyone complimented me on my unqiue accessory and fashion choices- “Ooooh, where’d you get that?” is so much better than “oooh, love your $2500 Louis Vuitton GM bag! Mine’s in the car!”
Yes, if a product is great quality and the brand is onto something, naturally you want them to do well, but when it gets so popular to the point that 11-year old girls are carrying around Longchamp and Tory Burch without the slightest appreciation for the aesthetic or functionality of the product, it gets a bit nauseating.
Yes, I still use my Longchamps- over the years, I’ve accumulated several colors and sizes, and they’re just so well made and convenient that I find it impossible to not use them, but I cringe every time I see one on the Metro or on the street. It’s just a tad degrading to see every other person clutching the bag that I appreciated when I was eight.
Rachel Zoe recently wrote a column on her fashion blog about Moroccan oil, a hair serum I discovered two years ago when my mother’s hairstylist picked some up at an industry showing. Only people in the hairstyling business knew this luscious little secret: we were able to buy it wholesale. It smoothes and styles and de-frizzes wet and dry hair, and it smells positively divine. While her blog may not be Cosmopolitan or People, enough people read it that it’s only a matter of time now before Moroccan oil is everywhere. Ugh.
At least I still have Jo Malone and BE&D. Shhhhhh.