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Crazy for your Kelly? 8 things to know about the handbag

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A modern fashionista’s life wouldn’t be the same without the handbag. Hailing from utilitarian origins dating back to the 14th century, the purse has blossomed into one of the most important aspects of any sartorially-inclined individual’s daily outfit, and one of the most recognisable symbols of wealth and status used by today’s men and women.

With a colourful documented evolution of over 600 years, the handbag continues to fascinate and confound people from all walks of life. Its sky-high prices confuse pedestrians, its luxurious materials anger environmentalists, and its sheer beauty mesmerises true followers of fashion and style.

Now, we’ve come up with a list of important things to know about the handbag. You never know when knowing these bits of trivial information might come in handy.

1.) The man-purse is only gaining prominence these past few years, but historically, it was men who first used a rudimentary prototype of the purse. And it was a fanny pack. Irony and hypocrisy really are at the core of fashion, no?

2.) The handbag was first written about in the 14th century, but the ancient Egyptians had been using something similar millennia prior. Egyptian hieroglyphics have been found depicting men with little sacks (bucket bags of the Pharaoh generation?) around the waist. Back then it wasn’t about fashion. It was about function.

3.) Crocodile or python skin didn’t give away the bag toter’s social status during the earlier years of the handbag. Instead, intricate embroidery and embellishments were the vogue of the time. But lugging around bejeweled purses wasn’t the most practical thing to do while going about daily activities, so people ditched them for sturdier materials like leather.

4.) There was a time when people carried purses under their clothing, which served the same purpose as the modern pocket we have today (Now’s the time to realise we’ve been taking those lint-filled pockets for granted!). It was a dark age in the history of the handbag, as this was when they literally disappeared from the public eye.

5.) The average woman owns at least six bags. If you have less, you should go out shopping or people would confuse you for a guy.

6.) Although free of identifying logos, the Hermès Birkin is one of the most recognisable bags in the fashion industry and among the public. In its heyday, the Birkin had a waiting list of six years, the longest of any bag in history. Due to the economic recession of 2009, however, the list, which on average required a wait of two years, no longer exists. These days, anyone with $9,000 to spare can snatch one up at the nearest Hermès store.

7.) You know those Gucci bags with bamboo handles? It’s not the first time they’ve appeared in the handbag market. After World War II, Gucci and a few other manufacturers were forced to use cane handles due to shortage of materials.

8.) The weight of the average bag used to hover around three pounds, but a recent study discovered that it has gone up to five pounds. We predict more cases of tendonitis in this generation due to chronic handbag toting.

2 Comments

  1. Lucy

    November 3, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    In fact, according to the latest research in the Middle East the average number of bags a woman owns in SEVEN. You people are leading the trend. Keep it up. After all there is no better companion than the one that is by your side, always– Your Bag

  2. LMD Fashion Squad

    November 3, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Thanks Lucy! Although we’ve seen a random bit of trivia that claims women (30 years and older) in England own at least 21 bags, but we found it somewhat ridiculous. Or maybe we have some serious catching up to do?

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