Would You Pay $1,045 For A Leather Bag That Looks Like A Paper Sack?

Take a look at these bags. Some will set you back a hefty chunk of your salary; the others come free with your take-out order.

Handbag designer Stuart Vevers at Loewe recently created the “Papelle” line of bags whose resemblance to your standard paper shopping bags isn’t a coincidence. “It’s kind of taking the bag back to its purest functionality,” he says of the chic sacks.

But that pure functionality comes with a price tag of around $1,045.

Some snooty person at Bergdorf Goodman’s claims, “The time is right for this kind of new classicism.”

If so, then why not charge a classic price?

The Anti ‘It’ Handbag [Yahoo/WSJ]

Thanks to Harper for the tip!

Comments

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  1. SOhp101 says:

    Now, the Star-Belly Sneetches
    Had bellies with stars.
    The Plain -Belly Sneetches had none upon thars…

  2. UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

    I mean, I suppose if someone wants to pay it… hey, go ahead.

    But really?

    • c!tizen says:

      I wouldn’t, but then again I have common sense; not fashion sense.

      • mikeP says:

        But there is no real fashion sense here either.

        When you buy the best furniture, it may be tacky to some but it is at least high quality and durable. Stuff you can pass down to future generations. (Well maybe not the ultra-modern stuff).

        But this? Its… its… a bag! How is it possibly better than any other bag? It doesnt even look any nicer.

  3. Torgonius wants an edit button says:

    No. I may be stupid, but I’m not an idiot.

  4. Etoiles says:

    I wouldn’t pay $1000 for a leather bag that looked like the best leather bag in the history of purses and satchels.

    But there’s definitely no accounting for taste.

    (I used to date a guy with really well-off Manhattanite parents. Every item of furniture in their home was exquisitely well-made, high-end, reliable stuff… and every last piece was, to my eye, hideous. That always amused me…)

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      What kind of style was it? If it was giant flowers and stuff out of Country Living, I agree, it’s hideous. But if it was Louis XVI style, I completely disagree.

  5. wrbwrx says:

    no. Peta would not like it either.

  6. ARP says:

    I do like the concept of going back to basics, without all the fringe, ebellishments, plaques, etc. that are on many women’s bags, and all the straps, attachment points, reflectors, etc. that are on guys bags. There is something appealing about a plain, but well made bag.

    But $1000+? Damn.

    • Dallas_shopper says:

      I agree. I love a clean, streamlined look without a lot of silly embellishments but I won’t pay $1,000 for a friggin’ satchel.

  7. lvixen says:

    I’ll spend money on stuff but usually electronics, not shoes or handbags. I would NEVER pay a grand for a handbag, leather or not.

    • qwickone says:

      I’m the opposite. The electronics won’t last, but a $1000 handbag (assuming it’s good quality and you take care of it) will definitely last. /personal experience

    • Intheknow says:

      The most I’ve ever paid for a handbag is about $400. That was about 16 years ago, and I still have it and use it daily. It has held up in style, wears well with everything, and still looks good.

  8. GameHen says:

    Well..it is more durable than a paper bag. If we assume a paper bag of that size costs the consumer 50 cents, then it would pay for itself in the time it takes to go through 2000 paper bags. So….assuming a 50 cent paper bag lasts one day, and assuming you need one every single day…and never want another style, color or size…. the leather bag would pay for itself in about 8 years. Now that’s a bargin!

    • kmw2 says:

      You laugh, but I have actually heard a rationale for purchase of a high-end handbag that the purchaser would probably use it 50 times in the first year, making it “only” $17 per use! Whaaaaaaat.

    • prismatist says:

      The really fun part of your comparison is that it’s based on the rather ridiculous assumption of a paper bag costing 50 cents! Really quite funny, isn’t it? Even giving the leather bag that much of a leg up, it’s still a crap deal! :)

  9. Hi_Hello says:

    if it comes with all three and beyond lifetime replacement, for whatever reason, no matter if your great great grand kids decide to get the bag replace because there’s a hole in it, then maybe….

  10. giax says:

    I would not pay $ 1000 for ANY bag.
    Not even for an aluminium large piece of luggage.

  11. Dallas_shopper says:

    Don’t have that kind of money to waste. I buy the 99 cent bags at Sprouts and Kroger, and the 1.99 insulated bags. Cheap and cheerful.

  12. CaptCynic says:

    …only if it was a bag of holding.

  13. parv says:

    That bag needs an all round solid detachable shoulder strap to be able to juggle with keys, and other things in hand. While at it, add strong rare earth magnets as a means of closure, possibly along with a zipper. (No, I still won’t buy the bag at ridiculous price.)

    Plastic bags are more popular at the restaurants around Hilo, Hawai’i. Except at grocery store & department shops, I doubt paper bags would be offered. Or, bring your own bag.

  14. ncboxer says:

    Don’t think its classicism as much as classism.

  15. ames says:

    but it still looks like you’re carrying your stuff around in a grocery bag.

    I mean. Well. Look, if I had the money, I’d love to be able to drop $1000 on a handbag and feel no regrets (which I know makes me a minority here at Consumerist, where the motto seems to be squeeze a penny until it breaks in half). I have absolutely no problem with the uber-wealthy spending uber-bucks on stuff. (mostly because I assume that they’re also donating to charities and whatnot, even if it is for the tax write-off.)

    But if I’m going to spend that much money, I want the bag to look nicer than the grocery bag I get from Publix.

    • Blueberry Scone says:

      “But if I’m going to spend that much money, I want the bag to look nicer than the grocery bag I get from Publix.”

      Agreed!

      There’s also no way in hell that I’d use this bag the same way I’d use an actual paper bag. I couldn’t imagine carrying home ice cream in a bag like this.

    • satoru says:

      Hell $1000 isn’t even that much for a handbag these days especially at Bergdorf Goodman.

      At least it’s leather. Other brands sell handbags made of nylon and other crappy fabrics for a lot more.

      If you think of it, even Coach sells their crap for close for $300-500 anyways.

  16. BuyerOfGoods3 says:

    oh wait..i’ve got it… “Now you can carry home your cow, IN A COW!” — New Tagline for Beef Bags.

  17. cape1232 says:

    I want mine from deer hide!

  18. Michaela says:

    Very pretty, in my opinion. I always want bags in this design, but they are usually cotton, which stains. However, I wouldn’t pay this much for the bag. Only bag I will ever shell out over one grand for is some LV carry on luggage or a Birkin bag.

    • zekebullseye says:

      Birkins are butt-ugly. If you put them on a rack at Kmart nobody would buy it.

      • Michaela says:

        That’s YOUR opinion. The classic shape and durability make them a great piece in any handbag collection. It is a bag that can be used 50 years after purchase, and still look up to date.

        If I was going to call a handbag K-mart ugly, I would think of the Coach op art bags, or maybe everything Dooney & Bourke.

  19. dreamfish says:

    The bag isn’t the issue, it’s the logo – that’s what you’d be showing off to people. It’s all that matters for those with more money than sense.

  20. wellfleet says:

    Loewe, as a design house, has been around for more than 100 years. Also, this is not meant to be a grocery bag y’all, just a very clean-line handbag. If you’re inclined to spend money on understated status symbols, then this bag is totally worth it. People who are in the know will realize what you’re carrying while the simple folk will remain clueless. /snark

    • Dallas_shopper says:

      And a lot of us not in the know…don’t give a fuck. /snark.

    • kmw2 says:

      So in other words, you’re wiling to pay a grand to belong to some imagined club of elites who recognizes a logo and assumes you’re one of them because of it, and to feel superior to the plebeian masses who don’t realize you’re carrying a $1,000 handbag. Good for you?

  21. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    I suppose it might keep people from stealing it but that’s way to much money. For me, personally, they’re not pretty and I wouldn’t want a bad that apparently doesn’t close at the top if it’s supposed to replace your purse.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      Gah, “too much” money.

      And for further clarification, it’s too much money for my budget. Like ames, I don’t begrudge rich people spending that kind of money; they can afford it.

  22. captadam says:

    Of course not, but I’m not the target. I don’t have money to blow frivolously, so I’m not one to consume for the sake of appearances.

  23. c!tizen says:

    I’d pay $1,045 to backhand the person that would pay $1,045 for any type of bag.

    • c!tizen says:

      let me expand on that, I’d pay to backhand any person that paid $1045 for any type of bag that didn’t contain $1,000 or more in actual goods or cash.

      • Doubts42 says:

        If the bag is priced at $1K, and it sells strongly at $1K then it is $1K in goods. Your opinion of what it should be worth has no relevance.

  24. Cyniconvention says:

    I wouldn’t pay $1045 for ANY bag!

    I could get some neato electronics with that…

  25. myrna_minkoff says:

    “The time is right for this kind of new classicism.”

    I think he meant “classism.”

  26. sopmodm14 says:

    oh golly, there are paper bags that look better

    case in point, ANY place that has a paper bag, cuz at least you get a logo to go with the bag

  27. sanjaysrik says:

    Some snooty person at Bergdorf Goodman’s claims, “The time is right for this kind of new classicism.”

    Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Sometimes, mom got it right.

  28. hypochondriac says:

    This reminds me of that $600 clear plastic bag some designer made when the TSA came out with the liquids in clears bags rule.

  29. Fight Back Against David Horowitz! says:

    Hello bonus “green points” from Ralph’s! But…is it washable? Because, you know, I’m really concerned about salmonella and e.coli…

  30. haggis for the soul says:

    No.

  31. mowz says:

    Excerpted from https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikibooks/en/wiki/Visual_Rhetoric/Semiotics_of_Fashion#Conclusion

    “Jackie Kennedy is an important figure in discussing the rhetoric of fashion. As first lady, she was part of the elite, ruling class. As is normally the case with fashion trends, the ruling class establishes the fashion trends, and lower classes then attempt to emulate those styles. Those who imitated Jackie Kennedy’s style did so not only because they liked her sense of style, but they also wanted to identify with those aspects of her life that her style brought with it: wealth, power, and social status. Celebrity figures such as Jackie Kennedy provide us with the most accessible vision of what it means to be wealthy. Their style and their fashion choices become culturally understood symbols that represent wealth and power.

    Once the “refined taste” of the elite is adopted by lower classes, (for example: imitation Louis Vuitton handbags, fake Chanel sunglasses) the elite then shift gears and establish a new high-fashion trend that places them back at the top of the fashion pyramid. Many times, the trend among the elite is to wear clothing that appears “casual” and “low-maintenance,” (all while costing hundreds or even thousands of dollars) – but as soon as the actual casual and low maintenance wearers adopt those trends, the style changes (Remirez).

    This cycle happens for two reasons. First, there is the need for union. Consumers, high and low classes alike, feel the need to belong to a larger society; they want to be seen as fashionable in the eyes of their audience who may be their peers, their coworkers, or family members. In order to appear fashionable, consumers wear those pieces of clothing that are socially constructed symbols of fashion. Second, there is the need for isolation. While style-setters and style-emulators both wish to belong to the larger society, there is also the need to be considered apart from the larger whole, to establish themselves as unique individuals with a distinctive taste (Remirez).

    Not only do fashion choices and brand names act as symbols that communicate information about the social or economic status of a person, but they also have the capability to communicate an ideology about our society and the power that fashion has within it. An ideology is an accepted pattern or set of ideas, such as what is or is not considered fashionable in a particular culture. For our culture, the acceptable fashion trends are typically adopted from celebrities and the elite. An ideology is constructed and consumed through fashion, and this ideology about what is fashionable becomes hegemonic or dominant when it is viewed as the norm.

    Although norms are established, there still exists the need for isolation and distinction. This need for individuality from the larger whole of society represents a certain characteristic within our society: we praise uniqueness and individuality; we look highly upon those individuals who have the independence to dress uniquely and who also have the fiscal means to do so.

    The traditional definition of rhetoric holds that it operates to influence behavior and change attitudes. Fashion, as a form of rhetoric, has the same capacity.”

  32. teke367 says:

    “Would You Pay $1,045 For A ….”

    No, no I wouldn’t. Don’t even need to see the rest of that statement. (Unless on the off chance the rest of it were to say “beachfront property” or “luxury vehicle”)

  33. RayanneGraff says:

    Hell no. I can MAKE something more attractive than that. I would only pay a grand for a good quality, sturdily built bag that would literally last me a lifetime.

  34. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    $130 for the smallest available appropriate piece of garment leather
    http://www.tandyleatherfactory.com/home/department/Leather/Garment-Leather/9124-326.aspx?feature=Product_3
    [which will leave you enough for at least 2-3 bags depending on size]

    $7 for the fanciest waxed linen thread
    http://www.tandyleatherfactory.com/search/searchresults/11207-003.aspx?feature=Product_1&kw=thread

    your choice of needles $5-10 depending on how often you tend to break/lose them
    i could make one of those from cutting the pattern [tracing around a disassembled paper bag to start with] to final stitch, sewing by hand, in about 5 hours. say… $10 an hour?

    still under $200 for the whole bag.

    i think i’ll start making these at home and selling them to the slightly smarter idiots

  35. SPOON - now with Forkin attitude says:

    I make my own leather bags from deer I hunt with my flint knife from trees.

  36. The Marionette says:

    A big name brand charging an insane amount for a handbag?! STOP THE PRESSES!!!!

  37. ArdelisDeeson says:

    You could make your own for about $50, if you have access to a sewing machine.

  38. veg-o-matic says:

    Thanks, Chris, for using the word “sack” appropriately and non-ironically.

    Displaced midwesterners living in the land of “bag” appreciate it.

  39. unimus says:

    I’ve seen worst costing a lot more. imho part of owning an expensive handbag is about exclusiveness cleverly marketed as taste.

  40. JackieEggs says:

    I make my own bags at home….

    Seriously , all lined and everything… pre-shrunk, too..

  41. harrier666 says:

    I may be a girl who is comfortable wearing tshirts and shorts, even in the heart of manhattan where people look at me like a leper, but fashion is such a joke!

    Exhibit A: Friend had a 5k gucci purse. Girl at mall with identical purse tells her, “look we have the same purse!” and everyone discusses two purses for a moment. Friend states, “what a moron. You can’t tell the difference between a $20 dollar purse and a $5k purse.” I reply, “Who is the moron? The one who spent 20 bucks on a purse that to every one else here looks the same as yours, or the one who spent 5k on a purse!”

    Exhibit B: Back in Manhattan. I was wandering the fashion district in my 5 dollar Target shirt with tinkerbell on the front. A woman comes literally running from a store and asks me if what I am wearing is the new “Disney Couture” line. Bored already, I reply yes. She flips out. Asks me who I am, stars in her eyes that I was able to get it before it came out (“Wow, She must be a Rockefeller!” she must have been thinking), and tells me she has been saving for months to get hers when they are out. She wanted to know if they were planning to release the shirts at 250 or 300 bucks. I had no idea that said fashion line existed, but I told her $400. She squealed with delight and ran back to her store to tell everyone.

  42. ouijabored says:

    Okay, so they have very nice, clean lines, and I like that in a bag. But it was hard enough for me to pay $50 for a “Fake” Spade bag at a purse party – I can’t comprehend paying $1000 for a freaking purse! They get dirty and gross…no way!

  43. clickable says:

    No, I wouldn’t pay $100 for it. Well, maybe $100. It’s a cute idea, but the price is ridiculous.

    Totes with short carrying handles are my favorite bag style, but you can get them for far more reasonable prices.

    For example, at LLBean, you can get styles similar to this one, in nubuck (various colors) or in “Heritage” tan leather, for $149 and $189 respectively. I got that “Heritage” tote about 15 years ago, before it had a fancy designer aura, for half of what it costs now, and it’s only gotten better, and softer, with age.

    Or you can get the classic boat tote, in canvas, for 1/3 that price. Like the leathers, it’ll also last for years.

    http://www.llbean.com/llbeansignature/llb/shop/505944?page=bags&subrnd=1

  44. clickable says:

    Matter of taste, like everything else. I think just the opposite, but then again, that’s absolutely my favorite style of bag, and the Birkin takes it to the ultimate. It’s the perfect size, IMO. The 35 cm can easily fit the daily paper, lunch, and even a netbook, and still looks sleek. In a pinch, it can fit a dinner’s worth of groceries. The shape makes everything easily reachable, and I think double-handled bags are eminently practical (but then again, I don’t carry bags on my shoulder).

    Even if I had that kind of money laying around, though, I wouldn’t spend it on a handbag. Never gonna happen. But I love the bag. There’s the cachet and the fine, fine materials, of course, but I’ve never given a second glance at any other Hermes-level handbag. My affection for the Birkin endures because I think the design is perfect, and perfectly functional.

  45. redbess says:

    Reminds me of when I was shopping for wedding dresses. I wanted something very plain and simple, no lace, no frou-frou, except the only simple dresses we could find were silk and over $1k. WTF?

  46. clickable says:

    Matter of taste, like everything else. I think just the opposite, but then again, that’s absolutely my favorite style of bag, and the Birkin takes it to the ultimate. It’s the perfect size, IMO. The 35 cm can easily fit the daily paper, lunch, and even a netbook, and still looks sleek. In a pinch, it can fit a dinner’s worth of groceries. The shape makes everything easily reachable, and I think double-handled bags are eminently practical (but then again, I don’t carry bags on my shoulder).

    Even if I had that kind of money laying around, though, I wouldn’t spend it on a handbag. Never gonna happen. But I love the bag. There’s the cachet and the fine, fine materials, of course, but I’ve never given a second glance at any other Hermes-level handbag. My affection for the Birkin endures because I think the design is perfect, and perfectly functional.

  47. mbemom says:

    HAHAHAHAHA..to answer the question…NO. People are so dumb but if you have it to spend, I have some beautiful sewamp;and to sell you…

  48. Absinthe says:

    If I had the money to blow like that, why would I want to blow it on something that looks like a paper bag? I am all about clean lines & simplicity & can’t stand the current trends of shiny baubles & studs & chains with lots of tufts & excess external pockets and crimping & fringe… but this…. this looks like a paper bag!