Big Branded Bags, Fashion or Design?

Chanel, Hermès, Dior, Louis Vuitton… Fashion or Design?

Big Branded Bags promise exclusivity yet are made in their thousands. They often base their success on one design that hasn’t evolved much over the years…

Big Branded Bags as opposed to independent designer bags: is a name or a big logo more important than style, origin and authenticity?

What makes you buy a bag? Fashion or Design?

 How safe is your bag

The “Security Aware” one-off bag by Steven Harkin – detail "How safe is your bag?"


In 2006, Steven Harkin was “Back in Brief” in Australia, invited to exhibit at a Canberra gallery: a review of his work over a decade, from Australia to Italy then to London. An opportunity too, to have a bit of fun, playing with the creations of some “well-known fashion houses adorned with buckles and chains, padlocks and pockets and festooned with the designer house logos” (as described by Kerry-Anne Cousins from the Canberra Times, August 3, 2005).

No jealousy here (ahem!) , just a bit of provocation and a witty interpretation of 4 world famous iconic bags:

Big branded bags interpreted


  • the Ca-ca chained bag: a bit of quilted fabric and a vintage style iron loo chain with wooden handles is Harkin’s take on the Classic Chanel Flap bag. (Want to find out more about Coco Chanel bags? Read the PurseBlog’s excellent article to learn more.

  • the D’oh bag plays with Christian Dior’s hardware: Steven took his inspiration from the Simpsons cartoon

  • the LV or something: Louis Vuitton logo, LV alternates with currencies symbols printed on leather

Hermes Kelly bag

Hermès Kelly Bag 

  • the fourth was a Kelly bag, Hermès iconic style, in tan leather, with wheels and a cane… we haven’t got any picture but the idea was that the Kelly bag (which by the way is almost impossible to buy at no less than £6,000, read this fascinating article in the Mail) was getting old. It was obviously a good timeless design though!… (who knows, one day our Pepe backpack will be on the list of historic handbags? Personally? I am convinced!)

We’d love to know your thoughts! Do you own an iconic bag? How much are you ready to spend on a bag? What makes you buy a bag? Leave your comments below!

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