Kate Spade introduced the collection’s handbag of the upcoming 2014 season, the 2 Park Avenue Beau Bag, at boutiques across the nation as summer drew to a close. While brand tweets went out stating that “a girl cannot have too many beaus,” it seems that Kate Spade stores cannot have too many bags to sell. Kate Spade storefront windows were livened up with Beau Bags in a bevy of color ways, which customers want to buy right off the display.
At the San Francisco launch, I asked a store manager about the fact that Beau Bags are flying out the door, with an expected re-order date showing at Kate Spade online and at all major department store websites as well. Is the purse fabulous, a steal, or an indication of improving customer sentiment regarding the 2014 economy?
First of all, it’s unquestionably a pretty bag that draws would-be owners in for a closer look, and definitely to touch, giving it a quick try out in the crook of the elbow before heading for the cash register. Measuring in at a roomy 10.5″ high, 12″ long, and 6″ deep, the double top handles have a 5″ drop, but there’s no shoulder strap option tucked inside. Although the handsome top-stitched cowhide leather bag with bow-shaped inset is on the larger side, it’s perfectly practical, managing to pull off that ladylike look that Kate Spade designers are so good at. The outer slip pocket is perfect for a phone, the inner for a tablet, protective feet have not been overlooked, and the bow design with a gilded pyramid-shaped detail is prettily presented on the zip pull.
Punching in at $498, they’re not exactly giving the Beau Bag away. The Beau Bag comes in basic black, purple, maraschino, plus a couple of two-tones in black with macchiato (think of a latte in a black mug) and vivid snapdragon with maraschino (think of hot pink cotton candy with a cherry on top.) Although not necessary for California winters, there are matching buttery leather gloves at $128 designed to allow you to use your touch screen without removing them. And if you want to go all out in bow details, there’s Precious, the two-tone heel at $328 or Tula, the patent maraschino flat at $228.
Just as a confirmation that shopper totes are currently being paraded as everyday handbags, I checked to see that Michael Kors, Tory Burch, and Rebecca Minkoff were all onto the same silhouette. At Michael Kors, you’ll notice the classy, upmarket two-tone Miranda is a standout shopper at $1,295, while the MICHAEL collection features Selma Saffiano with an optional shoulder strap at $378. And, of course, over at the handbag empire of Louis Vuitton, they call it the Neverfull bag, for which your wallet requires to be emptied of $1,990 before tax.
As for me, I’ve got a navy Lancel tote bag from the 90s that is going to see the light of day once again while I’m still judging if buoyant handbag sales are a sure economic recovery indicator.
More from this contributor:
Cosmetics and Accessories Are Soaring in Recession-Proof Sales
The Story of My One-Dollar Chanel Handbag
British-Made Mulberry Bags Are Trending in America