• February 10, 2017

Anthology of the Handbag


Anthology of the Handbag

Anthology of the Handbag 1024 684 Yaskulsky


The handbag as an accessory and a practical tool has a rich history behind it. You might be surprised to know that the handbag is not a new piece, nor a new trade or design. For thousands of years man has relied on this humble accessory for a multitude of purposes. I for one find charm in the fact that the handbag has been considered a key accessory for so many years, which must be taken care of and loved, with respect for the simple practicality this piece delivers…


Throughout the years, the handbag has been a survival kit, a fashion statement and an investment.

It has been both practical and impractically luxurious, mass produced and handcrafted, a status symbol and a container for precious belongings.

What a handbag often contains is so intensely personal, and in-turn the style of the bag is often highly personal too.

In medieval times alternatives to handbags were used before bags themselves were crafted. Men would hide their purses in the folds of their clothing, and women hung theirs from their girdle, along with other things they might carry, such as rosary beads. Over the years, the girdle was replaced by pockets, and eventually a bag.

The first ever bag was small and carried in the hand, like a modern day clutch. These were typically beautifully embroidered and given as gifts. In the 19th century, the upper class woman was expected to carry a bag – the handbag quickly became a status symbol. The arrival of the handbag in the 19th century indicated a societal shift, enabling women to carry what they needed in privacy.

Fashion and function began to compete in the 20th century. Large bags, briefcases and shoulder straps were introduced, along with the luxury bag for those who wanted to promote their social status.



Why is it that we love the handbag so much? The history proves the on-going popularity throughout the centuries. Is it the butter-soft leather? The exquisite stitching? Or the enchanting design and shape? The bag is the ultimate 21st century desire, but today it’s not just reserved for the rich and famous.

Handbags are intensely desirable partly because they have become a unique outward statement, communicating our own personal style and unique personality at a single glance.

Revealing and concealing represents something deeply private to the owner. Our handbag typically contains our special kit to make it through the day in the urban jungle, which is often private and for our eyes only, yet we communicate with others our style and personality through the bag we choose to use to house our survival kit. Our bag represents us, it represents our status, our style, and our confidence in who we are.


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