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Fashion

Bagaholicboy On The Luxury Bags That People Really Want Now

Singapore-based blogger Bagaholicboy, who's been educating people on how to shop and chronicling "our never-ending quest" for the best designer bags and "life's little luxuries" on his eponymous website since 2007, gives his take.

“The people who shop for luxury products in Singapore are a largely practical bunch. What they usually end up getting is driven by price, function and FOMO (fear of missing out) – if everyone is carrying a particular bag, they want it too. Design also matters because people ultimately shop first with their eyes.

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Through my years running Bagaholicboy.com, one of the questions I get most often from readers is whether I consider a design timeless – whether it offers longevity and will remain relevant beyond one season. And while nearly everyone seemed to have stopped shopping in March and April this year at the early stage of the pandemic, my readers have only reinforced what they were already prioritising pre-Covid-19 when they started shopping again.

Among the cutest of Bagaholicboy’s recommendations of “small, compact, functional and not-too-pricey” bags and SLGs that are proving popular these days: (from left) tweed AirPod case, $1,320, and Mini Vanity lambskin box bag, $2,140, Chanel

Price matters more than ever – a bag that costs $2,000 is more attractive than one that costs $5,000 because it means the thrill of owning something new without burning as big a hole in one’s pocket. I’ve also noticed that my readers have been increasingly going for bags that are small and compact not only because we now tend to go out only for essentials and carry only essentials with us (card, sanitiser, cash – if you still use cash), but also because big bags might mean a larger surface area that could get contaminated by dirt and viruses.

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The bag I’ve been asked about the most in recent months is Louis Vuitton’s Nano Speedy: It’s small (it measures 16cm by 12.5cm), compact and not so expensive (retail price: $1,560), fulfilling all three qualities I’ve said shoppers tend to look out for these days. It’s also a monogrammed style, which has remained popular because whatever the interpretation, it’s recognisable having been around for a long time (remember what I said about timelessness?).

Longevity is a key draw for customers, whether it’s a fail-proof monogrammed design, a style that looks seasonless or a signature that’s been miniaturised: (clockwise from top) Jackie 1961 Mini Hobo leather and canvas shoulder bag, $2,070, Gucci. 1854 Petit Noe leather and canvas shoulder bag, $2,730, Louis Vuitton. Olympia leather shoulder bag, price unavailable, Burberry. Mini Vertical Cabas leather and canvas tote bag, $1,700, Celine

Another style I’ve frequently been asked about is Chanel’s Mini Vanity case, which is like a baby version of the brand’s wildly covetable Vanity, measuring just 11cm by 8.5cm, and starts from $2,140. It helps that as part of the brand’s latest Metiers d’Art collection that hit stores in July, it’s been updated in supple yet hardy lambskin and boasts a slightly larger ring loop on the leather-interlaced chain strap, making it easier to slide it up and down to adjust the strap’s length. Function, I stress, is a major selling point.

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Brands certainly seem to know how to appeal to customers. If you look at the Fall/Winter 2020 and Cruise 2021 collections, most of the key bags are updates of existing classics. Fashion houses seem to be going back to what sells. Take Gucci’s Jackie 1961 for example, which is Alessandro Michele’s Fall/Winter 2020 remake of the brand’s signature hobo bag that’s been around since the ’60s with cleaner lines; the option of smaller sizes; and finishes that include pretty, candy-coloured pastels.

While Prada’s novelty minaudiere from the Fall/Winter 2020 collection might cost considerably above what most would find “pocket-friendly”, Bagaholicboy points out that there will always be a set of customers who would be willing to pay for a design like it, what with its unique shape, clever design (it conceals a mirror) and fun factor. Satin and metal minaudiere, price unavailable, Prada

It’s easier to tweak a classic in new colours and textures than to educate and persuade customers to appreciate a brand-new, never-before-seen style particularly at a challenging time like this. There’s a lot of comfort in familiarity. That said, scarce commodities such as rare Hermes models will always be snapped up no matter the times. People will always want things of perceived value.”

Above, our edit of the bags to consider.

Additional Coordination Imran Jalal

This article is adapted from a piece that originally appeared in the Sept 2020 Not-Your-Usual September Issue of FEMALE.

Classic Box lambskin shoulder bag, $3,080, Chanel
Lambskin shoulder bag, $2,420, Chanel
Nappa leather clutch, $2,550, Miu Miu
Nano Antigona leather shoulder bag, $1,590, Givenchy
Aline mini lambskin and calfskin crossbody bag, $2,700, Hermes
Balloon small calfskin bucket bag, $3,300, Loewe
Mini Pouch nappa leather crossbody bag, $2,180, Bottega Veneta
Mini Mon Tresor, $2,690, Fendi
Coach 1941 Riley Lunchbox leather shoulder bag, $895, Coach
Celine by Hedi Slimane Pico leather top handle bag, $2,600, Celine
Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello Kaia small leather and canvas shoulder bag, $2,260, Saint Laurent