Luxury Bags—Where Are They Made?
Designing a handbag is a bit like designing a car.
While the parts are comparable, the end result isn’t that much alike.
It’s actually easy to design an individual car. All you have to do is decide on the mechanical design (the engine), how it will be manufactured, and what kind of engine it will have (one size fits all, or a more complicated hybrid).
You also have to decide on the exterior design (the body) and the interior design (the interior). Then you can design the wheel design and tire design, as well as the dashboard and steering wheel design.
In contrast, handbags aren’t just mechanical and design in nature, though they do include design in each of the aforementioned areas. In fact, the design of a handbag may be more difficult than the design of an automobile because you don’t have all the options of an automobile: you can’t choose to make a driver’s seat wider or wider or a trunk, you have to work with the wheel design.
Once you’ve decided on the overall form of the handbag, you can design it. This doesn’t mean you can design the bag at this point, because you can’t make an informed decision about the look and feel of the bag until the final fabric is chosen. That’s not to say that you can’t design a bag at this point, though.
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Generally, when it comes to handbags, the most popular designs are Biba, Vilebrequin, and Fila. They’re very distinct, with bold and colorful shapes.
It’s important to consider the shape when choosing which bag to design. If your bag has to carry lots of clothes, you don’t want it to be as large as a purse. For example, the signature Fila bag is about the size of an easy-to-carry clutch.
You wouldn’t want a bag to be too small, because you don’t want to hold your bags in your hands if you’re waiting for a bus. You might want to instead put your handbag on a bag stand like you do with a purse.
What are the materials used to make a luxury bag?
Another important design consideration for handbags is the material of the bag.
Bags made of leather are typically the most popular, because they’re easily reversible, so you can change the material with the handbag. For example, you can change the color of a leather bag by adding or removing patches. The classic Vilebrequin bag is a synthetic leather bag that changes from black to white if you change the logo patch.
Linen is also popular, but is a bit more expensive than leather. This is because linen is made from flax, so it has to be milled into fibers before being spun into fabric.
Woven leather is also popular because it is durable and doesn’t take on any dirt easily, so it makes the bag more convenient to clean.
For larger bags, like purses, you might need more material. For example, the aforementioned Fila bag is constructed of felt.
Bags with a metal clasp are another popular design
You can also create your own patterns and patterns yourself. For example, I’ve made several bags out of recycled blue jeans.
All of these design decisions will determine the price of the bag. The cost of the raw materials for the bag will be the most expensive part, but there are many other considerations as well.
Once you have a rough idea of what you’re going to create, you need to create an impression of the finished bag.
How to design a luxury handbag
When I design handbags, I use photos to create a simple rendering of the bag. Using Photoshop, I’ll take a picture of a handbag in a similar setting, such as a real handbag in a pocket or a wallet.
I then trace over the photo and remove any objects or text that might confuse the viewer. It’s a quick and easy way to create an impression of what I want the final bag to look like.
Once I have a very rough sketch, I will often do some more work, taking my drawing into Photoshop and using layers to adjust the shape and color to create a more detailed picture.
I won’t remove every line, but I will resize certain parts of the handbag to fit the final sketch.
You can then use that version of the bag as a reference for any aspects of your bag that aren’t yet decided.
Once I’m happy with the sketch, I’ll continue with more refined drawings.
At this point, I will be pretty much satisfied with the sketch. It’s good enough that I don’t need to make any other decisions about the design, though I will consider any small inconsistencies.
One of the biggest decisions to make when it comes to bag design is what material to use for the bag.
The main materials used are leather and canvas.
Leather is the most expensive material to use, but it is worth it for a designer bag. Leather is very durable, so you will always have a unique and attractive handbag. Leather will also never rot, rip or have patches worn off. And unlike the outside of a purse, the interior of a handbag can be perfectly clean and unspoiled.
The ground rules
Manufacturing is a major part of the equation in determining where luxury bags are made.
If a bag is handmade, it must be made in the region in which it is being sold. This also applies to a really high-end bag – one that may cost thousands of dollars.
Handbags, however, are not the only high-end product made by luxury brands. There are plenty of other options for anyone who wants to wear a $100,000 bag.
The point is: While handbags will always be a part of the luxury industry, a bag’s price tag doesn’t necessarily indicate where it is made.
There are luxury goods that are made entirely in one country, such as Hermès, which manufactures 90% of its bags in France, and Coach, which manufactures most of its handbags in the US. In some cases, a country might also be responsible for the production of a bag that is made overseas, as for example, Chanel’s handbags that are sold in the US.