The Death of the “It” Bag

Sorry, designer handbags -- your heyday has officially passed. From Hermes’ Birkin to Balenciaga’s Motorcycle bag, in recent years designery "it" bags have risen to the forefront of fashion’s must-have accessories (not to mention spawned tens of thousands of Chinese knock-offs). But it-bag mania has finally gone kaput, and a new accessory is stepping up to the plate. Today, “the focus is on other accessories: designer jewelry, broad bangles, wide belts and madly creative shoes,” says the International Herald Tribune. Why the sudden shift in focus from handbags to footwear?

“The deflation of the bag’s status is partly from fashion fatigue,” explains the IHT, adding, “there is also an emotional and intellectual reason to look for a fresh fashion start after the dramatic end of the bling-bling era.” Besides, buying a new it-bag twice a year is no small financial feat in this economy. And while designer bags have, in seasons past, epitomized echelons of status, consumer’s collective fashion palette is craving significantly less ostentatious items these days. Meaning, recession-friendly accessories like sky-high shoes and eye-catching belts are a way to spice of seasoned looks without breaking the bank and are picking up exactly where the it-bag has left off. As for bags, the new in-demand versions are clutches, which, size-wise, compliment the slimmed-down economy quite nicely.

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