Best Way to Create a Handbag Collection

So you are a designer that feels the need to indulge women in their love of accessories, in particular handbags. Women love handbags and shoes, almost more than they love their boyfriends, husbands or children! The beauty of the handbag is you don’t have to be the perfect size, in other words, no dieting required!

Accessory collections provide some of the largest proportion of the fashion industries income. Hitting a home run with the perfect bag can mean creating a following with women all over the world.

What are the principles one needs to know to start your own handbag collection?

Like any other fashion category one needs to have a great idea. Research is key, what is out there currently? Ask yourself, where would your handbags sit in your favorite department store? Would it be in the junior department or do you see them all done out in fine Italian leather and being a neighbor to Valentino, Chanel, and Gucci? When you determine where you will understand who and what your potential competitors are and what they are doing. You will also get a range of price. The price and the look are the keys to targeting who your customer will be. Will she be a very young with a more limited budget, or will your customer have a large discretionary income. The look is going to be your calling card, sleek, modern, vintage, bohemian, lady like……you decide and make sure your every piece you design fits your target look and target audience.

Once your concept is focused on a target audience. You could ask everyone you know who falls into that demographic what they need and like, talk to them and let them give you feedback on your design ideas. You could also ask the sales associates in the stores what they sell easily and what things that don’t work in general.

At this point, if you haven’t done so already, you can start to sketch your ideas. An important thing to understand, the more details in your designs the more labor that is needed to make them. If you are in a moderate price point or you are gearing your accessories to a young market, competing with a major company will be a challenge. Remember large corporations have the funding necessary to make many handbags overseas before they go to market. Generally a new designer doesn’t have the history nor the budget to make 10,000 handbags out the gate!

A good rule of thumb for a new handbag designer with a limited budget means small run production, keeping a close eye on material costs, and setting aside funds to do marketing and sales after the handbag samples are made. Even new designers wanting to produce a luxury product will have the same requirements.

It is at this point that many people get lost. They have wonderful creative ideas, and have put together a cohesive collection. How in the world do you make a handbag? Granted making a complex fitted jacket has its problems, but everyone can visualize sewing clothing…….(trust me, it is a bit more complex as well, but it does seem easier!)

The first thing is to make sure your sketches have taken into account measurements. How long is the handle, how big is the large compartment, what kind of hardware would I like to use. How long are the zippers how many compartments are on the inside. Getting a bit more complicated and scary right? Don’t fret…….find a bag that is close and use it as a reference. Having dimensions figured out is a necessity.

Now you need to find a pattern maker. If comparing yourself to an architect as designer, the pattern maker is the engineer. A qualified pattern maker will know if your strap is strong enough and how to make it strong enough so it doesn’t rip off the base of the bag. He or she will make pattern pieces (much like a puzzle) that will be sewn together to create your sample. It is always a good idea to get a pattern maker that will work with your sample maker……..lack of communication will cause you to have many redo’s and lots of blame making on both ends leading you to a mess of a sample and a lot of wasted time and money.

Almost simultaneous with the pattern maker you should know what materials you want to use. The pattern maker needs to know this, again an engineer needs to know if you are using wood or concrete. Specifications of materials will make the patterns work without a hitch and they will also need to know about your intended hardware. Hardware is as important, maybe more important than the leather or fabric you are using. The quality will be the determining factor in what price your handbags will be sold. Hardware is a hard thing to source and generally is done overseas, but there are some places in the US that still make quality hardware and there are sources here where you can buy generic closures, zippers and the like. When sourcing fabric, ask if you can you get more should you get orders, the same with the hardware. While you may pay retail prices for your sample, this would make your handbags grossly non competitive in the market place. Also note that timelines require you to get fabrics and hardware ahead of time.

Next you find a sample maker………key here, do they have the equipment to get the job done as well as the skill to use that machinery. Leather sewing machines, dies, sometime molds are necessary. Ask to see examples of something they have in work…..anyone can show you a beautiful bag someone else put together.

Once the materials are in the hands of your sample maker you start to find yourself extremely excited. Your sketches will finally take form. Your heart starts to beat very fast. Alas at this point be prepared to have to work out problems, find alternative solutions and possibly make minor design changes to accommodate machinery and material constraints. This is NORMAL…obstacles are a common factor in the design business. Be flexible and be CREATIVE. With good preparation, good materials, a sensible timeline that allows for mishaps and professional support in terms of labor you will have completed the first part of your handbag collection. You will have samples and something to show to sell…

This is the first half……marketing and sales will be just as important. Make sure you leave yourself enough money to get your product in front of the appropriate buyers. You can choose to go direct, go online, or sell retail stores. This is just as complex and I will handle this at a later time.

Smart Tips For Choosing The Perfect Handbag For Work

A good handbag says a lot about you and you need to know how to choose the right bag for each occasion. When shopping for a handbag for work, you need to decide the image that you want to portray. If you want to come across as professional, you should choose a bag that will show this image. Fortunately, there are many options to choose from and you can find different women’s bags for any look that you want.

Your office handbag may be one of the most hardworking accessories that you own and it helps to make sure that it is functional yet sturdy. The perfect handbag will be a great investment that will serve you well for a long time to come. A well-structured leather bag can make you look and feel more polished, confident and focused. Following are tips that will prove to be helpful.

Choosing the best material

Consider choosing a leather handbag for work. This is the best material as you can be sure that you are investing in quality. A leather handbag might cost you more upfront, but when you think long-term, you will be making huge savings. The bag will last long, which is important when you consider that this is a hard-working item. A handbag that will fall apart after a few uses is a poor investment.

Consider size and structure

It is important to think about the size and structure when choosing a handbag for work. Your handbag should have a generous size especially if you need to fit several items such as your iPad or a large folder. Choose a size that will be generous without being too unwieldy or heavy. Remember that you do not need to fit your kitchen sink in the bag! Structure is very important and for the office look, you should go stiff and structured than slouchy hobo. Remember that you need to protect that iPad!

Think organization

Your work bag should allow you to stay organized throughout the day. This means that you should think several pockets. Look for a bag that will have different sections for different items such as your keys, phone, stationery, business cards and other items. Internal pockets will help you to stay organized and you do not have to keep dumping everything out when you need to find something!

You can use color to express yourself but remember that colors like black, brown and tan will allow you to pair the handbag with any outfit. Consider your work environment when choosing the best color and do not hesitate to choose bright colors to spice up bland outfits.

You Should Read This – How to Spot a Fake Handbag From an Authentic One

In today’s economy, the growing number of knock-off designer handbags continues to rise. For the woman that is still after the authentic designer handbags, this can present a challenge. Have no fear, there are ways that you can identify an authentic designer handbag. We’re here to help! Below are some of the designer handbag brands that we carry and how you can identify the real from the fake and save yourself from a disappointing purchase.

B. Makowsky handbags: B. Makowsky handbags are known for their supple leather, chunky hardware and signature lining. Most knock-off handbags are not made of this same genuine soft leather and will not have the signature satin lining. Look for these characteristics when shopping B. Makowsky handbags. If the price looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Michael Kors handbags: Michael Kors is known for his trademark square buckles, snaps or accents on the handbag. Every Michael Kors purse has these square accents. The knock-offs do not have these accents or often times forget to use the logo on the hardware.

Marc Jacobs handbags: Marc Jacobs zippers have slanted “i’s”. If the bag has upright “i’s” then it is probably a fake. Authentic Marc Jacobs handbags do not have blank zippers. Note that on some of their E/W (East/West) handbags a Lampo zipper will be used. A Lampo zipper is manufactured by Lampo and will have the zipper brand found on the backside or underneath the zipper. Fake Michael Kors bags will often have a metal or leather tag hanging from the bag. These never appear on authentic Michael Kors bags. Avoid handbags with tags that state “Authentic Marc Jacobs”. Some replica manufacturers use this to fool consumers in believing they have purchased an authentic bag. Each Michael Kors bag should have a metal label inside that says Michael Kors and it should not have a serial number or identification number. This is not a feature of Michael Kors handbags.

Brahmin handbags: Rest assured that there have not been any discovered knock-offs of Brahmin handbags yet. At one point, these handbags were being assembled in China so don’t be alarmed if you find an authentic that says “made in China” as these are authentic handbags.

Cole Haan handbags: Cole Haan is notorious for soft and supple leather bags. When you bend the leather, you shouldn’t be able to feel any crinkle. If the leather has a plastic or rough feel, chances are it is a fake. Cole Haan bags cost anywhere from $300 to $12,000 so if someone is selling it for $25, chances are it is a fake.

There are some steps you can take into consideration when buying a discount designer handbag:

  • Read the description of the bag carefully and ask questions for anything that may seem unclear. If the description states the handbag is a “replica” or “designer inspired” then the bag is not authentic.
  • Consider the price of the handbag. If the price looks too good to be true, then chances are it is. If the bag is being sold for 25% of the original retail, chances are it’s a fake. Also note that there are authentic brands online at 40% off or even a little higher so you’ll need to investigate those further.
  • Determine if the dealer is a reputable dealer. Some things you can ask yourself are: Do they have a reasonable return policy? Does their website have a professional look and feel? Are they selling other products besides the designer handbags?
  • Look for key trademark characteristics that are notorious for the specific designers. We have listed some of these traits above to help you identify by brand.
  • Designer handbags are usually crafted of fine leather and soft fabrics. If the handbag is crafted in cheap leather, it’s probably a knock-off.
  • Check the stitching to make sure it’s even and straight. Fake designer handbags usually have crooked or incomplete stitching. Authentic bags will have even and straight stitching.

Most importantly, if you aren’t sure, ask the dealer if their bag is authentic and what their return policy is. If they are willing to offer a return policy or 100% satisfaction guarantee, then the designer handbags are usually authentic. We hope that we have helped to give you the tools you need to shop for authentic designer handbags.

At Buy Now or Never, we carry several authentic designer name handbags at discounted prices. We guarantee your satisfaction 100% with all of our products. Enjoy discount shopping on fine jewelry, fashion jewelry, silver jewelry, accessories, handbags and more all at 40-80% off retail prices. If you are not satisfied with your purchase, we offer a 45 day return policy.