Revisiting The Greatest American Luxury Handbag Brands


"American fashion will never have the heritage prestige of French houses like Chanel and Hermès, but that’s not the only way to make compelling luxury bags. And for those who successfully harness the trappings of heritage, like Ralph Lauren, there’s room for expansion." - Amanda Mull, PurseBlog.com ("Why Aren’t There More Great American Luxury Handbag Brands?" February 23, 2015)

I would like to respectfully disagree with Amanda, wondering how fair it is to question the "heritage prestige" of Tiffany & Co., Mark Cross, or Judith Leiber. Let us not deny the fact how popular today these American heritage brands are with savvy fashionistas of all ages, including the incredibly successful millennial celebrities, such as Taylor Swift, who are routinely being photographed carrying their latest creations to various events.

Such a categorical statement, coming from one of the most popular American fashion blogs, is quite surprising, especially considering how often Purseblog features these celebrated American brands, and how many positive comments are usually being posted by their readers to reflect their relevance.

Perhaps, instead of denying the fact, we should rather start paying a bit more attention to it. Yes, at the moment, the European luxury brands under the umbrella of LVMH and Kering group are quite obviously dominating the market. But fashion is never stagnant. Trends and fads come and go, and there is never a guarantee that in the nearest future the tide would not change for us to see an explosion in popularity of the American heritage houses, whose legacy has been long well established for over a century - similar to the French House of Hermes.

Let us not write off, as yet, the relevance of one of the oldest American luxury brands, such as Mark Cross ("The Outpost of Elegance since 1845"), which is coveted and appreciated by Hollywood millennial A-listers. And what about the legendary Tiffany & Co. ("The Masterpieces That Define Style Since 1837"), whose legacy is ingrained in the American culture so deeply that only a baby would not understand the meaning of the word 'Tiffany'? And, of course, there is the beloved Judith Leiber brand that was founded in 1963. Try to name any heritage French house that is currently producing more compelling art pieces made primarily by hand. Could you? I did not think so – there is simply none!

It would be wonderful if fashion bloggers could try to show more faith in the importance of the oldest American heritage brands. Some interest in American fashion history would be helpful, too, as the contribution to the development of its legacy. To put it short, a little bit of patriotism would never hurt.

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