Monday, August 10, 2015
A Minor Rant
This is my summer purse. I found it by accident at Borders(Best Bookstore EVER) when they were having their last few sales. I paid twenty dollars for this purse. It is straw, for the most part, with a cloth inset so your stuff doesn't fall out. It usually hangs out in my closet for most of the year, because for most of the year I carry the MOM purse, which contains everything nobody else wants to carry. But during this summer of chemo/surgeries/radiation, I put the MOM purse aside for a lighter and more summer-y, look. Everywhere I go, I get compliments on this purse. I get told that my purse is cute and interesting and pretty. I've had so many compliments that I started wondering if there was some hidden camera out there, recording my responses for some sort of prank show: "*snicker* We told her that her purse was awesome, and she BOUGHT it!"
I am not a someone who gets excited about designer purses. I've just never been all that interested in fashion, and I'm perfectly happy with a purse that is useful rather than stylish. But women seem to be suckers for purse labels. Why is that? If some designer has put their name on a purse, women have to buy it. They don't seem to care about how much the item costs, as long as it has someone's name on it. If you don't have one of the latest designer purses, it is frowned upon. You just aren't as cool as the people who own a purse with a label, I've heard.
I don't get it.
These purses are exactly the same as any other leather purse; there's nothing that special about them. They aren't made from the hide of a particularly rare goat that only eats oat grass; they aren't stitched by silent monks in the Himalayas. These purses don't walk your dog for you or balance your checkbook. They're often made at the same factory in China. Most of these purses aren't even particularly attractive. Yet they cost several hundred dollars more than a plain leather purse. Why? Because of the label.
It's the name on the purse that costs you the money. You are paying Michael Kors, or Miss Vera, for the "privilege" of carting around a handbag with their name on it. They get your money, and you give them free advertising. It's kind of an ingenious ploy, when you think about it. Why pay some big Madison Avenue firm advertising fees when a company can get some random people to pay extra for the opportunity to advertise their product? From my point of view, designers should pay me, not the other way around. And when did women get so wrapped up in the name on an item's label that we forget to be discerning and skeptical consumers? We are all about saving money until someone slaps their name on it; then our need to save seems to be thrown out the window. I would rather use that money for something else, like a family vacation to the beach. If that makes me uncool, so be it.
I like my summer bag. While inexpensive, my purse holds all my stuff. It has personality, even if it doesn't have a label. In the world of look alike purses, it's unique. A stand out. I'm okay with that.