The renowned scientist, Charles Darwin, once wrote a book called “The Origin Of Species”. This book describes natural selection, the process of changing over time by which different species can evolve. In effect, he describes the history of every species, in one book- generalized.
I’m sure you know all this. But what you may not have thought about is that there are other things, besides species, that follow a general pattern of evolution. Like handbags, for instance. Or more precisely, the companies that design them. I think that every handbag designer follows a very simple patter of life, and that’s what I’m here to present. So take a look, and think about it.
In the beginning, there is a dream. Every major label starts with just one person, who has a vision of a future. Usually unclear, even murky at first, but they always begin the same way- with one woman, who opens a shop. Well, almost always. Occasionally, such as in the case of Gucci, it’s one man who opens the shop. Nonetheless, they begin selling, and slowly discover a sense of fashion in themselves.
In short order, the soon-to-be-famous designer begins showing their work, opening a shop and displaying their designs to the world. Sometimes they get married, sometimes not, but in either case this opening is only the beginning. Strong persistence and a good head for business lead to a rapid rise.
While occasionally a company struggles for that first public recognition, such as Guess did when trying to get their jeans into shops, as soon as they are discovered by the public they are immediately recognised as great. Within a few short years, the designs they have created are internationally recognised, and they decide to expand the company.
This is where the handbag arises. The label, having now reached some degree of renown, begins to expand… perfumes are created, new fashions conceived, and they begin to sell handbags. Each label develops a distinctive look, to match their previous clothing design, and their handbags enter shops.
Whether you favour a classic Diego Rocha, or an elegant Prada, you cannot deny that each brand has its own look, it’s own feel, it’s own rare style to it. While everyone needs to wear clothes, handbags are optional, an accessory, and as such they are a blank canvas on which the designers work their magic, the one place they can be truly innovative and original.
In time, the founder of the company will die, and their children inherit control. In some cases, such as the daughters of Adele Fendi, they cooperate and work together. In others, such as with Aldo and Rudolfo Gucci, they battle each other for the rights to the company. But no matter the internal conflicts, the public still loves them, and sales continue to rise.
Once they have achieved international renown, not to mention uncountable awards, there is no where left to rise to- they are already at the top. By now, of course, the brand is a commonly spoken name, and everyone knows them. Usually the founder as, well, although not always. Could anyone, ever, hope to rival the fantastic designs and glamorous life of Roberto Cavalli? I hardly think so, save perhaps, by another designer…
Thus I finish my review of the origin of the handbag, and the life of the label that creates it. As you’ve seen, it’s a pretty simple blueprint, and really serves to highlight the similarities between the different design companies. Although, I am left to wonder, does anything else share this same similarity?