I was talking with my friend and mentor Michelle Lalonde via messenger and we were talking about how we could as instructors enhance the learning experience of our students via activities outside of the classroom. Michelle travels a lot as a designer doing high end shows where she sales her unique high end designs, she was also my instructor at F.I.T and over the last 25 years has become a dear friend. As she was telling me how the shows were gong she started to speak about how their was nothing out there , everything look like a formula, no one was pushing the envelop with designs that set you apart. I chimed in to say I thought it was the fact that simplicity sells. Todays women are into simplicity which doesn’t allow for much creativity because the range is not that wide to explore. Well , it was on messenger so how much can you type, huh?
Anyway after thinking about it, it is most likely a number of factors and one being their are fewer people who have the resources to get to the level to influence design. The business of handbags could very well be the culprit giving rise to the ever growing, they all look alike bags. The cost of making complex bags is also a factor even though a lot of bags including top brands are made in China. The more steps to complete a bag, the more people needed to make that bag, a step is a person to complete that step. The manufacturer always tries to find a way to cut a step, a corner. Example is thread, leather bags made in China have a high failure rate after a few years, why? The thread, they cut corners on the thread! So we have the high cost of marketing, the manufacture wanting to cut production cost and a simplistic consumer, that could be the reason for the all look alike bags!
So thought provoking. Yes, now that I think about it, things are looking pretty basic out there. Even high end and runway bags seem have a tendency to stick with the basic and then cheat it up with some outrageous add-ons like goofy appliqued cartoonish embellishments or by making it a micro mini bag but still just knocking the size down from their basic design element. Not to say there is anything wrong with outlandish pizazz or micro mini’s. What I AM saying is that it usually amounts to throwing some obvious change onto a basic bag of their design line. What is the answer to this? Is it really all about the bottom line? Where are the true artists, the true genius designers? No more look alikes! ha!
One of the biggest reasons I think bags seem to be similar or look-alike is because of money and women shopping habits. If movies are a reflection of trends of the times then we can see the changes and also notice the buying habits and how women look at themselves has also changed. I personally don’t believe women dress for individuality as much as they used to. What women dress for is status especially when buying certain accessories and so therefore if you dress for status then you really are dressing for branding. Branding becomes more important than to make an item unique and the second thing behind that becomes the fact that people who are less successful want to copy that style because they know the style will sell. The money behind fashion, like any business, doesn’t like risk. The people willing to risk all don’t have the resources to risk.