Privilege Blog

Bags Without Logos, The Ones That Cost More.

Once we place our feet squarely in the camp of delayed gratification, and decide to spend some more money, it’s much easier to get a no-logo bag with High WASP style. As in, if you can and want to afford several hundred dollars, it’s kind of like shooting fish in a barrel. Not that I have ever done or would do that. But I like idioms. Anyway.

In this world it’s all about shape, color, texture, materials, and details. (Seen much better if you click through to the Polyvore site, BTW.) The green bag is made of haircalf, which if you don’t have an issue with baby cows, is a beautiful material. The blue bag is a sophisticated gray blue, and contrasts a smooth outer leather with texture in the pockets. The black Kate Spade is perforated. And I know her logo is visible. But it’s little. So I’m counting it. We are all in denial one way or another about something. The J. Crew bag, as recommended by Slynnro in her comment, has suede pockets, little brass studs that are perfect like candy, and a killer shape. The M0851, as recommended by materfamilias, is perhaps the most classic bag of all shown. Nothing but beautiful, soft, black leather and those knots.

Finally, if you have all the money in the world, and no qualms with how you spend it (or maybe have already set up your foundation to save the world), there are these.

Bottega Veneta is the emperor of the logoless realm. And it is about the real cost and luxury of the material. That woven leather. (As Deja Pseu points out today, they have spawned their own set of affordable friends.) Ah. My mother, my sister, and I all had Bottega Veneta bags in the 1980’s. But, as I said, the family fortune is on its last legs and those legs don’t include Bottega Veneta any more. I just like to say the words. Bottega Veneta.

Another super-luxury brand is Nancy Gonzalez. Again, materials. In her case, crocodile.

I am happy to say that, although they are beautiful, I do not crave $3000 purses. This was by no means guaranteed. I always feel good when I find a level of luxury that I do not miss in its absence. As close as I’m going to get to Buddha, I imagine.

Bottega Veneta via Saks
Nancy Gonzalez via Neiman Marcus

And a tip of the hat to The Preppy Princess for her logophobia inspiration, even when that logo is Harvard’s…

24 Responses

  1. I have such a weakness for a good handbag …! Handbags and shoes – sigh!

  2. I should say that I got my M0851 in Tomato (a pinky-red or reddish-pink), wanting something cheery for spring/summer, and while I have no regrets about the colour, I'm considering picking up another knot bag in something more neutral. I will also admit that it has the smallest, most unobtrusive logo, underneath the flap. Quite gratifying, really, and with no delay at all . . .
    And I recognize that sentiment, which I suppose happens at different levels for all of us, of feeling pleased to acknowledge luxury but not want/need it for ourselves.

  3. Loro Piana, Valextra. Both great brands and no IN YOUR FACE logos. There are also artisans who will make bespoke handbags, Beatrice Amblard being one, that are superb quality.

  4. My message got scrambled (note useful use of passive voice!) That "quite gratifying" should follow, and apply to, the sentiment of not needing a luxury we recognize as such.

  5. My ex-husband bought me two bottega veneta bags…many moons ago. I still have them. I love them…best thing he ever did!

  6. I am in dire need of a new purse/handbag/whateveryouwanttocallit. I must take The Young One clothes shopping this weekend (or he'll be the only naked freshman in school), so methinks I will look for a good bag. Without a logo.

  7. I´m not ashamed to admit, that I do have a very expensive taste, especially when talking about bags. I do know that the world is full of less expensive ones, but I´m stuck in my homeland and have no way or time to find them. I feel safe buying from a loyal SA of mine, who knows me. However, I only invest my money in bags, that very discretely reveal their label. I won´t buy anything trendy. Classic with some edge is for me. I only have a few bags, one for each season and something for special occasions.

  8. I'm going to divulge my top secret source for lovely bags in classic styles and colors with beautiful leather, made in Italy by people you've never heard of and nary a logo in sight.

    TJ Maxx.

    Not being a WASP – high or otherwise, I have no problem haunting places like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Stein Mart, Ross…you can find some great stuff and no one will ever know where you got it unless you tell them. (Or if you see them in there, in which case they can't look down on you.)

  9. OMG $3000 for a purse?! They are nice and pretty but not worth it to me. I won't be sporting any one of these or anything like them in my lifetime unless of course I run across one at a garage sale…lol! Yep, I am way too cheap.

  10. All I wanted for while we were in Spain was a gorgeous dark gray leather purse from Loewe. It was incredible. The epitome of perfect. Alas, a $1600 purse was (is) not in the budget. I'm still dreaming about it!

    1. @AEO,

      I love Loewe and purchased a 26cm Amazonia in Barcelona.
      In the past, I’ve been “privileged” ( as in we found another fool and his money) to have three bespoke Hermes bags made for me.
      I find the quality of the Loewe bag much finer, AND much better priced.

  11. Those are all bags I would be happy to own, classically lovely and at a price point I can afford. Not that I need a new bag, and oddly I no longer crave things just because they are beautiful. I own a Bottega Veneta bag; I could afford it when I had a corporate job, although I use it still, and it is in fine shape, that kind of luxury seems to be a bit of overkill now. I love that feeling of not missing a particular level of luxury, or of admiring its existence without feeling a need to possess same.

  12. I want to say "Thank You!" to your blog! I am from the South where my family, both paternal and maternal, still carry sleek patent leather clutches, monogrammed handkerchiefs, and wear pearl chokers. It is not just style but a way of life, and while I mix a bit of old and modern, it is comforting and familiar. Have a wonderful weekend!

  13. I'm with Twenty-Four: handbags and shoes…
    I would just like to feel the leather on a $3000 bag. Bet it's soft.

  14. sadly, the nicest bag I have owned has been a diaper bag.
    I would much rather have that Vintage bag…
    maybe you should do a bag give away…and I could win???

  15. Perhaps Bottega Veneta, Loro Piano, and Loewe's etc. ought to just have their bags on display at a petting zoo for us all? And seriously, a bag giveaway? My old Coach bag? Would someone want it? If yes, I probably should give it away to a nice home.

  16. tru fax- bottega veneta handbags provoke, in myself at least, a physical response which a physician might accurately liken to a panic attack (see also:- zagliana).

  17. Ah, would that I could say the same about $3,000 handbags, although I've not crossed that threshold (or even come close). Yet.

    J Crew is excellent for mid-range bags. I've also gotten more into some of the more fashiony lines lately (Botkier, Rebecca Minkoff), but those are likely outside the WASP comfort zone.

  18. The only 'designer' handbags I have ever lusted after have been by Mulberry. The Mulberry Bayswater is the bag I keep dreaming of. Until then I carry around an old tan leather overnight bag that was my Grandad's. It's so old that the leather has worn through to the lining in some places. I love it.

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