Bag a bargain! Hermès, Chanel and Louis Vuitton among 84 designer handbags up for online-only auction from 2pm TODAY

LVMH Lipstick Growing Bigger Than Bags as Vuitton Slows: Retail

‘Exquisite quality is at the heart of Hermes handbags and this sale offers the creme de la creme of Hermes designs with a number of timeless pieces and rare exotic leathers. ‘The online-only format of this sale follows hot on the heels of our successful Vintage Couture: Handbags, Luggage and Accessories sale in April this year. ‘This sale which runs for 10 days provides another extended opportunity for buyers around the world to purchase handbags and accessories by some of the greatest designers of all time.’ Handbag history: A lesson Hermes Kelly and Birkin bags continue to be highly sought-after and have become increasingly popular since they were first designed. Birkin bags were inspired by English actress and singer Jane Birkin in the 1980s. In a chance encounter with the former Hermes CEO on an airplane, the celebrity suggested the design for a weekend bag, which paved the way for the consistently popular Birkin bag. The Kelly bag was named after Grace Kelly, who in 1956 had just become Princess of Monaco and was seen carrying the original leather ‘Sac a depeche’ to hide her pregnancy. Photographs of the young starlet were sent all over the world, leading to the bag being known as the Kelly. Originally designed in 1935 the shape is a classic form which Olympe Louis Vuitton has gained worldwide acclaim. Actress Jane Birkin circa 1967 (left) and Coco Chanel (right) Chanel Chanel, ever practical, introduced a handbag suspended from thin straps in 1929, as an alternative to the clutch – freeing up the busy woman-about-towns hands for other things. When she returned from retirement in 1954, Chanel decided to update her handbag even further and called the bag 2.55 after the date of creation, February 1955. The 2.55 remains the most popular bag today, both vintage and new. In fact, Chanel released an exact copy of the original 2.55 in February 2005 to commemorate the bags 50th birthday.

Julie de Libran: Louis Vuitton’s secret weapon

‘Maybe, but it was a big culture shock,’ says de Libran. First they moved to New York – ‘too cold for my mother’ – then to San Francisco – ‘too rainy and windy’ – and finally to San Diego: ‘That was just like the South of France, with olive trees, so we stayed.’ Julie de Libran, aged seven But Southern California turned out to be a less than fashionable destination. ‘It was just beachwear,’ says de Libran. ‘I could never find anything I liked. So my mother, who had always worn YSL, Sonia Rykiel and then Chanel, would take me to fabric shops and I’d design what I wanted and have it made up for all those parties, proms and things.’ Her father, seeing the signs, enrolled her in fashion school, at the Marangoni in Milan. ‘Milan was difficult at the beginning, especially the weather, but I loved the Italians.

Top seller: Lot 33, the 2011 35cm amethyst matte crocodile Birkin bag has a whopping final sale estimate of up to £28,000

Happily for Vuittons owner, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA (MC), Le Sassier is crazy about the 13.90-euro ($18) foundation sold by Sephora, the companys fast-growing fragrance and cosmetics retailer. I love their makeup, she said. And its reasonably priced. With Vuittons sales growth slowing from Barcelona to Beijing, catering to beauty buyers like Le Sassier is getting more important for LVMH. As shoppers curb spending on $940 Neverfull bags while splurging on $31 Dior Addict lipsticks, Sephora will help LVMHs Selective Retailing unit overtake fashion and leather goods as its biggest business by 2018, Sanford Bernstein estimates. That leaves LVMH better placed than rivals such as PPR SA to weather stagnating luxury demand. Sephora is a category killer, said Sanford Bernstein analyst Mario Ortelli. Investors concerned that sales of the Vuitton brand will keep fading are overcautious about LVMH. The owner of more than 60 brands — from Dom Perignon champagne to Bulgari jewelry — LVMH in April reported its weakest fashion and leather goods sales in more than three years. Its shares rose 0.1 percent to 136.8 euros at 2:25 p.m. in Paris, trimming this years drop to 1.4 percent, versus 19 percent advances for both PPR and Cie.

Vuitton Tones Down for Russian Tastes Aside From Prices

Louis Vuitton Autumn/Winter 2013 | Source: Associated Press MOSCOW, Russia When the Soviet Union collapsed 22 years ago, Russian women quickly cast off dowdy proletarian garb in favor of glitz such as ultra-tight sequined dresses and towering heels. Mira Duma is having none of it. Stuff with big and bright logos would be the last thing I buy and wear, said Duma, a 28-year-old style maven and former editor of the local edition of Harpers Bazaar magazine. Today, its absolutely vulgar in fashion to scream. Duma, the daughter of former Russian lawmaker Vasily Duma, is emblematic of a new generation of Russians for whom the meaning of high fashion has shifted from flashy and expensive to understated and even more expensive. As their tastes change, sales of $10,000 Hermeshandbags and $5,000 Chanel dresses are accelerating in the former communist country, spurring brands such as Prada and Louis Vuitton to open more stores there. Distribution is widening outside of Moscow and St. Petersburg as well as online as Russias middle class grows, researcher Planet Retail reports.

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