Big brands have name appeal, but independent handbag designers offer originality and, often, superior design and craftsmanship.
Every woman wants a Gucci, Prada, Bottega Veneta, or some other well-known luxury leather handbag. But a well-rounded collection should include at least one handbag from an independent designer.
Spending a small fortune on a handbag only to notice women everywhere carrying the exact same bag is a bummer. A high price tag is supposed to bring exclusivity. Somehow, it doesn't. Women everywhere are wearing your shoes, your dress, and carrying your handbag.
Unfortunately, looking unique is rare in this rapidly gentrifying world. That's mostly because women (and men) buy their clothes and accessories from the same stores. They're being targeted by the same fashion ads and by influencers pushing the same brand names, which drives consumers to make the same mainstream purchases. Meanwhile, big fashion companies are producing designs that appeal to the widest customer base possible.
The result is fashion homogeneity and millions of people who look "basic."
It doesn't have to be this way. Small labels and independent designers offer an antidote to all the sameness by producing original designs in fewer numbers. That, obviously, means fewer people have a chance to own that unique pair of shoes, scarf, or handcrafted bag.
Going "indie" doesn't mean you have to completely rebel against what's trending. You can combine original and mainstream fashion in creative ways for a dynamic look. The result is a kind of fashion conversation where you're contributing to fashion, rather than submitting to it. That conveys confidence and says more about you than any trending brand you might be wearing.
Some big brands that produce "fast fashion" use all kinds of low quality materials, cheaply produced, that are made to last no longer than a season. Low cost materials will very quickly become pollutants. Our planet has enough to worry about already without millions of extra pounds of discarded handbags.
Since small labels can't compete on name recognition, they often compete by offering higher quality materials that last longer. Nantív, for example, works only with the very softest leather from top-rated tanneries that adhere to environmentally sustainable practices. That means humanely-raised cattle and minimizing waste and water consumption.
Speaking of quality, here's what to look for in a handbag: clean lines, straight stitches, softness, and color. Don’t forget to smell a brand new handbag. A genuine leather handbag speaks to more than one sense. It should impress your hands and nose, as well as your eyes.
Those details indicate that a company has quality standards in place and that the handbag is not just beautiful, but also durable. That means you've made a good investment. Remember, demand for certain bags often skyrockets years or decades later based on cultural changes, celebrity influence, and after a small brand becomes a big one. Quality craftsmanship means you can sell, or flaunt, your vintage handbag years later.
What are you actually getting when you spend $3.000 on a brand name handbag? How much of that price is for the design work and materials? How much is simply markup for the "privilege" of wearing a logo?
As we already mentioned, small labels often use materials that are just as good, or better, than those used by big brands. They also, very often, use the same craftsmen. Nantív bags, for example, are handcrafted in Florence, Italy by the same people who produce big-name handbags for women. So, we can tell you firsthand that much of the purchase price for brand-name luxury bags is purely markup.
A great handbag should always have a compelling origin story. Where was it made? Who designed it? How, and why, did the designer get involved with handbags? What are their values?
Indie brands are often born of romantic principles and values. Today, more than ever, with the consolidation of so many industries, it takes guts and an unshakable belief in one's creation to bring a product to market and find a sustainable customer base.
When you purchase a handbag from a small brand, you're investing in that passion and supporting fashion diversity.
At Nantív, we strive to create bags that surpass traditional brands in quality and innovation. Every bag is designed and handcrafted to transcend the norm and last a lifetime.
Our VITA, EVE, VINT, and TIV handbags are handcrafted by the best Italian artisans, using the softest leather and highest quality hardware. They’re beautiful, functional, and are a great investment. Most importantly, each one is born out of our passion and principles.
And we're never basic.
Love and flow,