More than a century of handbag history unfolds here, decade by decade and lavishly illustrated. From the very first decorative evening purses in 1910 follow a parade of collectible bags from such names as Schiaparelli, Hermès, Fendi, Chanel, Vuitton, Gucci, and Prada. But you’ll also see the emergence of classic brands like Coach; of everyday fashion trends, like the shoulder bag; and of design upheavals like the 1960s “youthquake.”
Archival illustrations and photography by the most lauded fashion photographers of the time capture the spirit of each decade while original photographs of designer bags show the details to look for when buying. A shopping guide offers pointers on sourcing and caring for vintage pieces. Anya Hindmarch, the British designer known for her bow-label bags sold in such stores as Saks, Barneys, Fred Segal, as well as in her boutiques in New York and LA, provides an enlightening introduction.