Thursday, June 27, 2013

Bag Lady

Today, I read this article on Coach, who would like to remake themselves by offering a variety of products (specifically bags) ranging from low to high end. I've never really understood marketing strategy, and usually buy things that are sturdy, or have cartoon kitty cats on them. 
A chocolate bar with a cat on it!
Neatness was always more important than personal ‘flair,’ and probably to the dismay of many, find handbag shopping to be especially grating (on par with finding the right brand of toothpaste). Handbags, if you didn't know, are actually the vehicles for getting water and candy into movie theaters. They offer an acceptable location for credit cards, keys, and chapstick when your pockets are considered nonfunctional decorative

I’m a self-sufficient woman with needs. I get hungry, tired, food in my teeth, and bored while traversing the grocery store-club-work-airports. It’s not enough to skip through places like I did as a kid, especially when money exchange is necessary. A bag to carry everything reminds me of either being a grownup or being mortal, regardless of price. Why does a bag matter? I own half a dozen bags (or pocketbooks if you're from southern Virginia), and 100 plastic bags from various grocery stores, which also serve useful purposes. 

"Mine," said Zoe.
Let's talk about brand name. Sometimes a brand represents quality or another esoteric quality, like ethics. Evidently, the Gap was one of two apparel companies who received the Most Ethical Companies award in 2013. I’m all for pro choice consumerism, but if there was a Venn diagram of ethics, quality, and function, there’d be only a few options left. Let’s be honest, a bag is a bag. In spite of the economy's best efforts to drag us all down, there are some great options to store all your portable shit under $50 which don’t need to be divided by work/play/corresponding outfit categories.

I’m not in the appropriate social circle to declare that a specific brand matters beyond those criteria, and I’m not opposed to choosing a bag (or brand) based on what a person likes. I hope Coach turns luxe the way Amazon is gold standard for online shopping: good quality, what people want, and bigger picture considerations. My hopes are rarely good for a bottom line, and I suspect Coach with advertise its company as a high-end business, where its goods are only affordable to the rich. I don’t blame them. Sales don’t lie on who wants to buy a specific bag type.

As a side note, Mary Poppins’ bag was probably the coolest thing to happen to bags. I don’t need a hat stand or a potted plant, but who hasn't wished for an extra pair of shoes or a tape measure? I've carried both in my bag for work, and used them.