Monday, July 13, 2009

Bags Are My Porn...

So I don't normally review or write about fashion in general. I don't consider myself very "up" on such things as revolving collections, new seasons' trends, or who the hot new designers are (other than what Project Runway tells me). So when I discovered Kooba all on my own in Fred Segal Fun earlier in the year, I didn't consider myself on the cutting edge of anything. Even when The Real Housewives' Bethenny Frankel complimented me on it and felt the leather with just the subtlest of glints of jealousy in her eye, I took it with a grain of salt. I purchased the bag because it was big enough to hold my oversized wallet, iPhone, bottle of water (though I would never dream of putting liquids anywhere near such a work of art!), notebook in which I write down lines of dialogue or scene inspirations as they creep up (yes, I'm a bit old-school), and even my dog's leash, should I feel compelled to bring it with me when he's not around. Plus, it was just the right shade of blue to catch the eye without requiring sunglasses.
When I first brought it with me to The Corporation, I had people coming over to my desk and complimenting me on it. I even had people come back, dragging other co-workers over to take a look. That alone was well worth the price tag (which, when you consider designer bags, was actually quite reasonable). Kooba is a local designer, and I felt good about "keeping it in the community," so to speak.

Recently, I saw the bags crop up on NYC Prep-- so much so that not only does Facebook have a "Which handbag are you?" quiz for the fans of said show, but Kooba also has a NYC Prep page, where you can easily locate the bags of spoiled rich kids Taylor, Kelli, and the cross-eyed ones. I have to admit: I have visited the Kooba website quite a number of times since purchasing my first bag. I have thought about what I could forego in order to purchase another (I could keep more lights off in my apartment, for example, and stop eating weekly lunches at Cheesecake Factory, but my other monthly shopping habits could not be altered even in the slightest). However, seeing the bags crop up on such a blemish in pop culture (of all shows! Why couldn't Bethenny or Jill Zarin show off the designer first??), my shoulders sagged just a little bit. I still love the aesthetics (coloring especially), but I feel just a little gross about sporting the bag for fear of getting the "That's a Kooba? Like Jessie carries on NYC Prep!?" squeal.

I know celebrities being photographed or filmed with their product is the dream for young designers, but I have to imagine that there is a ranking system as to just with whom they'd want their product shown. And I'd have to imagine that these teenagers-- however privileged they may be and however important their parents may be-- are on the bottom of that pyramid! However, being associated with Bravo reflects greatly on the brand. Now, I know they had some sort of product placement deal with the network, but I can only hope-- for their sake and my own-- that maybe they didn't know what show they would be creating a line for when they signed up. Otherwise, I have to consider it a bit of selling out, and that just makes me sad!

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