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Minaudière Perdu Edition

10CRITICAL1-articleLargeThis week's Critical Shopper, Alexandra Jacobs, begins her assessment of the new Anya Hindmarch flagship on Madison Avenue with a confusing story that ultimately results in the loss of a vintage Oleg Cassini handbag she had planned to wear with a prized, vintage Halston dress. Apparently, the Universe has some way of ensuring that rival designers' wares are never worn together (so, no mixing Armani and Versace then?). Replacing it leads her to Ms. Hindmarch's newly relocated and expanded shop, where the selection of elegant and cleverly configured leathergoods do not make that much of an impression until a visit to the second floor where Hindmarch has set up a full-service customization workshop offering instant gratification for shoppers who want their new items monogrammed or otherwise personalized (and, possibly a very good way to entertain bored children who inevitably will get dragged along on a shopping trip at some point).. This sounds to us like a brilliant selling point for Ms. Hindmarch's shop, but in what seems like a stroke of low self esteem, our shopper decides to opt-out of making her own bag even more her own,

I couldn’t help feeling that paying to impress my own chicken scratch on a nice piece of cowhide would be not only egotistic but morally wrong, like spray-painting graffiti on one of the new eco-omnibuses heaving up Madison Avenue. I get that Ms. Hindmarch, whose own logo is receding enough to be confused with the American Cancer Society’s pink ribbon, is making a vigorous anti-branding statement, empowering her customers to honor their own special identities, to take their emotional baggage and make ... bags.

Since when were expensive handbags meant to be some sort of mark of humility? Better they should sport your own initials instead of someone else's.

Critical Shopper: The Handwriting Is on the Purse By Alexandra Jacobs (NYTimes)
Anya Hindmarch 795 Madison Avenue beween 67th & 68th Streets, Upper East Side


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