$799, $849, $949, $999... believe it or not, these are all discounted prices for Stella McCartney handbags. Most of McCartney's bags actually retail upwards of the $1,000 mark. While this is expensive, it's not unheard of for handbags these days. Louis Vuitton bags cost around $1,000. Victoria Beckham sells a bag for $14,000. Hermes even has one of its highly coveted Birkin bags selling for $150,000. Within the luxury market, prices run the gamut and Stella McCartney's collection seems like it's on the bargain side of the spectrum. That is, of course, until one detail is mentioned... Stella McCartney bags are made of pvc (plastic)... no leather is ever used. Whereas other notable designers can say their bags are "crafted from the best leathers in the world that last a lifetime" (I won't judge whether that's actually true), all McCartney can say is she hasn't harmed any animals in the process.
McCartney is a PETA supporter- I get it. I appreciate that she makes fashionable products for the animal lovers and veganites among us, but I can't appreciate the pricing of her bags.
On what planet is it ethical to charge $1,000 for a plastic bag?
How does she justify the pricing? It's all in the name, of course! Because she is the daughter of former Beatle Paul McCartney, she can slap her name on virtually anything and people will buy it. Why? Because the media has brand-name brainwashed so many of us to believe that celebrity names are synonymous with quality. (Remember my post on JLO for Kohls). Every time I see celebrity collections an internal alarm goes off: wake-up! wake-up! Look for quality materials and great craftsmanship, Helene! Don't simply assume superior quality is inherent because of the name.
Soooo, if after this entire spiel you still decide to buy one of these bags, what exactly are you paying for?
- A fancy name on your label: Stella McCartney is the daughter of Paul McCartney (former Beatles member)
- Disposable fashion/ the anti-investment piece: If you buy one pleather bag every 3-5 months because it breaks and ends up in the landfill, it's far worse for the environment than buying a new leather bag every 3-5 years.
- Stella's good-life: By supporting her over-priced bags, you are helping her to afford mansions, catered meals, a trust fund for her great-great-grand kids and many luxe vacations. Stella is laughing all the way to the bank!
At this point, you're probably over Stella McCartney. If you're still in search of vegan bags, PETA actually lists ethical fashion companies on its website. Matt and Nat, one of the most common vegan bag brands made the list, but I still find their goods a bit pricey. I recommend you lookout for a brand called Urban Expressions. UE makes on-trend, affordable bags that can be found at many stores including Daffy's, DSW and Century21 (in NYC).
What are your thoughts on the Stella McCartney handbag collection? Or luxury handbags in general? Leave your comments below