When I first noticed the Vanessa Bruno tote, it was not because I had a great love of fashion, but because it was literally everywhere. It would have been hard to miss it. The following season there was a scarf that had a similar following (knit with thin, bright-colored stripes on a dark grey background) and there have since been many more fashion fads.
Last month I saw a new fad emerging. It is a lovely, duo-toned leather tote, with a gold zipper that runs horizontally, about 2/3s down the bag and has two rather large, leather tassels. The faux-leather is often brightly colored in green, salmon or yellow jewels tones, sometimes balanced with a sedate beige and it is occasionally stamped with a faux animal print, imitating croc or snake skin.
The first time I saw this bag I was on the rue de Babylone, just steps from my very first fashion fad spotting, so perhaps it was the universe telling me something. I doubt it. The bag I spotted was in a gorgeous green that really caught my eye. I thought it was a very expensive designer bag. But, I was seeing it everywhere and on everyone of all ages, which is usually a sign that it is reasonably affordable. Then I started seeing it in shop windows, and sure enough, at 69€, the bag is several generations removed from a runway budget. At that price, it is clearly not leather and I wanted to know more. After visiting three or four shops and getting no answers, helpful sales girl reluctantly informed me that the bags are a crafty restyling (therefore legal) of a very expensive and very popular Celine bag.
Now, I know the argument, who wants fake, when you can have the real deal? Clearly the hundreds of parisennes I see toting this tote. Because, you see, as much as they love fashion parisiennes are a pragmatic lot and unless they are fabulously wealthy, they are not likely to invest in a luxurious, yet trendy, leather bag that they’d then be traipsing through a sandy beach and it likely to be a has been within the next 3 years. A faux-leather, not-quite-fake bag is good enough for a passing summer fancy.
I bet that you are all dying to know where you can get yours. I see them everywhere, but at this address near the Bon Marché they have the faux version, as well as more expensive ones in leather and a very helpful young sales lady who was willing to tell the truth. Happy shopping!