When the Michael Kors store opened in 2011 at the Tanger 1 Outlet Center in Bluffton, I began to notice what seemed like a marked shift in the brand of purse that women and teens who live in this area started carrying. It went from Coach or Vera Bradley to — obviously, because what else am I talking about here? — Michael Kors.
I’m sure part of this was just a reflection of a shift in trend nationally, but it did have a small-town element to it. Tanger had just upped its game with a complete tear-down/rebuild and a new crop of more relevant stores, so naturally we all flocked there like this was “Little House on the Prairie” and we’d just heard tell that Oleson’s Mercantile got a new bolt of fabric.
(Who wore it best? Nellie wore it best.)
The Michael Kors trend continues. I’m not a market analyst, but I would say the purse game in Beaufort County goes something like this: Michael Kors, then Kate Spade, with Spartina 449 coming in hot and Marc by Marc Jacobs (RIP) mixed in here and there.
And here’s the thing about Michael Kors that not enough people seem to talk about (at least not enough for my liking). Its Hampton line of bags (which I have in East-West black and a lot of women locally also have) resembles an Hermes Birkin bag, that exclusive $10,000-plus, waiting-list-only purse that serves as an Upper East Side hiney sniff for women who need to know your pedigree before they’ll talk to you.
The design — with its “What! I’m not copying a Birkin! My my, the accusations!” variations — gives you the same silhouette as a Birkin would. The same tidy rectangle with primly looped handles. With a quick glance, it might just fool people.
It reminds me of when Reed Krakoff rocked Coach’s world with his “C-print” design 10 years ago. It looked too much like a Gucci knock-off for me to accept it into my purse family. But I went for this Michael Kors bag.
When we invest in a designer purse, we’re choosing a certain look that is particular to a brand. The MK looked like an MK purse but also kind of familiar to me. I couldn’t place it at first. Now I can place it. So now I’m wondering if it’s a “Michael Kors purse” or a “fake Birkin.” The answer doesn’t matter, but sometimes I like to think about things like this. By the way, tell me if you think I’m wrong about the Beaufort County purse order. I want to hear what you think.
By the way, tell me if you think I'm wrong about the Beaufort County purse order. I want to hear what you think.-Liz Farrell