The handbag that came... and went
by Sofia Katarina Eriksson on Feb 22, 2022
A series of 5 articles. Part 4 of 5.
If you're interested in fashion history or read my previous articles, you may know that a lot of fashion that we know today, started in some way with men. And yes, the handbag was in fact from the beginning used by men long before it became a fashionable item in the woman's wardrobe.
In 1841, entrepreneur Samuel Parkinson realized the problem of his wife’s purse being way too small and not at all durable. While ordering a set of traveling trunks and cases for him and his wife, he also ordered handbags in a variation of sizes for his wife. He requested them to be made in the same fine leather as his own bags for them to be as durable and suit her every need and occasion. This is the first envisioned idea of the modern handbag that then got adapted by the company H.J Cave after being in contact with Parkinson, resulting in the first luxury line of handbags. Mrs. Parkinson owned the very first luxury handbag, kind of cool to think about! These designs later inspired Louis Vuitton and Guccio Gucci’s iconic designs.
With the industrial revolution in the 19th century and the large increase of traveling with trains, luggage makers began to create purses for women to use while traveling. H.J Cave was ahead of their time, since people still thought that women shouldn't be carrying such a big purse. In 1865 the production changed from creating modern purses to everyone - to only making them for royalty, celebrities and the wealthy.
Persheng, CEO and founder of BY BANOO had the same problem as Parkinson’s wife. She couldn't find a work bag for women that was both fashionable and practical. She talked to colleagues and they had the same problem, so she took the matter into her own hands and that's how the Signature briefcase was made. A fun coincidence showing that the same problems Mrs. Parkinson's had, is a problem we still have today. Our bags are made in high quality leather, durable and practical. I think she’d like them ;)
Things like this may feel so obvious to us - like pockets on jeans or a laptop bag designed for women, but it's not. With my degree in fashion I've studied fashion history a lot, and to me it's so interesting seeing old problems and ways that have affected fashion in such ways.
Do you know any other problems women had, turned into a great entrepreneurial idea that made an impact on fashion or other areas of your life? Let’s discuss in the comments!
xx Sofia Katarina
Image source: Image 1