Haute Couture Vegan Handbags
I want to start off by saying, there are a number of lovely vegan handbags on the market. In fact, I plan to feature many of them on this blog. However, I also want to address the issue of high-end designer vegan bags.
If you’re a vegan with a passion for fashion, it is entirely likely that your two biggest challenges in going beyond dietary veganisim are shoes and handbags.
There are lovely vegan shoes and bags. No question. I love Olsen Haus, Stella McCartney and Matt &Nat. But it’s rare to find established high-end designers like Louis Vuitton, Hermes & the like manufacturing vegan handbags. I would love to buy vegan Louboutins or Monolos, but these designers aren’t even attempting to provide vegan products.
One designer seems to have made more of an effort than the others: in spring 2015, Givenchy took the historic step of offering its classic medium Antigona satchel in black vegan leather. It was a limited edition, and by the time I found out about it, the bag was no longer available for sale (I even went to eBay to see if I could find anyone selling it second-hand – but no luck). Still, I’m thrilled that at least one designer has made the effort to test the waters of vegan fashion.
According to most surveys, strict vegans comprise just 1% of the population, but the number is growing. Also, as consumers become more aware of the environmental damage caused by the leather industry, it is likely that many will seek out better alternatives.
Designers can either be ahead of this trend, or lag behind it. As a lark, I decided to check out what I could find at Louis Vuitton that was vegan. The lovely Trunkies Stole was about all I could find (that and a beach towel). So, if you are addicted to high-end fashion, you’ll pretty much be limited to Stella McCartney.
Since I haven’t been able to find the vegan Givenchy Antigona, I think I might get the Issey Miyake Bao Bao bag instead. I’ve had it on my mind for years, and I think it may be time to take the plunge. The Bao Bao is modern, geometric, vegan, and just plain cool.
I’m a little boring, so I still want to get my hands on a classic vegan bag, but I might have to wait a while to get one. Do you think Hermes will ever make a vegan Birkin?
By the way, if you want a vegan Givenchy handbag, send Saks a note and let them know you’d like them to bring it back! (And send a letter to all your other favourite designers, too!). Who knows. It’s all about demand. If there are enough vegans who want these companies to start making vegan shoes and bags, then they will. Don’t underestimate the power of your voice as a consumer!