UK Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

July 03, 2016

Designer Handbag Collection: Vintage Loewe Bags

one little vice handbag blog

I thought I would start working on a series of posts showcasing my designer handbag collection. I've recently become really interested in reading blog posts and watching YouTube videos about the handbags that people own and carry, and I thought that there would certainly be some fellow handbag enthusiasts who might enjoy a look inside my wardrobe. 

I don't have what you might consider a "typical" handbag collection. I'm not really interested in buying brand new designer handbags and the reason for this is two-fold. Firstly, I don't currently have the disposable income to spend £1,800 - or even more in the case of some designers - on a bag, especially on "trendy" seasonal styles that will most likely depreciate in value the moment that you cut the tags off to wear them. Secondly, I quite enjoy scouting the pre-loved market for good deals. I like to look for handbags that I think will appreciate in value, or that are interesting or unique in some way.

 I enjoy carrying different bags every day, and everything that I own for personal use gets carried fairly regularly, apart from a  couple of special pieces which I save for more important occasions. I'm also pretty ruthless about selling anything that doesn't get used and replacing these bags with better investments. 

Today I'm kicking off the blog series by talking about my two vintage Loewe bags - and I hope you enjoy learning a little bit more about them. It might even inspire some of you to consider vintage or pre-loved Loewe bags the next time you decide to invest in a designer piece.

one little vice handbag blog: designer handbag collection

Vintage Loewe Clutch Bag (from the 2000s)
same model of bag recently sold for £195

This was the first designer bag that I ever bought for myself, and it was what fuelled my first real interest in fashion and designer brands. I bought this Loewe clutch from an ex fashion editor of a magazine, who, as you can imagine, was sent more designer bags than she could ever possibly wear. She had kept it in immaculate condition (probably because she never wore it) and I bought it with its original dust bag. I fell in love with the bag's thick, textured leather and the statement closure mechanism on the front. It definitely has a vintage look to it, but its simple and elegant design made this a great choice for me. I wanted something classic and functional and I don't think that the rectangular shape of the clutch will go out of style. The only thing I do worry about with this bag is damaging the beautiful unlined interior - which is one of my favourite features of the bag. However, I have one simple trick to keeping designer bags looking like new, which you can read about in my blog post.

onelittlevice handbag blog: designer bag collection

There are a couple of gripes that I have with this bag. Although it's about 30cm in length (which is fairly typical of a standard clutch bag) because it has a structured shape (with no give) it doesn't really hold very much - and if you try to overfill the bag then it really loses its shape. Additionally, although the closure mechanism looks great it does make it difficult to open and close the bag. In fact, I pretty much dread having to open and close it as I'm pretty worried about damaging the leather. However, as the purchase of this clutch was an important "milestone" in my life - especially as it directly led me into the job I do now - I don't think I could ever part with this bag. For all the little annoyances it might cause, this was what made me fall in love with designer leather goods. I'd never experienced such beautiful quality in a bag, and to this day Loewe is still my favourite when it comes to handbag design.

one little vice handbag blog: designer bag collection

Vintage Loewe Nappa Leather Shoulder Bag (pre-Flamenco design)
same model of bag recently sold for £150

This was actually the third Loewe bag that I bought for myself (I told you that I liked the brand!), as I haven't listed my Loewe Flamenco 36 bag in this post (as it isn't quite what I'd consider to be 'vintage'). I wrote a whole blog post about Loewe's Flamenco bags so I won't go into them in too much detail here, but from the vintage Loewe bags that I've come across you can clearly track a slow build up in their handbag designs which all work towards the Flamenco shape. This means that Loewe released a series of similar almost Flamenco bags preceding the iconic design's launch in 2010. I'm not exactly sure when my vintage Loewe Shoulder Bag originates from, but it's boxy shape is unmistakebly reminiscent of Loewe's Flamenco design. It lacks some of the flashy hardware and the tassels, but the essence of the bag is clear - it's functional but unstructured, and lies somewhere between the Flamenco 22 and 30 sizes.

If anything, I like how understated this vintage bag is - it represents all of Loewe's high quality workmanship without as much of the fussiness of the Flamenco tassel bags. I find myself getting a lot more use out of this bag than my Loewe Flamenco 36, mainly because I worry about damaging this vintage equivalent much less. Although the quality of the leather is incredible - honestly, Nappa leather is unbelievably soft and smooth - this sort of bag is even more affordable than pre-loved Flamenco bags. I don't want to state exactly how much I spent on my two Loewe bags, but I've included representative prices of how much you might expect to pay if you wanted to buy either of them (in a similar condition to mine) on the pre-loved market. If you've never felt Loewe's Nappa leather before then you'll be amazed by the sumptuous quality. I really would highly recommend Loewe's bags as I think they offer unbeatable quality at their price point.

What do you think of my two vintage Loewe bags?
What are your thoughts on buying pre-loved designer handbags?

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