Bag a bargain! Hermès, Chanel and Louis Vuitton among 84 designer handbags up for online-only auction from 2pm TODAY

Louis Vuitton series sets off as America’s Cup drama begins

Birkin bags were inspired by English actress and singer Jane Birkin in the 1980s. In a chance encounter with the former Hermes CEO on an airplane, the celebrity suggested the design for a weekend bag, which paved the way for the consistently popular Birkin bag. The Kelly bag was named after Grace Kelly, who in 1956 had just become Princess of Monaco and was seen carrying the original leather ‘Sac a depeche’ to hide her pregnancy. Photographs of the young starlet were sent all over the world, leading to the bag being known as the Kelly. Originally designed in 1935 the shape is a classic form which has gained worldwide acclaim. Actress Jane Birkin circa 1967 (left) and Coco Chanel (right) Chanel Chanel, ever practical, introduced a handbag suspended from thin straps in 1929, as an alternative to the clutch – freeing up the busy woman-about-towns hands for other things. When she returned from retirement in 1954, Chanel decided to update her handbag even further and called the bag 2.55 after the date of creation, February 1955. The 2.55 remains the most popular bag today, both vintage and new. In fact, Chanel released an exact copy of the original 2.55 in February 2005 to commemorate the bags 50th birthday.

Top seller: Lot 33, the 2011 35cm amethyst matte crocodile Birkin bag has a whopping final sale estimate of up to £28,000

David Sadigh, Founder & CEO of Digital Luxury Group,said Louis Vuittons weak first quarter had a lot to do with China being over-sold the brand. Brands from different segments ranging from Chanel to Coach or Burberry are continuing to grow. The Chinese market is still developing. In order to stay ahead of the game, brands must have the ability to adapt (and) reduce the risk of brand saturation. In the case of Louis Vuitton, LVMH has already shifted gears, putting the brakes on its global expansion, while raising prices and developing more leather webpage upmarket products, he said.

Sorry Louis Vuitton, China’s No Longer Into You

When races kick off for the eighth regatta in San Francisco this July, it will be the 30th year the luxury conglomerate has sponsored the challenger series. Louis Vuitton, whose other involvement in sport is sponsoring a vintage car race between Monte Carlo and Venice, has reaped obvious rewards in the past 30years from naming rights and international press coverage to using the event in the 1990s to experiment with live web coverage. It has also developed a lineof products specifically for the Cup, including hats, ties, towels, shoes and bags.As the Cups official timekeeper thisyearLouis Vuitton also uses the racetointroduce consumers to new watchdesigns. As teams battle it out for the 34th Americas Cup trophy, the focus is more likely to be on the design of the boats. For the first time the regatta will feature AC72s multihulls with rigid wing sails instead of soft sails, and hydrofoils that lift the boat out of the water at speeds of up to 45 knots (known as foiling). The Louis Vuitton Cup will serve as a crucial rehearsal for all teams sailing these catamarans. The boats are always with the times, says Louis Vuittons corporate events director, Christine Belanger, who says the relationship with the luxury maison has been good for both parties involved as they share much in common. Louis Vuitton is often unexpected and I think the Cup is also sometimes unexpected, she says in her thick French drawl.

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