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.
Never miss a local story.
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.