mercredi 8 août 2012

Why I don't like the Longchamp Le Pliage handbag

Pourquoi je n'aime pas trop les sacs à main Longchamp le pliage...

Sac Longchamp Le pliage - Noël 2011 - Bonhomme de neige (€235)

Sac Longchamp Le pliage - Noël 2011 -
Manège enchanté (€290)
This is a post that's been in my head for months, no, years... Ever since I moved to France I started to notice that almost every woman between the age of 15-65 seems to have one of these bags! ARGH. Not just in France, but all over Europe and I'm sure in Australia and the USA too.

You know those people that succumb to peer pressure and buy something because all their friends have one or because the media says you have to have one? Well I am the total opposite of this! When everybody has something it makes me want the item LESS, not more. Call me strange but that's just the way it is. Why wouldn't you want something rare, special and unique rather than something that the whole world has?

So, first things first... Longchamp translated literally means 'long field' and 'pliage' actually means 'folding' in French, so 'Le Pliage' means 'the folding' or rather, 'the folding bag' as bag is implied.

Longchamp designed an ingenious way to fold the handbag into a neat little pocket (with only the leather handles sticking out), a design that's been copied over and over again by other bag manufacturers. I even saw a copy in Migros (a supermarket!)

There are a few reasons I don't like this bag:

  1. Everybody has one and I don't want to be like everyone.
  2. It's way overpriced for what it is, especially since they are now made in China and Tunisia where labour is cheaper. Of course it's saving a lot of money for them, but does it save us (the customers) money? Nooooooo.
  3. There are no compartments inside. You need something like a Tintamar (another French invention that's been overcopied) to organise the inside of your bag. But even worse than that, there are no zippered compartments or pockets outside.
  4. The short handles look cuter but are an absolute PITA when you need to be hands free (if you have a child, if you are on a bus, if you are just busy, etc). Meanwhile the long handles are more user-friendly but on the smaller-sized bags just look plain weird.
  5. Sure the handles and the flap is leather but the rest of the bag is just nylon. Why people pay so much for a nylon bag is beyond me.

I do confess, however, that during a moment of weakness, I almost succumbed to this invisible peer pressure (I say invisible because only one of my female friends owns one of these bags)... I was doing some research and wanted to get one of the adorable limited edition Longchamp Le pliage Christmas 2011 editions.... (and now you realise how belated this post is... oops!)

(pics above)

As you can see, they are pretty cute but when I realised:
  1. They cost way over 300 Australian or US dollars and only the handle and flap is leather.
  2. They are pretty tiny (21x21cm with a 14cm wide base), way too small for me.
  3. The handles are way too short and it's impossible to get anything in/out of the bag if both handles are hanging on your arm.
  4. The fabrics and trims are way too delicate and not really suitable for every day use (IMHO) and would get worn and dirty easily, making your new and beautiful bag be not so new and beautiful.

I decided not to get one.

I'll stick to my trusty Lancaster handbag that I got in a nice handbag boutique in Nantes for only around 60€ which has plenty of pockets both inside and out, and after almost 2 years it still looks brand new! AND it has leather handles too (which are much better quality and are not 'hollow'). I often bring an SLR camera in it and it's strong enough for that too. Not a single seam, stud, etc has popped. Plus the fabric is waterproof and much more hardwearing than Longchamp's nylon. I've noticed, too, that they have an updated, similar design n the stores. However, there are some cost cutting aspects in the design (that's another rant for another day how in the world of fashion you keep on getting less and less and paying more and more).

Over Christmas I was on a plane leaving from London. I was travelling by myself as was the girl sitting next to me. I wanted to buy something from the duty free catalogue and so did she. I asked her what she was getting and she told me the Longchamp Pliage. I was a bit confused because she already had one on her, even in the exact same size and style! so I asked her why she was getting a second one (thinking maybe it was for a gift) and she said she wanted it in a different colour! Ha!

Meanwhile, on another flight to/from Asia, I noticed in the duty free catalogue (different airline) that there was also a Longchamp Pliage bag but this was an exclusive "inflight duty free" only design (and only onboard flights going to/from Asia)... oohhhh... the exclusivity. I must admit I was tempted to get it just for bragging rights but again, I did not succumb. Too small. Short handles. Don't want to be a lemming. Pass!

If you insist on getting a Pliage, get it in France, or elsewhere in Europe. Much cheaper than in other countries. And it's not like they are hard to find, sold in practically every department store or handbag store in their myriad of colours.


Unknown a dit…

Like this one, I now want to buy a Handbag,Longchamp Travel Bag liked, but I do not know that a goodpick ,you help to the point.

Unknown a dit…

i love le pliage and in australia you hardley see them.they are useful and can be washed fold so easy to 70 im not influanced by peers in fact non of my friends have any idea what they are.and i bought mine on ebay brand new 60.00 small.95.00 large.They are eorth every penny so handy and light.

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