Welcome to the Biker, Gothic, Baroque, Street Jewelry Blog, the first of its kind.

We scour the globe for the edgiest designers and artists for sterling silver jewelry - biker jewelry, gothic, baroque, skull rings, metal & leather works. The realist jewelry is often highly intricate; custom; handcrafted; imaginative; and beautifully created pieces of wearable art made in sterling silver and other precious metals. Established in 2008, Los Angeles. Instagram @excessive21.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Handbag Deception

Luxury label handbags are getting out of hand, especially in Asia where every other person, including grandma and grandpa, owns at least one designer purse/bag/wallet. Since when did it become fashionable to pay $1500 for a handbag made of canvas or plastic, more likely polyvinyl chloride, or PVC? And nylon...luxury parachute fabric! PVC is cheaper than leather, rubber and latex, so it is more widely available and sold. PVC is actually bad for your health and the environment!

If you are a connoisseur of luxury handbags (but only of the department store, shopping mall and big advertising variety), it is very likely that your MADE OF PLASTIC bag is not made by little old Italian men and women, wearing aprons and eyeglasses, in the hills over some small town in Italy. The "Made in Italy" label on Prada and Gucci merchandise does not mean what is used to.

What we thought all along here at Skull N Roses...many (and we mean many) designer handbags are made by the Chinese. What our readers may not know from following our blog is that Skull N Roses is also in the leather handbag business...an extremely competitive area of fashion. Yes...we've been to Guangzhou, China, and we have seen the long streets filled with the replica merchandise of big players such as Chanel, Hermes, Gucci, Prada, Balenciaga, Coach, Chloe, and Louis Vuitton. For a long time, we thought to ourselves that there must be indeed a handbag connection between Italy and China. You may also think this...but only after you've been to China for handbags or sometime after your initial encounter with a AAA+ quality knock-off or designer-inspired handbag.

How are these handbag-crafting techniques passed along and how do they reach Asia? The first clue is OEM factories, where designers outsource production, usually to a third-world country for cheap labor. The factories have their own crafting abilities and are further instructed on how to make the goods, while tight quality control ensures satisfactory results.

Secondly, there are large Chinese-owned factories located worldwide. Why go to China to produce your goods, when there's a Chinese factory in your backyard? This makes things even easier for luxury brand companies...because it's not all that easy to do business in China. A business person must be familiar with the culture, customs and business ethics in China. Gifts, bribes, and even paying for expensive executive, all-night drinking and womanizing sessions are sometimes part of the bitter reality.

You ask..."How can all of these bags be made in China?" The answer to that question is that not all handbags are made in China, but many are in fact made by Chinese factories that can be located anywhere in the world. So your Prada bag is still made by the Chinese in a Chinese factory...but in Italy! What's the point of all of this? Your reasons for purchasing fashion should be based on design, craftsmanship and quality...not just a name and where it's made. And, yes, we do sell handbags made in Italy, but made by the Chinese.