Honest question: What is inherently “teenager” about plaid? I understand that statement when specifically aimed at some of the other Dooney & Bourke patterns, such as bumble bees or candy, but I don’t understand how anyone with Internet access to DB’s Web site can come to such an over-generalized conclusion. Not to mention that plaid is as old as Tiffany’s and Coco Channel. (Or is that the problem — the people posting with all this authority on the subject are too young to remember that era in fashion?)
I’ve visited a lot of blogs on handbags, and the only thing that screams teenager to me are some of the moderator’s posts. They start off with some sort of slam, and not surprisingly everybody jumps on the bandwagon to say “It’s fugly!” It’s not rocket science why there are few people posting to say anything different. Who wants to have their head bitten off by a bunch of DB haters? So they just don’t post. But the truth is, they’re still buying. DB hasn’t filed for bankruptcy yet — although it would seem that some of you are trying. Whatever happened to the idea that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all?
I’m not saying that DB has the best designs. I don’t care for everything they make, either. I think DB has suffered harm to its reputation by trying to become all things to all people. The result is that the teenagers are saying “DB is for women as old as my mother” (referring to DB’s All-Weather-Leather roots), while the mature women that may have formerly been attracted to DB are now complaining that “DB has gone to the teens.” Well, neither of these statements are true, but tell that to the average consumer. Give us too many choices with radically different patterns and styles and people aren’t happy to have those choices. Instead, handbag shoppers are overwhelmed because they don’t know which one they can pick that won’t either look too old, too young, too cute, too fugly, too stiff, too baggy, too busy, too simple, too radical or too boring. If DB stopped trying to please so many groups of shoppers with so many different designs, perhaps people would actually be happier. The other thing that DB appears to be doing is shifting the patterns too fast. These patterns or designs barely have an opportunity to develop any popularity before they are discontinued and DB is asking consumers to warm up to a new pattern or design.
DBs biggest flaw may also be one of its biggest strengths. One look at the D&B Web site and you see a lot more than just teenage styles. They have business products, the Alto line, the Pebble Leather line, French leather, Suede, Crossword, Exclusives, etc., etc. In fact, I have seen no other designer company attempt to design products to appeal to such a wide variety of customers than D&B. But the way people are reacting suggests that people don’t want so much diversity coming from a single company. Perhaps this shouldn’t be surprising. Customers that are obsessed with fashion also tend to be the people who have authoritarian ideas about who or what is entitled to set the trends. They look to magazines, fashion shows, television and celebrities. So when a company like DB throws at them radical patterns that are not being offered by the other handbag manufacturers, it looks too individualistic. To some fashion is individualism, but to most fashion is wearing and carrying what everybody else is wearing and carrying. By offering things like Bumble Bees and Popsicles, DB challenges people to set their own trends. But most people are afraid to walk down the street with something that doesn’t look like everybody else’s bag. If DB wants to dig themselves out, perhaps they should license more established imagery for their IT bag line — Disney characters. (Ever notice how a 40-year-old woman who would never dream of carrying an IT bag with Bumble Bees or Hearts on it will wear a Tinker Bell or Poo shirt? That’s my point….)
To turn a bit of a corner here, I do have a related rant: Somebody made a previous comment that DB quality is poor. In my humble opinion, someone who would say DB quality is poor is only saying so because they don’t own DB (and why would someone who doesn’t like DB own a DB — so how would they know if the quality is poor, anyhow?). I believe anyone can disagree over the looks of DB handbags. DB isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay. Nobody HAS to like the way DB bags look. It’s a free country. BUT, to those who would bash DB based on quality, I want to hear a good reason for it. Suspiciously, that earlier comment didn’t explain exactly what lead the person who posted it to suggest that the quality of DB bags just isn’t there. Maybe there’s a good reason, but I’d like to see if anyone can top my story.
What I find unacceptable and outrageous is shopping at an Louis Vuitton boutique SIX TIMES and spending nearly 10 HOURS on the road trying to correct for all the problems with an LV product. I can’t speak for the entire LV product line, but the speedy styles are very inconsistent in their appearance and quality. The sales associates will excuse every puckered seam with the BS that the handbag is “hand made”.
In my failed attempt to find a decently made speedy 25, I noticed everything from marks on the leather from getting dirtied at the factory or the store to needle punctures that had left gaping flaps of leather protruding from the handles. There were splatterings of that red leather edge dye (looked like the cow bled on its own hide – not exactly a luxurious impresison). There were tabs on either end of the zipper that were lopsided. There were differences in the alignment of the monogram pattern (to the point where I could perceive that the poor sap who ended up with the misaligned pattern would be getting rude questions about whether their LV was authentic). I even had to return one bag because instead of having a speedy 25 stamped under the leather tab, the factory had sewn a speedy 30 tab on instead!
Well, I thought I was the only one until I visited the Internet and found that my experience is far from a fluke. LV generally does not honor warranties, treats customers poorly and has a history of selling products that are damaged and defective (oops! — “handmade”). LV does all their repairs in-house — probably because otherwise the dirty laundry would be out in full public view.
Now I can’t and won’t say that everything LV sells in their boutique is of poor quality. What I can say based upon my painfully protracted personal buying, exchanging and returning experience is that the speedy bags are not undergoing the same level of quality control and consistency as I have come to experience from DB. I went from an LV person to a DB person simply because I was tired of third-rate customer service, sales associates who lie rather than act graciously when a problem arises, and bags that have so many “issues” that they might be confused with a fake.
And speaking of fakes, that’s another problem. Fake LVs are a dime a dozen, and have essentially devalued the brand. You are going to get more questions asking if your LV is the real thing. Carry a DB and people, if they say anything at all, are not questioning authenticity but paying a compliment.
One of the major problems is that LV uses date codes that any counterfeiter can imitate. DB uses real serial numbers that you can register if you wish. How serious can LV be about stopping the counterfeit problem when they won’t even provide a serial number or a registration card? My toaster came with a serial number and registration card!!!!!!!
DB isn’t LV, and IMHO that’s their biggest strength.]]>
I love these bags. In matter of fact, Im getting the Patched Plaid in the new Domed Satchel. I LOVE it! Great colors for fall]]>