Forget the Baguette and the Birkin, this modestly priced casual bag by Roots is the one to collect right now.
MONEY WELL SPENT | If there were such a thing as an International Handbag Hall Of Fame, the highly coveted Baguette by Fendi, Birkin by Hermès, Speedy by Louis Vuitton and 2.55 by Chanel would be among the first bags inducted. It’s a tribute to their iconic good looks that these stratospherically priced luxury items are respun by their European manufacturers year after year and continue to maintain a “must-have” status.
Of course, it wasn’t hard to come up with this quartet of hypothetical inductees; the selection is so beyond question Anna Wintour will be rolling her eyes when she reads the list. But we do have one more, less-obvious submission some students of fashion insist belongs with this group. It’s a Canadian entry: the Village Bag by Roots. So why do they think this modestly priced everyday handbag deserves the same recognition as these pocketbook giants?
Why Take A Village?
For starters, the Village Bag is intelligent design. The first time you pick up a Village, there is no question about how to use it: smartphone, lip balm and keys in the external pockets; wallet, notebook, pens and comb in the main compartment. With just enough space for essentials, it’s the casual bag you sling cross-body on your way to buy groceries, walk the dog or practise yoga. It’s the bag that feels like it isn’t there, the one that sits tight to your hip.
Like the Baguette, Speedy and 2.55, which are instantly recognizable, the unmistakable Village Bag also lends itself to updating. Roots has done it in a variety of leather types, in seasonal colours and with decorative add-ons (like the special edition with international flags produced for the 2010 Olympics).
While it’s obviously a frustration for manufacturers, one way to know a bag has arrived is to see how often it’s copied; the Village Bag, which was first introduced in 2005, gets knocked off a lot. —Annabel Lee