Monica Botkier’s relationship with handbags truly is a love story.
A handbag designer herself, she launched her eponymous handbag line Botkier in 2003 and her signature zippered Trigger bag became an instant cult (and retail) success, retailing for $595 and putting “affordable luxury” in the lexicon. To celebrate her 15 years in business, she just released Handbags: A Love Story, a coffee table book published by Harper Collins available now.
“To this day, women tell me that the Trigger was their gateway into a designer handbag,” says Botkier. “Back then, the market was very clear-cut: mass on one side and pricey on the other, and nothing in the middle.”
The book is an homage to iconic handbag, and styles, over the decades, from Hermes’ Birkin Bag to the newer Mansur Gavriel (the latter a brand that had a similar insta-indie success). “The book is all about bags that have created pivotal moments in women’s lives,” says Botkier. “Bags have really exploded in the past decade and a half, and this book shows how they’ve evolved over time.”
Two bags that inspired Botkier to become a designer are the Tom Ford Mombassa bag with horn handle created for YSL (“I was so inspired that I used my entire rent money for the month to buy one… it was about $2,000….truly could have been an episode of “Sex and the City,” says Botker), and the Balenciaga City Bag.
Handbags: A Love Story is a compilation of iconic bags, still shots, street style, advertising campaigns, blogger interviews and more. It is 240 pages, and retails for $90. Some spreads:
The book is dedicated to Botkier’s grandparents (she didn’t find out until she was already a handbag designer that her grandfather had been a handbag manufacturer in Russia!)