Biography of Giorgio Armani

Born on July 11, 1934 in a small Italian town, Giorgio Armani has become a symbol, an ambassador of Italian fashion all over the world.

Particularly known for his stylish suits worn by top Hollywood actors such as Mel Gibson or Richard Gere, Armani never even thought of becoming a fashion designer in his youth.

He went to college to become a medic, but he soon realized that hospitals weren’t for him. He quit in favor of taking photography courses. However, that was not meant to last much either as in 1957 he had to abandon them in order to do his obligatory military service.

After that, he got a job at “La Rinascente”, Italy’s leading department store at that time. In 1964, Armani went to work for Nino Cerruti, an important fashion designer. In 1970, encouraged by his good friend Sergio Galeotti, he left Cerruti and established his own freelance design studio.

In 1974, the same friend helped him establish his own company called Giorgio Armani S.p.A. His first collection for men was a huge success and a year later, he launched a collection for women that enjoyed the same enthusiasm from the public.

Since then, he continuously developed the Armani Look, which can now be easily recognized by almost everyone. It is well known for its distinct clean, tailored lines.

To better understand how popular and successful Giorgio Armani is, I think it’s sufficient to mention that he owns homes in several exotic places such as San Tropez, Forte dei Marmi, Broni, and Pantelleria.

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How to Tell if a Web Site Sells Authentic Designer Handbags

There are many web sites out there claiming to sell authentic designer handbags. Unfortunately, many of these web sites, although claiming to sell authentic handbags, are in reality selling fakes. Here are some simple tips that can help you figure out whether a web site is selling authentic goods.

1. Guarantee: A web site selling authentic hand bags will always have a guarantee: Authentic or money back. If this policy is not listed on the web site, contact the web site operators to find out if they offer such a guarantee. If they don’t it indicates that they are not so very much convinced that the goods they are selling are really authentic.

2. Quality: If the web site claims that the products being sold are of the best quality, or something along these lines, something is wrong. If they are selling authentic goods, then the quality is constant and is equal to the quality offered by each competitor. If they talk about offering good quality, they are really saying that they have good quality fakes.

3. Chinese connections: Companies based in China are almost always selling fakes. To find out where a company is based, go to http://whois.sc and enter the domain name. You will normally see who registered this domain. If this is an address in China, stay away. The domain information will also include the IP address. Click on this IP address and see it’s information. You will, amongst other things, get a location. If the location is in China, stay away.

4. Louis Vuitton: If a web site is selling Louis Vuitton goods, this is usually a very bad sign. The only web sites that sell authentic Louis Vuitton goods are eluxury.com and vuitton.com. Other web sites may have a limited choice available in limited qualities, but even that is exceptional. Some people do sell authentic Louis Vuitton on eBay. These sellers will usually be a member of MyPoupette. Look for the MyPoupette logo before buying Louis Vuitton from eBay.

5. Contact: A trust worthy web site will list a street address. If a web site does not list a street address or phone number, stay away.

6. Return policy: Stay away from web sites that will not take returns.

There is no simply formula that will determine whether a web site sells authentic designer handbags. You always have to use your own judgment. But the above rules should help you make this judgment with better confidence.

Henk Devos is the founder of Genuine Designer Bags, a great source for authentic handbags by Fendi, Gucci, JP Tod’s, Marc Jacobs and more.

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Authentic Or Not Designer Bags

Buying your first designer purse can be quite an experience. You first have to know what type of bag you’re looking for as well as if the designer you’re looking to purchase from has anything like it. Most of the time, you’ve already seen the bag that you want and it’s just a matter of spending the money to get it. This is where the problem can be depending on if you have the money to purchase the bag or if you’re going to try and find the same designer bag for half the price.

The problem with finding designer bags for half the price is AUTHENTICITY. Authenticity comes with a price. If you want the good stuff then you have to spend good money.

High Fashion is exactly that High Fashion and you have to pay to look the part. Sure you can look the part for less but does it feel as good as knowing for sure that what you have is truely authentic. The answer is NO.

The high fashion designer bags that we all know are the Gucci, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Coach to name a few. There are noticeable differences in the real thing and the fake. The craftsmanship that goes into designer person are well above the work that is put into the fake designer bags.

Things to look for: the materials and fabrics that are used by the manufactures of designers bags are top quality. The material is of good quality. If it’s leather then the best leather is used, if fabric only the highest quality of that paticular fabric is used and if the fabric is printed then all the spacing or whatever design the designer is using at the time is all spaced and distributed evenly throughout the fabric. The quality of the stitching on a designer bag is sewn professionally with no skipped stiches or hanging strings. Everything about a designer bag is pretty much the same. The zippers are made of the finest quality as well as buckle and straps.

Today it is getting harder and harder to spot the fakes because the knock off manufacturers are so good at duplicating a replica that you just may not be able to tell. I’ve seen some really good knock off bags but if you do your research or just purchase from the designer you can’t go wrong. There are authorized dealers and websites that can sell designer bags but check them out first before purchasing.

Ebay is another place to get a designer bag but make sure it says Authentic and the seller has positive post and contact information.

With all that said, before purchasing your new designer purse make sure you get what you pay for.

She Miller
Newark, New Jersey
onebehindbars@yahoo.com
http://www.sheshedesignerwear.com/

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Bags With Bling

“Sex appeal is 50 per cent what you’ve got and
50 per cent what people think you’ve got.”

-Sophia Loren

I don’t know the time or context in which Sophia said this but I re-discovered it in a book of quotes, “The Last Word-A Treasury of Women’s Quotes” by Carolyn Warner, published in 1992.
It’s safe to say, fourteen years later, that not a great deal of what ‘you’ve got’ is being left to the imagination. In a world gone mad, it’s more “if you’ve got it, flaunt it.”

For those women unwilling or unable to compete with the sexy, nubile, twig-skinny, nearly-naked, rich young girls, the only recourse is letting your accessories speak for you.

Personally I consider shoes to be utilitarian. With plantar fasciitis the need for comfort is non-negotiable. In fact if I had a nickel for everyone I know with some sort of foot problem, I’d be a rich woman. So, for me at least, shoes are not the thing that defines my look.

However, handbags are. Never before has selection been greater. The sheer number of designers pumping out at least two collections a year ensures product galore (and a very short shelf life for all but the most classic designs). The internet has served to make our world so much smaller. The world’s inventory is literally available in the comfort of our own homes.

Knock-offs play into Sophia’s “what people think you’ve got.” For those women inclined to create an impression, albeit false, knock-offs may be the answer—how to have the designer look when clearly you can’t afford it.

Most other women are content (or is that resigned?) to making their fashion dollar go as far as it can without resorting to copycat products. That may mean, in practical terms, just buying one really good leather bag each year plus a fun, funky, faux fad knowing full well it’s almost a throw-away.

Current handbag styles seem to fall into two loose groups. The trendiest ones are loaded with buckles, tassels, rings, straps, appliqués and jewels. In a word: bling. They tend to be over-sized, slouchy, unstructured. Group two are those classic styles, colors, construction and finishes that endure year in and year out. A toned down, more subtle bling. The sort of designs that become the mainstay of some of the world’s most successful and enduring design houses.

Both groups are available in price points exclusively for the ultra-rich, Hollywood starlet or more reasonably priced for you and me.

But back to Sophia…is it sexy to flaunt the illusion of wealth even if you can’t afford it? Or is it sexier to flaunt your authenticity—pulling together your very best look —with the greatest accessories you can afford.

Hazel Anaka is hooked on handbags and leather purses as evidenced by her online business http://www.powerofpurses.com. Her weekly column “From Where I Sit” appears online at http://www.voicemagazine.org and in print. Using 16 years of retail experience she’s just opened Heart Works Studio Gallery & Gift Shop near Andrew, AB Canada. Featuring her original art and eclectic gift ware, Heart Works also offers workshops in art, writing and personal development.

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Women’s Handbags: Spruce Up the Ordinary

Do you ever find your wardrobe is missing something? Have you ever wondered how to make an outfit more or less formal? The answer to many of today’s wardrobe problems can be answered with the handbag. You do not have to run out and buy an entirely different wardrobe; a new handbag will spruce up the average jeans/t-shirt ensemble, or add life to an everyday work outfit. This can make an otherwise casual outfit a little dressier without sacrificing comfort. That same handbag can also add to a formal or business ensemble by adding a little glimmer that catches anyone’s eye.

If you find yourself stuffing your wallet into your back pocket or grabbing the same boring and worn-in satchel, a bright and trendy handbag can turn frumpy into fantastic. Some people believe that the handbag they have carried for years is just the perfect size and some have even developed an emotional attachment. A healthy wardrobe, however, consists of more than one useable handbag. Many other bags are able to fit just the right amount of makeup and other essentials. Not all designer handbags are impossibly small or unnecessarily big. There are all types and sizes to fit with every personality type.

Also, beautiful women’s handbags do not have to be a drain on your wallet; many are inexpensive and very durable. Choosing a great handbag is easy; if it catches your eye, it’s a keeper. Every time you wear it, you’ll feel great and sexy.

Kimi Lasser is a consumer writer and fashion consultant, and an enthusiast of women’s handbags. She currently attends Rochester Institute of Technology where she studies Advertising Photography.

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Spring 2007: The Must-Have Luxury Leather Handbags

Although a luxury leather handbag is one of the most classic fashion accessories that one can buy, styles and trends change with the season. If you are in the market for a new bag, you will be pleased to discover the array of options available this season. Spring 2007 is all about choices in personal style. Here is your guide to the latest styles and colors in a variety of luxury leather handbags.

Originally slouchy, comfortable, and decidedly bohemian, the “hobo bag” has gone through a style metamorphosis. While retaining their offbeat styling, this year’s hobos are now more structured, offering a “frame” to hold the leather in place. From funky faux-reptilian straps to shiny metal grommets, trim is in so shop around for the style that best represents you.

A structured middle ground between a hobo and a totebags, the “satchel” is possibly the most functional choice of all luxury leather handbagsbags. Functional definitely does not mean frumpy though, as the satchel has emerged as possibly the hottest bag of the season. The satchel offers a dizzying array of styling choices from shiny patent leather to rings and grommets that are reminiscent of the old punk chic.

Large bags are in this year and the larger the better. Totebags were originally designed as specialty bags for carrying books and other large items. Recently however, they have morphed into the bags of choice for many Hollywood stars. With a bag this large it is easy to lose keys and other necessities in the bottom so this year’s hot styles feature zipper compartments to keep essentials separated.

While large bags are the style of choice for everyday use, transform your look at night with the polar opposite: a tiny handbag complete with intricate detailing. Teeny zippers, delicate chains and soft trim are all just a few of the choices in this year’s smallest bags.

Cell phone cases, wallets, and key chains are all available in an endless array of styles and colors. The significantly lower price of these small accessories makes it easier to embrace possibly short-lived trends so live it up with these more affordable options.

Colors are also very important. Without a doubt bright and shiny red is the number one color of the moment. From patent leather to suede, from totebags to clutches, red bags are the hottest of the season. If fire engine red is not quite your style, other colors within the red family are widely available as well from pink to burgundy and everything in between.

Royal purple, regal green, lapis blue: if it can be found in gemstones it is hot this season. These colors work especially well on clutch purses, adding a shock of color to your little black dress.

Brown and beige are especially hot this year, particularly in the larger bags, making it easy to coordinate your bag with many different outfits. White is also in and of course, basic black never goes out of style.

This year’s styles are all about personal choice. The wide array of colors, styles and especially trim ensures that no matter what your individual preference there is sure to be a luxury leather handbag that is perfect for you.

Gale Boone is the founder of eLuxe Bags. For more information about luxury leather handbags, visit http://www.eluxebags.com

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Current Style in Handbags

Bags are a very important accessory of a woman’s attire in any season. Handbag designs keep getting better and more innovative every season. Interesting trends emerge and this year is no different.

BAG IT: Bags this current season are expected to have a lot of stitch details. Huge and oversized handbags are the hottest item this season. But remember to keep it small for the evening. The trend this season will veer towards accessories on the handbag, like plaited handles, plaited areas etc.

It may include that extra strap which buckles down or even the edges of the handbag having leather thongs wrapped around them. Some other trends may include tassels and studs and even possibly padlocks and frills on the bag.

Interesting accessories are expected in the handbag this season. These may include key rings and metal buckles. Pockets in the bag, leather appliqués and charms that dangle are likely to be part of the current handbag style scene.

Crystal beads, gold tone studs and even leather bows may add that extra special. It is likely that decorative trimmings on the bags will be extremely popular. Another trend may be to have headscarves threaded through the eyelets of the bag. Even a gold chain may be slotted to create a special look. The trend in handles may include chains in the leather or they may be made exclusively of chain.

STYLES GALORE: Printed bags are very much in vogue and so is the new deeper taller bag shape and deep tote styles. The material of the bag may be leather or suede, which may appear as washed out and faded. It may be tie-dyed or frilled or even tool impressed.

The handbag with a slouch is also set to make an impact this season. Hardware on bags is very much “in”, as is ironmongery. It is the large, oversized slouch bag, which will round off the fashion look whispering.

WATCH THE HARDWARE: Hardware on bags is a definite attraction this season. Bags are likely to have a row of studs or they may have extra leather, trimmed with metal over the bag’s body. Chain handles on bags are likely to be very popular. White bags are set to make a strong impression.

Another likely trend is the bag with the metallic finish that has metallic tones making it shimmer and glisten.

THINK SLIM: The trend is towards the shape of bags growing taller, sleeker, and cleaner. There is no lumpy untidiness of excessive bulky outside pockets on every available surface, although the size maybe big.

Here are some unique designs in purse and handbags, which can be, expected this year and which are sure to catch on.

USE THE CLOTH: Cloth purses are very casual fashion items but they are very popular. The strongest trend this year is likely to be colourful fabrics and unique patterns. Bold colors and striking contrast are likely to be “in”. Also very fashionable is the practical reversible cloth purse. The purse can be literally turned inside out to reveal the alternative fabric pattern. This allows you to have two purses for the price of one.

PUT A NAME TO IT: Monogrammed handbags never go out of style. The present styles are likely to be monogrammed handbags in a wide range of colors, shapes, sizes and styles.

An expected upcoming trend is leather sling hipster handbags with elegantly embossed initials or a name. The preferred material for such handbags is soft leather, because it is durable and very stylish. Apart from that, sling handbags are very comfortable to carry. They form the perfect accessory whether the outing is a casual one or a business one.

Monogrammed tote bags are also very much in fashion. They are the most perfect, casual fashion accessories. Monogrammed tote bags serve a variety of purposes, whether at the beach, or at a picnic, even at school. The best material for tote bags is soft cotton canvas and this is likely to be the trend this year too.

DOGGIE BAG: Dog purses are gaining popularity. With almost everyone loving dogs the fashion is veering towards handbags, tote bags and purses decorated with a full panel photo of a gorgeous pouch. Dog purses and handbags are also a great gift idea for anyone who loves their beloved hound. Custom-made dog purses are also becoming more and more popular. You can have your own photograph of your dog printed onto a handbag.

If you don’t like dogs, you can have your own photo, or the photo of that someone special in your life, printed onto your purse or handbag, Photo purses or handbags are ultra-cool and make a special fashion statement.

CLUTCH THAT BAG: Clutch purses and handbags have an elegant, streamlined look, but they’re the perfect size to carry all those little necessities. The trend for clutch purses and clutch handbags is likely to be all glamour. Shiny metallic gold, silver, bronze and platinum shades will be the strong colors of the season, in soft suede leather.

If you follow the above trends you can be sure that you will be never out of sync with your handbag this season. You will be very much a part of the “in” crowd.

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Handbags: Beauty is Mesh Deep

A lot of people who when the first time the lay their eyes on the price, they immediately think too themselves “this is too good to be true.” Though logically that’s what they think, their emotions get the best of them and they rationalize the purchase anyway thinking “I have to get it quickly or it won’t be available at this price later on”.

So the person gets the bag for the low price and walks home thinking they got a steal especially since the product comes from a very reputable and well-known retailer and also is of authentic material.

Unfortunately, like when dealing with a man who is too good to be true, you start noticing flaws and things that you’ve overlooked in the past. For instance you may find the bag too small for your liking, as in it won’t be able to hold things like your wallet, digital camera, cell phone, keys, chap stick, and a whole bunch of other things.

You may find the handbag to be too short in some departments to prevent you from comfortably being able to tuck comfortably under your arm. In the end after several trials with the bag, you find that it just doesn’t do it for you the way you hoped. Activities such as dancing and simply doing some window shopping becomes a drag after a while with this handbag.

Sure the bag is cute, but perhaps it’s best advised that you look around a bit more next time to see what you are getting yourself into without rationalizing the situation away.

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Handbag Q & A

Q. What can I do to keep my handbag organized?

–Losing It

A. It all begins with selecting the right handbag for your lifestyle. Inner and outer pockets and zippered sections help sort and separate the contents. Limit the contents to those basics you really need each day: cash, credit cards, keys, lipstick, and planner. Your chiropractor will thank you. If you need additional beauty products consider a small makeup case that will prevent spills. If you find yourself lugging around an umbrella, paperback, file folders, baby formula, toys, camera, snacks and more, either consider a larger tote-style bag that can accommodate all your needs. Or consider keeping a separate bag with these items in your car or office. Another option that works for some women is carrying a small clutch purse (that’s quick to grab and go) in a larger tote-type briefcase. Whichever option you choose, remember to regularly purge the store receipts, old tissues, lint-covered candies, and business cards that can load you down and steal precious space.

Q. How can I stash everything I need for my busy work life without resorting to wheeled luggage?

–Desperate

A. Look for one of today’s totally hot briefcases. Opt for one with both long and short padded straps and lots of interior pockets. Consider using a laptop case or postman style bag. Either will accommodate file folders, brochures, and other office paraphernalia and you’ll look great too.

Q. I hate the “new” handbags with all the straps, tassels, buckles, rivets and more. I refuse to buy one because I consider myself too old for all that stuff. But…I don’t want to look like my grandma either. Help me.

–Too young to look old

A. As in all things fashion, it’s best to be aware of the trends but ultimately to do only what’s right for you. You don’t want to be a fashion lemming following the masses off the cliff of good taste just to fit in. You may choose to opt for a simpler, cleaner style (with less ‘stuff’ happening) in one of the season’s newest colors—but only if it’s a color you love and will use long term, not because someone else deemed it a “must have.”

Q. How do I choose the right handbag for my size and body type?

—Want to Get it Right

A. You need to think proportion. If you’re a tall, large-framed woman yoo can pull off anything but a teeny-tiny bag. If you’re petit, many large bags will simply overpower you and be all wrong proportion-wise. Ensure you check out the look in a full-length mirror or if ordering online, compare the product dimensions with those bags you already own that are perfect sized for you.

Q. Sometimes I feel like the fashion industry is holding me hostage. “Experts” proclaim the season’s “it” bag, anoint the greatest designer ever, decide what you must have to be anyone. I’m sick of it. What do you suggest?

–I’m mad as hell and not taking it anymore

A. I don’t blame you, Mad as Hell. Every woman is capable of making the right choice for herself, based on lifestyle, budget, and needs. It doesn’t matter who made it, but rather who chose it. Widen your options by buying an eclectic mix of both inexpensive (but well-made) and couture bags. Visit vintage stores or granny’s attic looking for quality, well-made, beautiful, one-of-a-kind old bags to augment your wardrobe. You’re not in high school anymore, carve out your own path, make your own choices, express your own creativity and panache.

Hazel Anaka is hooked on handbags and leather purses as evidenced by her online business http://www.powerofpurses.com. Her weekly column “From Where I Sit” appears online at http://www.voicemagazine.org and in print. Using 16 years of retail experience she’s just opened Heart Works Studio Gallery & Gift Shop near Andrew, AB Canada. Featuring her original art and eclectic gift ware, Heart Works also offers workshops in art, writing and personal development

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Spotting Counterfeit Designer Handbags

You may try to save a few bucks by buying a designer handbag replica, but there are several reasons why it makes sense to buy the real thing:

1. Although replicas may look like the real thing, the workmanship and quality can’t be compared to the original.

2. Counterfeiters avoid paying taxes since their businesses are generally operated on a cash basis. Citizens like you and I still have to pay.

3. The sale of counterfeit designer goods has been linked to terrorist and gang activity as well as organized crime. Drugs are often smuggled inside counterfeit handbags.

Spotting a fake

There was a time when it was easy to spot a fake: misspelled logos, cheap leather and shoddy hardware. Now, fakes are starting to look rather good and it’s hard to tell the difference. Here’s how to tell what’s real and what’s not:

1. Authentic handbags are purchased from authorized registered dealers. Authentic designer handbags are not sold by street vendors, at home parties, at flea markets, in New York’s Chinatown, in Los Angeles’ Santee Alley, or at mall kiosks.

2. If you’re considering a Coach handbag, the company’s website provides a list of authorized dealers. Both Coach and Kate Spade give detailed information on spotting replicas of their products.

3. The price. A new Prada handbag will not sell for $50.

4. Country of Origin Labels. The country of origin for Fendi handbags is Italy. If the handbag has a label that says “Made in Taiwan”, it is not the real thing.

Buying designer handbags online

If you’re shopping online and find a designer handbag at a price that’s hard to pass up, there’s a way to tell if you’re getting an authentic product:

Read the product description carefully. Some online merchants will lure you into their sites by describing their products as original, authentic or genuine. After reading descriptions, you may find such phrases as “inspired by” a particular designer. This product isn’t authentic and the phrase is used to protect the merchant from trademark infringement.

Want to know for sure it’s real?

Buy designer goods from authorized registered dealers only. That’s the only way to be sure that you are purchasing an authentic designer product.

Sharon Owens is the editor of Luxewise.com which helps its visitors become more savvy shoppers of luxury goods.

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Handbags: Putting It All Together

A lot of handbags look really cute and you will have the natural inclination to take them everywhere you go, especially to all the hot spots around town. You may also bring a small handbag when you go dancing or go out to have some social drinks.

However there may be times when you will find that the handbag falls apart at the seams. Well not quite so morbid, but perhaps bits and pieces such as the connecting tab for your handbag may fall off after a few uses. The first time this kind of thing happens you make the best of it only to have it fall apart yet again next time.

In general this happens a lot because the materials which the handbags made are not meant for maximum durability. Whether this was the intention of the manufacturer in the first place is open for discussion. But the bottom line is that not all pretty or cute bags will last too long.

In fact some of them may have shorter shelf lives than others. After they serve their purpose it’s time to up and at it and buy a new design, which probably will not be a disappointing thing in the end for many women.

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Handbags: Forever 21 At Heart

If you are a new mom or are no longer part of the “MTV” generation. Then perhaps you have a different idea of what fashions are more suitable for you than others. Of course age by itself has nothing to do with what fashions you can adopt at any given time, but let’s say you are a mother or student, or someone who works in a conservative environment.

In those cases you might want to pass on the ultra trendy handbags such as the hobo varieties, but there are plenty of other fashionable handbags you can take a look at that are designer yet authentic and affordable at the same time.

Some popular handbags include those that are small in appearance yet can carry lots of daily items that a woman needs at a moments notice such as a small mirror, wallet, pen, lip gloss, lotion, cell phone, and other feminine hygienic products. Some even contain a nice hidden inner pocket to help you carry loose change or other small things.

Also a good quality to have for handbags in general for those on the go is the ability to clean them easily. This holds true especially if you have children. These make a great gift for yourself or for friends and family and are generally appreciated by fashionable people everywhere.

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