National Handbag Day: LeSportsac

Today is National Handbag Day! I had this marked on my calendar just so I can talk about one of my other obsessions: limited edition LeSportsac bags.

It all started with a small shoulder bag in cute fruit print called Big Apple:
(apologies for the crappy photo – I no longer have this bag since I re-homed it to my friend.  Here’s a clearer picture of the print on another bag style from an eBay listing)

I loved the cheerful print on a very functional bag.  Here’s one thing about me – I may wear head to toe black and grey, but I love me some colourful bags!

Before laying eyes on the printed LeSportsac bags, I had only ever encountered the solid coloured ones – which are often sported by little old ladies (c’mon, it’s true!)  LeSportsac started in 1974 with a focus on travel accessories. The appeal of LeSportsac bags are obvious: they’re super lightweight yet durable (made of a nylon ripstop material), easy to clean, and reasonably priced.  They started to change their image around 2002, to cater to a younger, more fashion-conscious customer.  That was the year where they had a Jonathan Adler print, and a collaboration with DVF.  In 2014, LeSportsac celebrated their 40th anniversary with a decidedly different image than what they started with.
After acquiring the Big Apple  print bag, I began to notice all sorts of fun limited edition (my weakness) prints being released, along with artist and designer collaborations!  It quickly spiraled into a full fledged obsession – I pretty much had to buy one print every season. Here are the prints I’ve owned over the years:

cp3362 big apple black
Big Apple Black (2003), Small shoulder bag (style 7133)
cp3326 village
Village (2003), Small Tribeca tote (style 7830)
cp3477 1974
“1974” (2004), Reversible tote (style 7133) [reverses to solid black]
cp3429 poppy field
Poppy Field (2004), Small shoulder bag (style 7133)
cp3403 tic tac toe
Tic-tac-toe (2004), Small shoulder bag (style 7133)
cp3508 potion
Potion (2005), Classic hobo (style 7250)
cp3519 carnival
Carnival (2005), Small shoulder bag (style 7133)
cp3648 karma
Karma (2006), Diane Overnighter (style 7883)
cp3615 caravan
Caravan (2006), Travel cosmetic pouch (style 7315)
Fusion (2008), Anna bag (style 7859)
Beam (2008), 3-Zip cosmetic (style 7158)
cp3846 california
California (2008), Key coin pouch (style 7317)
Denver (2009), Jen bag (style 7875)
Flower Power (2009), Olivia coin purse (style 5827)
Truffle Dot (2009), Tissue case (style 7149)
Truffle Dot (2009), Tissue case (style 7149)
Menagerie (2011), Leigh tote (style 7874)
Menagerie (2011), Leigh tote (style 7874)

I even had a spreadsheet to track my LeSportsac bags. Now you know it’s serious when I bust out the Excel!  Many of these have been re-homed since my closet was just overflowing with bags.

Funnily, one of my most prized LeSportsac bags wasn’t even a print – it was a Stella McCartney collaboration from 2008 – this quilted tote bag in an amazing mauve-y grey colour:
I had it on my lust list as soon as the collection was released but at $325, I just couldn’t justify it.  Then, I received an email for a flash 40% off sale, and it just so happened that I was going to be in NYC. So, I called the LeSportsac store in SoHo (aka heaven!) and they held one for me!  Whenever I wear the bag, I get random people coming up to me asking me where I got it from – sorry, you can’t get it anymore…

Source. Shout-out to LeSportsac SoHo!

Other notable collaboration were Gwen Stefani’s L.A.M.B. and Tokidoki:
Fun fact: the L.A.M.B. label was created in 2004 specifically for the LeSportsac collaboration – it then grew from there!
The Tokidoki for LeSportsac collaboration started in 2006 and is still going strong to this day.  I was never interested in either of these collaborations but I know there are fanatic collectors (and there are tons of fakes online so beware).

There are quite a few prints that I wished I had gotten my paws on:

cp3269 y knot black
DVF “Y Knot” (2002) (LeSportsac even featured a TBT post on this collab!)
cp3268 apples
Apples by Jonathan Adler (2002)
cp3478 tomboy
Tomboy (2004)
cp4402 suburbia
Suburbia (2004)
Gondola (2008)
cp4059 beauty bar
Beauty Bar (2010)
cp4007 Fafi Lapin
Fifi Lapin (2010)

I’d pretty much take any bag style featuring any of the above prints!

Earlier this year though, I got my hands on this long coveted print:

cp3284 fair isle
Fair Isle (2002)

It was from eBay but it was totally legit – all the codes on the tags matched up and it even a made in USA label! (LeSportsac moved production overseas in mid- 2000’s).
If you’re ever curious, do scroll through LeSportsac’s print archives. I’ve enjoyed looking at all their prints over the years. Now that I’m a little more mature (you stop laughing) I’m no longer as obsessed with LeSportsac but I do still get excited about seeing new cute prints (and writing this post got me interested again about going on a hunt for some of the retired prints!) I guess I never really grow out of it!  Are you a fan of LeSportsac?

21 thoughts on “National Handbag Day: LeSportsac

  1. I’ve never heard of this brand, but they are super cute! When I was in HS I went through a phase of matching all of my cheap Target brand purses to whatever I was wearing that day. But by the time real life hit I realized I had too many things to do and was much to lazy to be about the handbag life so not I use the same Michael Kors tote my mom gifted me several Christmases ago for everythinggggg. It’s a luggage color so it just goes with everything in any season. I really like that print up there with the Elephants though!

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    1. Oh you were one of those girls who matched their purses. I was never that matchy, the most I’d match my socks. 😋 I think I might look into those purse organizers that make it a snap to switch purses!

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  2. I was never into LeSportsac for myself..I’ve always found it too loud for my liking. Although I didn’t mind their products on a smaller scale (i.e. pencil cases for school). LeSportsac reminds me of Asians and airports….because every bag store at the airports I went to ALWAYS had a huge collection of these bags, and the majority of people I’ve seen with LeSportsac things are Asian haha. It completely surprises me that you are totally okay with these designs yet can’t incorporate that into your manicures?! PLOT TWIST. WHO ARE YOU?!

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    1. I know, people can’t wrap their brains around the dichotomy of my boring neutrals makeup / attire but my love of colourful bags / prints. Shrug, I’m just keeping people on their toes! I figure I can ditch the colourful bags when I need to be professional but I can’t very well hide my nails in meetings. 😋

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    1. Yessss… I don’t know how I missed that one! There have been a few other prints that are beauty related but that one is my favourite. Must have a cosmetic pouch with that print!
      Haha yes, it is similar to how you are with Wildfox – one isn’t enough!

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  3. I can’t believe I missed the Soho store! I’ve been wanting a tote from them to use as a beach bag for a while but the prices make it hard to justify for a beach bag. I’d love one of their bigger travel bags too. I love how lightweight they are! Your collection is impressive! 🙂

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  4. I once own a one. Though I would have to had a couple more, the price here kills. It’s really of a good quality. My mom coveted it already, haha! What I had now is kipling. That’s what my aunt always give me whenever she returns from Ireland.

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