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:
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…
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:
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:
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?